How you can walk off belly fat: Tips to maximize fat burning

Heather Campbell
 min read

How you can walk off belly fat is something many people ask about.

How you can walk off belly fat: Tips to maximize fat burningWalking can help tremendously in burning belly fat.

As a whole, walking is an excellent exercise to get rid of the roll around your tummy. For fat burning, it is important to keep the heart rate at the optimal beats per minute, exercise regularly, and eat the right amount to burn more calories than you ingest. Consistency is key for fat burning.

Walking is the most approachable way to exercise. Because of this, it is excellent to use when you want to burn belly fat.

As you probably know, having too much body fat is dangerous. And body fat in the form of internal abdominal fat (visceral fat) is especially dangerous.

Indeed, such visceral fat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, various cancers, and diabetes 2.

This article will tell you precisely what you need to do for the best results, so read on!

How you can walk off belly fat: Introduction

Several scientific studies have found that men and women are at increased health risk when they have fat around their organs.

For women, it is suspected that this is due to female sex hormones. These hormones may cause a higher risk of diabetes and extra fat storage around the organs.

Are you a woman and not 100% satisfied with your belly? Then it’s a good idea to do something about your belly fat to limit the chance of contracting diseases later in life.

The best way to tackle belly fat is to walk. This is because the risk of injury during walking is very low, which is perfect for people with a size more who want to start moving and exercising slowly but surely.

Below you will read more information and details about how walking can help you lose belly fat.

How does losing weight work?

Before we detail how walking helps burn belly fat, let’s talk about how slimming and fat burning work.

In theory, losing weight is not very complicated. If you burn more calories (both in exercise and at rest) than you take in, you will lose weight.

Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done in practice.

Walking can help you burn extra calories because your body uses energy (calories) to move your muscles.

How long and intensely you exercise ultimately determines how many calories you burn.

When you read the above, it may seem that working out long and intensively is the best strategy for burning belly fat.

But appearances are deceiving because it doesn’t have to be that way.

Walking or intense exercise for a slimmer belly?

When you exercise intensively, cortisol (the stress hormone) is released into your body. Not what you want when you are trying to lose weight. In fact, cortisol can cause you to become more hungry and thus eat more.

So, in other words, by exercising intensively, you create extra stress in your body, and this can cause you to overeat.

And such a scenario is precisely what you need to avoid if you want to lose weight.

Finally, intense exercise causes your muscles to become exhausted. In itself, this is not a problem because it is part of sports and exercise.

However, the problem is that this increases the risk of injury. In addition, intensive exercise is extra taxing on your muscles and joints if you are overweight.

So there are plenty of reasons to avoid intense exercise if you want to burn belly fat responsibly and sustainably.

And this is where walking comes in!

Walking is an approachable way to exercise, and it puts very little strain on your joints compared to other sports and options for exercise.

Did you know that walking has already been scientifically demonstrated that walking can reduce stress?

In addition, scientific research has also shown that walking (with the correct heart rate) is a tremendously effective way to burn fat.

Later in this article, we’ll detail precisely what this correct heart rate is.

In any case, the combination of the above factors makes walking extremely interesting and suitable for burning belly fat.

Burning fat locally in the abdominal area, is it possible?

No, you can’t. Unfortunately, it is impossible to burn fat in a pre-determined spot.

It is genetically determined where the body stores fat. In some people, this is more around the hips or arms, and in others, it is around the abdomen.

When you burn more calories than you take in, your body will get the energy it needs from your fat stores.

Generally speaking, the places where the most fat is stored in your body will be targeted the most during fat burning.

So do you want to burn belly fat? Then make sure that your body starts burning fat in the first place. Doing abdominal exercises to burn belly fat does not have to be a priority because it is impossible to burn fat locally.

Related post: In case you’ve had an ostomy and are looking for ways to strengthen your abs, check our other article Abdominal exercises with ostomy: Standing, sitting, and lying

How fast should I walk to burn belly fat?

How fast you need to walk to burn belly fat varies from person to person. In fact, it depends on your heart rate.

The ideal heart rate for walking and burning fat is between 50-70% of your maximum heart rate.

You calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your current age from the number 220. The result of this calculation is your maximum heartbeats per minute.

Then do 0.5 x (220 – your age) for 50% of your maximum heart rate and 0.7 x (220 – your age) for 70% of your maximum heart rate.

Calculation example to illustrate

Suppose you are 38 years old. Then your maximum heart rate is 182 beats per minute (220 – 38).

  • 50% of this is 0.5 x 182 = 91
  • And 70% of this is 0.7 x 182 = 127.

Conclusion: When you are 38 years old, you want your heart rate to stay between 91 and 127 beats per minute while walking. This is how you burn the most fat.

Ideal heart rate by age group to burn fat

Below is a chart of the ideal heart rate by age for optimal fat burning:

  • 20 years old: 100 to 140 heartbeats per minute
  • 25 years old: 98 to 137 heartbeats per minute
  • 30 years old: 95 to 133 heartbeats per minute
  • 35 years old: 92 to 129 heartbeats per minute
  • 40 years old: 90 to 126 heartbeats per minute
  • 45 years old: 88 to 123 heartbeats per minute
  • 50 years old: 85 to 119 heartbeats per minute
  • 55 years old: 82 to 116 heartbeats per minute
  • 60 years old: 80 to 112 heartbeats per minute
  • 65 years old: 77 to 108 heartbeats per minute
  • 70 years old: 75 to 105 heartbeats per minute
  • 75 years old: 73 to 102 heartbeats per minute
  • 80 years old: 70 to 98 heartbeats per minute

So your heart rate determines how fast you should walk to burn fat as efficiently and effectively as possible.

So it’s important to know what your heart rate is while walking. You can measure this by placing two fingers on your wrist and counting.

However, this way is not accurate nor convenient while walking.

Measuring heart rate using a heart rate monitor

We recommend using a fitness tracker or a heart rate monitor if you really want to do it right.

Virtually all popular fitness trackers are reasonably accurate at measuring your heart rate (with a slight variation). Fortunately, they have many other functionalities that make their purchase even more enjoyable.

If you really want to burn fat and train based on your heart rate, we recommend you invest in a heart rate monitor (the way to accurately follow your actual heart rate).

Moreover, you can easily pair the heart rate monitor with a watch, smartphone, smartwatch, or fitness tracker.

Did you know: You can set the lower and upper limits (50 and 70% of maximum heart rate). Does your heart rate go below or above this optimal fat-burning zone while walking? Then you will be alerted with a tone and can adjust accordingly.

How long should I walk to burn belly fat?

To lose weight by walking, it is essential to exercise long enough. Several scientific studies show that walking can be an effective way to burn belly fat.

During a study, obese women were required to walk 3 times a week for 50-70 minutes for 3 months.

After analyzing the results, it was found that the participants had lost an average of just over 1% of their body fat.

During another study, participants lost about 4% of their abdominal circumference. These ladies walked 5 times a week for about 30 minutes for 3 months.

Such results can only be achieved when you burn more calories than you take in. Walking can help you do this (if you also pay attention to your nutrition).

How many calories does hiking burn?

The amount of calories you burn walking depends on your weight and walking pace.

Fortunately, it’s not hard to calculate how many calories you burn walking:

  • When walking slowly (1.86 to 2.49 miles per hour), you burn about 1.59 calories per pound of bodyweight per hour.
  • When you walk briskly (3.11 to 3.73 miles per hour), you burn about 1.95 calories per pound of bodyweight per hour.

In other words, at 154 pounds of body weight and 1 hour of leisurely walking, you burn (154 x 1.59) 245 calories.

And one hour of brisk walking with the same bodyweight thus burns about 300 calories (154 x 1.95).

Examples of calorie burn per body weight

  • 132 pounds body weight:
    • Leisurely walking = 210 calories per hour
    • Brisk walking = 258 calories per hour
  • 143 pounds body weight:
    • Leisurely walking = 227 calories per hour
    • Brisk walking = 280 calories per hour
  • 154 pounds body weight:
    • Leisurely walking = 245 calories per hour
    • Brisk walking = 301 calories per hour
  • 165 pounds body weight:
    • Leisurely walking = 263 calories per hour
    • Brisk walking = 322 calories per hour
  • 176 pounds body weight:
    • Leisurely walking = 280 calories per hour
    • Brisk walking = 344 calories per hour
  • 187 pounds body weight:
    • Leisurely walking = 298 calories per hour
    • Brisk walking = 366 calories per hour
  • 198 pounds body weight:
    • Leisurely walking = 315 calories per hour
    • Brisk walking = 387 calories per hour
  • 209 pounds body weight:
    • Leisurely walking = 333 calories per hour
    • Brisk walking = 409 calories per hour
  • 220 pounds body weight:
    • Leisurely walking = 350 calories per hour
    • Brisk walking = 430 calories per hour

Tips for sustaining walking in the long run

Walking once a week won’t really reduce your belly fat much, so it is advisable to make walking a regular part of your daily life and rituals. You do this by making walking a real habit.

Tip: In addition to losing belly fat, you can start training your abs simultaneously, as described in our other post How often should you train your abs for the best results?

In other words, daily walking should become a matter of course. Only with a fundamental change in your lifestyle will you see results and will your fat rolls become smaller.

Some helpful tips to make daily walking a little easier:

  • Go for a walk with a friend if you don’t like being alone.
  • Create some different hiking trails in the area, and keep it varied. That way, it never gets boring.
  • Get a dog in the house, and your four-legged friend will make sure you take a daily walk!
  • Listen to your favorite music or a good podcast while hiking. This way, you combine exercise with tutoring or relaxation.
  • Challenge yourself while walking by changing your pace. Make it an interval walk.
  • Integrate some tough slopes or hills for an extra challenge

How you can walk off belly fat: Conclusion

Walking and burning belly fat go well together. You will burn the most belly fat if you walk daily, even if it will take a while before you start seeing significant results, but perseverance wins.

Do you want to get the best results possible? Then walk for at least 40 minutes a day at a pace where your heart rate is around 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate.

Use a heart rate monitor that alerts you when you dip below the 50% mark or go above the 70% mark.

However, walking to lose weight and to lose belly fat only works if you take in fewer calories than you burn, so your diet must be in order when you want to lose weight.

Walking is an excellent addition to a healthy lifestyle. But how healthy you really are will always depend on your habits, how regularly you exercise, and your diet.

Unfortunately, you won’t see results quickly with just walking. When you have several pounds to lose, this can cause you to lose the motivation to persevere.

However, it is possible to quickly achieve your ideal figure by walking by combing this exercise and the right nutrition.

About Heather Campbell

As a nutritionist, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More