In an ideal world, we'd all spend an hour at the gym every day, cranking out a healthy mix of cardio and strength training to achieve our weight-loss goals. In the real world, we're scrambling from the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed, which is why so many people find success simply by walking — it's easy to do, and at the end of the day, it's still exercise.
Five miles a day, or 10,000 steps, is the target often recommended by experts, but just how much weight can you lose by meeting that goal? Courtney Meadows, an NASM-certified personal trainer and fitness coach, helped break it down.
The average person burns about 100 calories for every mile walked. That means you'd burn roughly 500 calories each day and 3,500 calories in a week — the equivalent of one pound of fat. That's ideal, since it's generally considered safe to lose one to two pounds per week. "While there are a lot of factors that go into this, it's best to aim for this goal to ensure a slow and sustainable weight-loss journey," Courtney told POPSUGAR.
Of course, nutrition plays a key role. Preparing healthy meals will help you burn fat and feel better overall. "It's true when you hear that you cannot outwork a bad diet," Courtney said. "It's all about calories in vs. calories out. In order to lose weight, you need to be eating in a caloric deficit, and you'll want the majority of your meals to be whole foods."
That means all the usual suspects are out, including refined carbs, sugar, and packaged foods. Make protein, vegetables, and healthy fats staples on every plate and you should see results.