Walking, but Not Losing Weight? 3 Reasons Why

Closeup of man's feet on weight scale indicating overweight

Medically reviewed in November 2022

1. You're rewarding yourself in the kitchen. It's easy to see a snack and think, "I can have that; I walked today!" True, you CAN -- but probably not if you want to reach your weight loss goals. It's too easy to eat more than you burned (find out just how much you burned here). For instance, a 30-minute fast walk (15-minute mile pace, or 4 mph) burns 170 calories. You get more calories than that from 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, most full-sized energy bars, or two little ounces of baked potato chips.

Want a "reward" for walking? How about a slimmer waist, a lower risk of heart disease, a clearer head, extra time with your friends, and all the other rewards walking brings? Now that's satisfaction.

2. The dog is slowing you down. How long is your "30 minute" walk with Spot, really? Most dog walkers actually put one foot in front of the other for 8 out of every 60 minutes they're out there with their pups. Doesn't mean you shouldn't walk him, just means you both need to actually walk, or you need to get out there by yourself, too.

3. You don't drink enough. Sometimes, you think your body wants food when it's really asking for water (seriously, sometimes thirst gets mistaken for hunger). You might be sweating out much more than you think. How to know: Weigh yourself before you go and right after you come back. Subtract your finishing weight from your starting weight. Then factor in any water you drank on your walk, because 16 ounces of water weighs 1 pound. So if you started at 150 lb., finished at 149, and drank 8 ounces of water along the way, you need to drink at least 8 ounces as soon as you get back.

More On

2 Small Steps to Lose Weight and Trim Your Waist

video

2 Small Steps to Lose Weight and Trim Your Waist
Want to lose weight? It's easier than you think! In this video, fitness expert Vonda Wright, MD, reveals 2 super simple weight-loss tips.
6 Ways to Burn Fat Faster (No Running Needed!)

article

6 Ways to Burn Fat Faster (No Running Needed!)
Take your walk to new calorie-burning heights with these little tweaks
The Simple (and Free!) Way You Can Immediately Improve Your Health

slideshow

The Simple (and Free!) Way You Can Immediately Improve Your Health
Lace 'em up and enjoy the many benefits of walking, including less stress, a lower risk of heart problems and much more.
The Best Walking Pace

video

The Best Walking Pace
Walking is a great simple exercise that you can do anywhere. In this Health Smarts video, fitness expert Mike Clark, DPT, reveals the best walking pac...
Take Baby Steps to Burn Calories When You Walk

video

Take Baby Steps to Burn Calories When You Walk
Is walking your favorite workout? In this video, fitness expert Vonda Wright, MD, shares a simple weight-loss trick to rev up your walk and really bur...