How to Lose Weight by Walking in the ‘Fat-Burning Zone,’ According to Fitness Experts

by Daisy

Walking is widely recognized as one of the most accessible and cost-effective ways to maintain fitness and lose weight. However, to maximize calorie burn, it’s essential to understand and target the “fat-burning zone.”

According to the NHS, walking is a straightforward and free activity that can significantly enhance your health and aid in weight loss. However, there’s a substantial difference between a leisurely stroll and a brisk walk that actually helps shed those extra pounds.


The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise per week to stay active. Yet, for those aiming to lose weight rather than just maintain it, upping the intensity is crucial. This is where the concept of the “fat-burning zone” comes into play.


Personal trainer Yasmine Arida, a Dubai-based influencer, recently took to TikTok to clarify some misconceptions about walking for weight loss. She emphasizes, “Walking can really help you lose weight, especially fat.” However, she points out that the effectiveness of walking depends on the pace.


Arida explains, “There’s a big difference between walking at a fast pace and walking at a leisurely pace. A slow pace may benefit your metabolism and mental health, but it won’t necessarily help you lose weight.” To effectively lose weight, one needs to reach “zone two,” where the body primarily uses fat as a fuel source rather than carbohydrates.

For those unfamiliar with this concept, Arida advises imagining that you’re late for an appointment and walking fast enough to get there on time. On a treadmill, this translates to a speed of about 3-4 mph. She recommends walking for a minimum of 20 minutes and a maximum of 40 minutes per day.

To ensure you’re in the fat-burning zone, you can use heart rate apps or pulse monitors. Experts suggest aiming for an intensity that is 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. An easy way to calculate your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. For instance, a 30-year-old would have a maximum heart rate of 190 beats per minute.

The NHS describes a brisk walk as walking at about three miles per hour. At this pace, you should be able to talk but not sing. For those seeking additional support, the NHS recommends the free Active 10 app, which can track your walking speed and help ensure you’re walking fast enough to reap the benefits.

In summary, walking can be a powerful tool for weight loss if done correctly. By aiming for the fat-burning zone, you can make your walking routine more effective and achieve better results.


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