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Weight loss - walking

Q: I am almost 90 kg and hopelessly overweight. Being in a sedentary job, I have been trying to reduce weight through a combination of diet control and exercise, mainly walking. As my work day starts quite early, I cannot do early morning walks. Only time I can do that is in the evenings, brisk walk for about an hour a day. Now, my questions are as follows:
1)Is there any difference in walking in the morning as opposed to evening?
2)Is there any difference in doing brisk walk as opposed to more leisurely walk in the same amount of time as far as burning calories is concerned?
3)Which is more advantageous -walking before a meal or after?
I am ferociously hungry when I reach home in the evening after work. I thought I can straightaway launch into my supper instead of eating some additional and avoidable snacks so that the food gets better digested during the walk, and there is more time space between dinner and going to bed. But I read somewhere that it is better to walk on an empty stomach rather than on a full stomach. Will you please guide me as to the correct position?

A:First of all, let me reassure you that you have taken a step in the right direction and that is of looking after yourself with the help of some exercise!There is not much difference walking early in the morning or late evening except that one should not exercise too hard, JUST before bedtime, because that might interfere in your ability to fall asleep!
Yes it is advisable to walk on a RELATIVELY empty stomach or have at least an hour's gap between your last meal and your walk. Add another half hour if that meal was very heavy. You might like to eat some fruits just as you return from office, walk and then come back home and eat dinner or eat a light, low-cal nutritious meal, then wait for an hour and then walk. You would have to change your schedule around to suit yourself keeping these basic principles in mind.
Yes a brisk walk is definitely favoured over a slow amble if the aim is to lose weight. But how brisk is brisk? If you can walk for about 20-45 minutesat a pace which is about 60-75% of your maximum heart rate, then that is brisk enough. Your maximum heart rate can be calculated by minusing your age from 220. Remember that if you have been slow to start off with, you need to build it up gradually (in terms of time spent on the walk AND intensity) over a period of about 3-4 weeks.


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