Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Will Walk for Food - One Easy Way to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Weight Loss and Fitness Efforts

Do you want to know an easy way to increase the effectiveness of your diet and exercise efforts? Get some aerobic exercise BEFORE you eat each morning. Yep - that’s it. My big tip. But does it work?

A Little Backstory

Several months ago, I read about some little-known tips that shave pounds over at Number four on the list was aerobic exercise before breakfast. According to Dr. Kathleen Hickey, a bariatric physician,
This is when your insulin level should be its lowest, and therefore the energy for the workout has to come from fat. Whenever insulin levels are elevated — which is nearly most of the rest of the day given how frequently Americans eat — fat stores are protected and cannot be used for energy.
Well, this was certainly news to me! So what to do? Go for a little fitness walk each morning before I eat anything. Yes, I WILL walk for food.

But is it Working?

Yes! I was more interested in improved fitness than weight loss, but I always pack on a few pounds over the winter and this year I haven’t. In addition, I am eating whatever I want, whenever I want. The biggest advantage, however, is that I actually get out and walk every day – rain or shine, sleet or snow (gee, maybe I should work for the postal service!) – no breakfast until I do, no excuses.

But Will it Work for YOU?

I don’t see why not. Just make sure you set yourself up for success.
  • Pick an aerobic activity that is easy for you to do every morning. For me, it’s walking.
  • Have the right gear. For me, proper COMFORTABLE footwear is a must. That means good boots in the winter and light shoes with ample support in the summer.
  • Step up your game over time. To get even more benefit from my morning walk, I’ve added a few hills and increased the distance. I also made myself a weight belt from some ankle weights to wear around my waist, giving me the benefit of carrying extra weight without undue strain on my knees.

So what are you waiting for? Make a plan and start getting some aerobic exercise tomorrow BEFORE breakfast. (FYI: This includes no sugar or cream if you drink coffee or tea before exercising.) And if what you try doesn’t seem to work for you, try something else! Consistency is the key, so find what fits into your real life and make it a habit.

NOTE: If you are diabetic, this tip is NOT for you!


  1. This is a great tip, Crystal. I hadn't considered getting up and moving first thing in the morning. But I will!

  2. You know, Angie, this is very counterintuitive to me and I would never have thought of it myself. I mean, everyone knows you need to START your day with a good breakfast, right? But after reading what Dr. Hickey said, and having learned more about insulin levels since my DGD was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, it makes total sense to me now. And I feel so much better since I've been walking before eating. So definitely give it a try - and thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hmmm, I think I’ll give it a try. I’ve been going on hour-long power walks, but they’ve been at the time of day when the sun is strongest. I like the feel of the sun and try to get a dose of vitamin D.

    However, there is much merit to walking first thing in the morning. When the weather gets a bit warmer, I’ll move my walk to the AM and enjoy the benefits.

    1. Hour-long power walks - very impressive, Felicia! You're right, there won't be much vitamin D production going on first thing in the morning but I've found I'm way more consistent getting my walk in before other things take precedence. How about power walks first thing and then relax in the sun for the vitamin D?:)