Start Losing Weight with the First Stage Physical Activities!

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This post is the part 5 of The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide

Primary physical activity for the duration of the first stage is walking. Walking is considered to be an aerobic type of training. Aerobic exercises work best when performed in the morning. Prior to your exercises make sure to drink a glass of water on an empty stomach. If you do aerobic exercises in the evening, you should refrain from any food for at least an hour before your walk.

Why do we choose walking?

Attempts to reduce your body mass with the help of dieting alone or even with a multiple-day fasting are generally much less effective because they lead to an even further deceleration of metabolism (primary metabolism).

With a 20-min walk every day at 6 km/h you burn extra 100 kcal which corresponds to a loss of 1 kg of fatty tissue per month.

Naturally, a daily one-hour walk will enable you to increase the loss of fat up to 3 kg a month. Slowly but surely! The rule of thumb here is that the slower you shed weight, the steadier is your progress.

For example, if you walk at 6 km/h you spend 0.7 kcal per 1 kg of weight per 1 km of distance. Under such conditions, a 70-kg man burns about 350 kcal per 1 hour of walking. If you pursue this pattern of healthy walking every day, your additional weekly energy consumption will amount to about 2000 kcal, which makes up for the minimum (threshold) effect to compensate for the deficient energy requirements.

There are three main types of physical exercise:

  1. Strength training, designed for bulking up your muscles.
  2. Cardio training (the term derives from Greek word “kardia” – heart). Its name itself reminds us of its purposes – development and training of the cardiovascular system.
  3. Aerobic training (the term derives from Greek word “aãr” – air). Its main purpose is to effectively burn (oxidate) fats which naturally requires a sufficient intake of oxygen.

Each type of training has a corresponding type of muscle fiber:

  1. Striated muscle tissue.
  2. Fast” striated muscle tissue – quickly and easily jaded muscle fibers, accustomed to performing short-term yet powerful physical activities (strength sports, weightlifting). By engaging these muscle fibers we perform heavy physical activities and buildup the muscle bulk.
  3. Slow” striated muscle tissue – resistant to fatigue muscle fibers which are capable of sustaining a long, moderate workload yet require a large amount of oxygen (walking, aerobic exercise machines). These are the fibers which employ the energy of lipid oxidation as fuel.

And it is them we have to utilize to the fullest if our goal is to burn as much fat as possible.

Walking makes the most effective use of “slow” muscle fibers

Dietitians from the sports medicine clinic of Riverside (California, USA) have come to the conclusion that sufficient duration of a “no-food” period before training is from 45 to 60 minutes.  This is because carbs need up to an hour to be digested, whereas the same value for fats is 4 hours. Besides, the body also spends a certain amount of energy in order to digest the food.

Before going outside for a walk be sure to apply some warm-up (anti cellulite) cream onto your problem-prone areas and slowly rub it in order to increase the circulation of blood in such areas. The appropriate clothes have to be light and breathable. No rubber pants and belts!

Choosing the right type of shoes is very important

There are specially-designed walking shoes.  They need to be breathable and meet the requirements for your upcoming hiking trips. If you wear the wrong shoes, then you are likely to end up in hospital with sore shins and ankles or worn-out heels. Walking shoes have to be more rigid than running shoes. Your running shoes are usually softer, with additional linings to cushion the shocks from contact with the ground.

Take a close-up look at your feet. Find where your everyday shoes have the most wear. If the outsole is rubbed out along the length of the inner border of your foot that means you have a low instep or flat-footedness and you are a bit prone to clubfoot. In this case, you will need special shoes with maximum footstep support and a check-motion function.

If the outsole is rubbed out along the length of the lateral border of your foot that means you have a high instep and an outward-twisted forefoot. Therefore it’s best to find shoes with soft insoles which cushion the shocks from walking.

See more details on this topic in my book “Walking free. The wellness walking”.


Take measurements of your feet twice a year. Shoes sizes may vary with different brands so when fitting your shoes, be sure to check its size and, which is even more important, the way the shoes fit. It is recommended to go shoe shopping towards the end of the day. Feet normally swell a bit by the end of the day so the size of your feet may be slightly bigger.

When choosing shoes for speed walking, it’s best to take the ones with maximum tolerance in terms of its specification. Bring along a couple of pairs of socks. Better if you bring the socks which you plan to wear for speed walking. When fitting your shoes make use of the following rule of thumb (or toe, for that matter) – there has to be a 1, 1-1, 2 cm clearance between the front of your big toe and the edge of your shoe.

The heel has to fit rather tight and not slip off when walking. The upper has to be comfortable, tight-fitting yet not too tight. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons claims that sports shoes once you’ve put them on, have to have enough room (heightwise) so that you could pull up all of your toes.

If you wear orthopaedic insoles, be sure to bring them along when going shopping for shoes. The walking shoes have to fit snugly worn together with the orthopaedic insoles.

What is the recommended pace for walking?

Surprisingly, exercises performed slowly and at a relatively easy level may prove to be more valuable in the long run. This is especially true when you are not in your best shape.

In one of the experiments conducted at the Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research in Dallas women with excess weight were divided into three groups: fast-pace walkers, moderate-pace walkers and slowpokes. Guess which group lost more weight than the others? The slowpokes!

“At the moment it is just a theory, however, the bottom line is that our body burns two types of fuel: glycogen which can be compared to high-octane gasoline and fat which is more like low octane gas. In all likelihood, if you make your body work in the race-car mode, it will need a high-quality fuel, whereas for a leisurely walk it can make use of more low octane fuel, that is fat”, – as claimed by John Lunkam, the head of the research team.

You can divide your walking distance into three equal segments and change your pace every time you start a new segment. At the very beginning walk one-third of the way at moderate pace, then pick up your speed a bit, then slow down again to walk the last segment. Professional athletes call it the interval walking.

If you are in good shape, change your pattern and walk the first 50 steps at regular pace and pick up speed for the next 50 steps. With every passing day make sure to gradually increase the number of steps for accelerated walking. To avoid the humdrum, go for areas where you can alternate between going uphill and downhill. Keep track of your breathing and control your workload. The optimum duration of a 1-km walk is about 10-12 minutes.

Tips for walking technique

The pace should be maintained at a level which doesn’t make you short of breath yet allows to talk without effort. With this speed the heart rate normally remains steady in the range of 110–130 beats per minute. You do not have to count your heart rate. Instead, it is best to concentrate on your walking technique.

Keep your body erect, shoulders squared and your chest expanded. Slightly tighten your belly muscles. Put your foot down heel first, then roll forward to your toes and push off with the front part of the foot to proceed to the next step. If you want to increase speed, make your steps shorter and walk faster without extending your steps. Try to make your hands useful by bending them at the elbows and making to-and-fro motions from the waist to chest level.  Keep your hands moving back and forth and not up and down.

Breathe deeply and freely through your nose without tightening your abs and exhale through your mouth. When walking, maintain the natural curve of your spinal column.

After 10–15 minutes of walking you may suddenly feel a slight fever all over your body. There is nothing to worry about! This is a sign that your fat deposits began to burn! The fever effect is due to the fact that fatty acids, once absorbed into the bloodstream, induce an increased emission of heat and a rise in body temperature. This is a wonderful sensation – to know that your fats are being eliminated.

Take your time and focus on your sensations. If after the training or exercises you feel pleasantly warm and become aware that your muscles have toned up and your food cravings are getting weaker or at least are not getting stronger – then this workload is a perfect match for you. If after the training practice you feel exhausted with a low muscle tone and a stronger appetite then this workload is too much for you so be sure to lower its intensity.

Do not forget to drink water! The body loses quite a bit of water while walking, even in winter season. Therefore, regardless of weather conditions, it’s best to drink a glass of water before going for a walk. I would also recommend to drink water every now and then during a long walk (which lasts more than half hour) in order to prevent dehydration. It is also a good idea to drink a glass of water upon finishing your walk.

Shortly before finishing your walk, take your time to cool down. In order to do that, keep walking for about 5 minutes making sure to gradually reduce your speed. Upon bringing yourself to a stop, be sure to do any simple stretching exercise.

Remember to stay away from any food for one or one and a half hours after completing your training. Yet you can drink as much water as you want – before, after or in the course of your walking exercise.

Nordic walking and its role in my system

In my system, I have introduced Nordic walking as the primary physical activity because it:

  • tones the muscles both in the upper and the lower body.
  • engages approximately 90 % of all body muscles.
  • burns more calories than regular walking by 46 %.
  • weakens the pressure on your knee joint and the spinal cord.
  • improves the functioning of heart and lungs, raises your heart rate by 10-15 beats per minute compared to regular walking.
  • is ideal training practice for body posture correction and treatment of assorted neck and shoulder-related disorders.
  • makes it easier to walk uphill.
  • improves coordination and the sense of balance.
  • an effective exercise for systematic training of your cardiovascular system and general stamina.
  • facilitates complete recovery of patients with musculoskeletal system disorders.

See more details on this topic in my book “Walking free. The wellness walking”.

What’s next?

Now, you’ve learned what to eat and what physical activities to do during the first weight loss stage. But to make your slimming really effective, it’s not enough. You’ll need a firm everyday schedule to organize your daily life and structure your efforts; and you can see this schedule in the next post!

GO TO THE PART 6 OF THE ULTIMATE WEIGHT LOSS GUIDE  >>> Sample Daily Schedule for the First Fat Losing Stage

What do you think about it? I would be very grateful if you share your opinion in comments!

Updated: November 20, 2017 Author: Dmitrii

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Hi, I am Dmitrii!

I have become a master of my own weight without exhausting diets or fasting. No, I am not yet another guru from the weight-loss industry. I am just a regular guy who wanted to live a balanced and healthy life. Like many of you, I have studied great volumes of information on the subject until I have found what truly works for me. And I would like to share all I have learned with you and most importantly, to tell about finding your own way towards a healthy and fit body.

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