Losing weight from just walking can be tricky. That's because the amount of calories burned when walking is much lower than what you could burn running or participating in other high-intensity exercise. That said, it is possible to lose weight walking -- as long as you're determined to keep a steady workout routine.
Decide how many hours a week you can devote to walking. That will impact how fast you will lose weight. In order to lose one pound, you have to burn 3,500 calories. If you want to lose a pound a week by walking, you would have to walk several hours a week; how many depends on the speed at which you're walking and the terrain. For example, if you're burning 250 calories per hour, you would have to walk 14 hours a week in order to lose a pound in a week.
Walk at a fast pace to to increase the calories burned. For example, if you walk at 5 mph, you will lose about 563 calories per hour. At that pace, you will lose a pound for every six hours of walking. However, if you only walk at a very slow pace under 2 mph, you will only burn about 141 calories per hour -- and it will take you almost 25 hours of walking to lose a pound.
Walk on uneven or uphill terrain as much as possible. If you're walking at a speed of 3.5 mph on flat terrain, you'll be burning about 267 calories per hour. However, walking at the same speed uphill will burn 422 calories.
Carry some extra weight. The heavier you are, the more calories you'll burn with the same level of activity. For example, a 130-pound woman walking at a speed of 3 mph will burn 195 calories per hour, but a 205-pound woman walking at the same speed will burn 307 calories. To increase your calories burned, you can try carrying some extra weight, such as a full backpack or some waist or ankle weights.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.