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  1. #1
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    Question Can you build significant muscle by walking??

    Alright, so something has been bugging me lately.

    I have been walking 45-75 minutes per day now for the last few weeks.

    I am 29 years old, and wrestled in high school, and was a body builder in college. I went from 175 @ graduation, to about 220 after getting into the corporate world, etc.

    I have really slowed down in the weight loss dept, while still maintaining strict dietary control. I am trying to figure out if the walking is helping me build muscle?

    I walk pretty swiftly, but the thing is, I am usually not sore the next day. I always equated muscle building w/ soreness back in the day, and since the only thing sore is my back/ the bottom of my feet, I am reluctant to think I am building muscle in my legs.

    If I am not building muscle, why the long plateau!? It's been a few weeks of stagnant weight, since I started walking every day! What the hay!

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    no... you can't. outside of slow twitch development, which don't have any noticeable size.. (ie: look at long distance runners, do they look....built?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melancholy View Post
    Alright, so something has been bugging me lately.

    I have been walking 45-75 minutes per day now for the last few weeks.

    I am 29 years old, and wrestled in high school, and was a body builder in college. I went from 175 @ graduation, to about 220 after getting into the corporate world, etc.

    I have really slowed down in the weight loss dept, while still maintaining strict dietary control. I am trying to figure out if the walking is helping me build muscle?

    I walk pretty swiftly, but the thing is, I am usually not sore the next day. I always equated muscle building w/ soreness back in the day, and since the only thing sore is my back/ the bottom of my feet, I am reluctant to think I am building muscle in my legs.

    If I am not building muscle, why the long plateau!? It's been a few weeks of stagnant weight, since I started walking every day! What the hay!
    Definitely not "significant" muscle, by the way, if you're in a caloric deficit you will lose weight muscle gain or not, if your weight is stable you're just eating maintenance calories for your weight. This probably happened because when you were larger your body was using more calories, then you lost weight and your body now needs less calories so you're in a plateau. The other possibility is that you are starving yourself and your metabolism has slowed down to the point where your body needs less calories as a result of starvation mode, and you're eating those calories keeping your weight the same. Starvation mode usually becomes a concern if you're eating less than 1200 calories.

    I do walking as my primary form of exercise for weight loss. I walk 1-2 hours every day at as brisk a pace as my asthma allows. I think it has helped me to maintain muscle in my legs as well as my abs. I can definitely walk a lot faster now than I did, and I usually outpace people rushing in the morning whereas before I was very weak and sluggish. So definitely my walking muscles have improved in performance.

    The thing with walking is it doesn't burn too many calories, only about 300 per hour. How many calories a day would you say you're eating? And more importantly, are you weighing your food and precisely counting them?
    Last edited by biggestloser105; September 16th, 2010 at 06:20 AM.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggestloser105 View Post
    Definitely not "significant" muscle, by the way, if you're in a caloric deficit you will lose weight muscle gain or not, if your weight is stable you're just eating maintenance calories for your weight. This probably happened because when you were larger your body was using more calories, then you lost weight and your body now needs less calories so you're in a plateau. The other possibility is that you are starving yourself and your metabolism has slowed down to the point where your body needs less calories as a result of starvation mode, and you're eating those calories keeping your weight the same. Starvation mode usually becomes a concern if you're eating less than 1200 calories.

    I do walking as my primary form of exercise for weight loss. I walk 1-2 hours every day at as brisk a pace as my asthma allows. I think it has helped me to maintain muscle in my legs as well as my abs. I can definitely walk a lot faster now than I did, and I usually outpace people rushing in the morning whereas before I was very weak and sluggish. So definitely my walking muscles have improved in performance.

    The thing with walking is it doesn't burn too many calories, only about 300 per hour. How many calories a day would you say you're eating? And more importantly, are you weighing your food and precisely counting them?

    Hey,

    Here is what I do:

    I eat about 280 calories in the am, 450 in the afternoon, and about 600 from 2pm to bedtime. I also have a few snacks like LF string cheese, etc. so I end up eating around 1450-1600 calories/ day on a normal day. I measure everything I eat, with the exception of actually weighing the chicken breasts, and 4% fat ground beef, and pork. I can only be +/- 20% on these items, and I account for that in my calorie counting. Everything else from cheese, nuts, dressing on salads, etc. is portioned w/ a measuring spoon, and calculated that way.

    I walk about 45-75 minutes to get the exercise that I need.

    I don't know, should I be cutting down the calories even more? If you click on my ticker, it will link you to a graph that is weight (y-axis) over time (x-axis). What do you think?

    Thanks!!

    -Mellon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melancholy View Post
    Hey,

    Here is what I do:

    I eat about 280 calories in the am, 450 in the afternoon, and about 600 from 2pm to bedtime. I also have a few snacks like LF string cheese, etc. so I end up eating around 1450-1600 calories/ day on a normal day. I measure everything I eat, with the exception of actually weighing the chicken breasts, and 4% fat ground beef, and pork. I can only be +/- 20% on these items, and I account for that in my calorie counting. Everything else from cheese, nuts, dressing on salads, etc. is portioned w/ a measuring spoon, and calculated that way.

    I walk about 45-75 minutes to get the exercise that I need.

    I don't know, should I be cutting down the calories even more? If you click on my ticker, it will link you to a graph that is weight (y-axis) over time (x-axis). What do you think?

    Thanks!!

    -Mellon
    Make sure you weigh and measure everything. So many people think they eat less then they actually do- weigh cereal, weigh all carbs, they are the easiest to over eat without realising.

    This would be my main tip for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melancholy View Post
    I can only be +/- 20% on these items, and I account for that in my calorie counting.
    I personally would get a food scale and measure the meat portions as well, meats like beef and pork are very high calorie and so it's possible to make a mistake and be eating more than you think you are.

    At your weight eating 1400-1600 calories and walking for 45-75 minutes a day should be giving you weight loss. You shouldn't be in starvation mode, and since you lost quite a bit of weight recently it's very unlikely that you have any metabolic problems.

    It would seem to me that the most likely answer is that you're making a mistake in counting calories. Alternatives would be things like water retention, such as if you started eating a lot more salt than before. But you'd have to be retaining quite a bit of water to compensate for the weight you should be losing on your eating/exercise plan.


    Do you think you could describe your typical daily eating plan including amounts?

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    yes you can build muscle walking, you just need to walk uphill on a treadmill at various inclines

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    Quote Originally Posted by summer123 View Post
    Make sure you weigh and measure everything. So many people think they eat less then they actually do- weigh cereal, weigh all carbs, they are the easiest to over eat without realising.

    This would be my main tip for you.

    Thanks Summer. I actually don't eat any simple carbs like cereal, etc. I only eat complex like green beans, legumes (all fresh) so I rely on quantites on the package like cups!


    Quote Originally Posted by biggestloser105 View Post
    I personally would get a food scale and measure the meat portions as well, meats like beef and pork are very high calorie and so it's possible to make a mistake and be eating more than you think you are.

    At your weight eating 1400-1600 calories and walking for 45-75 minutes a day should be giving you weight loss. You shouldn't be in starvation mode, and since you lost quite a bit of weight recently it's very unlikely that you have any metabolic problems.

    It would seem to me that the most likely answer is that you're making a mistake in counting calories. Alternatives would be things like water retention, such as if you started eating a lot more salt than before. But you'd have to be retaining quite a bit of water to compensate for the weight you should be losing on your eating/exercise plan.


    Do you think you could describe your typical daily eating plan including amounts?

    Sure, thanks for helping!

    breakfast

    I LOVE Eggs, and always start with the same thing, or some version of the same thing:


    3 Egg Whites (60 Calories Total), and 1 Full Egg (80 Calories).
    "stuffing for omlette" I use either 2 slices of Canadian Bacon (20 calories/ slice), Bell Peppers & Mushrooms, or Spiniach & Goat Cheese
    Then I top it w/ Salsa (no sugar - 20 calories) 1 tbsp, and 1tbsp LF Sour Cream (sometimes 20 calories). Usually about 1/8 cup LF Cheddar Cheese (40-60 calories).

    This totals about 250-300 calories for breakfast, eaten about 9am.

    Lunch

    I have been doing salad for the last several weeks.

    I typically take a boneless/skinless chicken breast, or extra lean shaved turkey breast and cut it up into cubes.

    I take a full handfull of washed Romaine, cut up some cherry tomatoes, get about 1oz of goat cheese, and put some toasted soy nuts/ toasted almonds on the salad. Then use 2tbsp of LF Bob's Blue Cheese, or Vinagarette dressing, toss and eat.

    Snacks

    I really try not to snack, but when I do, I snack on salted/ roasted almonds (less than 1 serving). I also have LF laughing cow cheese, and celery. I have LF String cheese, and mostly I use SF/FF Jello made with Diet Soda.


    Dinner

    This is all over the place, but it's very healthy. It's a combination of foods from south beach diet. It's lean Pork, extra lean beef (4% Fat), chicken breast, turkey, etc. As well as some vegatable (caulliflower, spinach, beans, etc.).. for desert, usually fat-free, sugar-free jello with sugar free cool whip (1tbsp).


    Other

    I drink a lot of diet soda. Maybe about 4-5 cans a day. I don't know how to stop drinking the soda, because I have been drinking it for 25 years, including the times I was really skinny (which was a long time).

    I also do salt a lot of things, but have been doing so since I started South Beach (08/04/2010) so my salt levels/ water should maybe have stabalized by now? If anything, I have been weighing myself for the last several weeks with the same amount of salt intake so I dunno

    Medications:

    I know that sometimes, this can affect weight, but the only thing that I take is Tylenol Arthritis, for my knee, with occasionally taking Aleve (I know NSAIDS can also do things).



    That's all I got... what do you think?

    -Mellon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melancholy View Post

    Usually about 1/8 cup LF Cheddar Cheese (40-60 calories).
    Could it be that you're using a regular tea cup which is significantly larger than what they mean by a serving cup (a tea cup can be twice the size of the serving cup) and that's skewing your counting? Also maybe if you use a cup to measure things, how tightly they are packed becomes significant as well. Does a cup of cheese mean shredded cheese with air inside, or tightly packed?

    I drink a lot of diet soda. Maybe about 4-5 cans a day. I don't know how to stop drinking the soda, because I have been drinking it for 25 years, including the times I was really skinny (which was a long time).
    Try drinking a pure carbonated water like Perrier!

    That's all I got... what do you think?

    -Mellon
    I think if you have been eating similarly for a while, your salt/water content should be stable. Although you say you have arthritis, arthritis can cause inflammation which can cause water retention as well. Has it been flaring for the past 2 weeks?



    Ultimately I don't think it's so important to find if there is a mistake in calorie counting, you know for a fact that for the past 2 weeks or so your weight has been stable on this diet plan, and so if you want to lose weight you have to lower your calories eaten or increase your calories burned.

    I would try eating 1200 calories and seeing what happens. Even if there is a mistake somewhere in the counting (maybe the meat?), as long as you are using a consistent system eating less without going into starvation mode should give you a loss. Or you could double your walking as well as add resistance exercises.

    My suggestion would be to reduce some of the high calorie additives you put in food like cheeses, bacons, and red meats. I would eat lean fish, shrimp, and skinless chicken breast for protein and forego the pork and beef altogether. I would eat low fat yogurt instead of cheese. Nuts are good for you, so you shouldn't stop eating them, but I wouldn't just snack on nuts because of how high calorie they are.

    You can fill yourself up with shrimp and green veggies and end up eating far fewer calories than if you're doing something like beef/cheese/nuts.
    Last edited by biggestloser105; September 16th, 2010 at 09:38 AM.

  11. #10
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    Talking Finally cracked through the flat

    Quote Originally Posted by biggestloser105 View Post
    Could it be that you're using a regular tea cup which is significantly larger than what they mean by a serving cup (a tea cup can be twice the size of the serving cup) and that's skewing your counting? Also maybe if you use a cup to measure things, how tightly they are packed becomes significant as well. Does a cup of cheese mean shredded cheese with air inside, or tightly packed?
    Nah, I am pretty savvy when it comes to measuring food. I just put the cheese in as is (shredded, with air in between the shreds) and no packing/ cramming more in to fool myself



    Quote Originally Posted by biggestloser105 View Post
    Try drinking a pure carbonated water like Perrier!

    That's funny. The wife LOVES Perrier. I found that drinking actually curbs the amount of liquid I drink, but I am going to try and alternate between soda/ water!





    Quote Originally Posted by biggestloser105 View Post
    I think if you have been eating similarly for a while, your salt/water content should be stable. Although you say you have arthritis, arthritis can cause inflammation which can cause water retention as well. Has it been flaring for the past 2 weeks?



    Ultimately I don't think it's so important to find if there is a mistake in calorie counting, you know for a fact that for the past 2 weeks or so your weight has been stable on this diet plan, and so if you want to lose weight you have to lower your calories eaten or increase your calories burned.

    I would try eating 1200 calories and seeing what happens. Even if there is a mistake somewhere in the counting (maybe the meat?), as long as you are using a consistent system eating less without going into starvation mode should give you a loss. Or you could double your walking as well as add resistance exercises.

    My suggestion would be to reduce some of the high calorie additives you put in food like cheeses, bacons, and red meats. I would eat lean fish, shrimp, and skinless chicken breast for protein and forego the pork and beef altogether. I would eat low fat yogurt instead of cheese. Nuts are good for you, so you shouldn't stop eating them, but I wouldn't just snack on nuts because of how high calorie they are.

    You can fill yourself up with shrimp and green veggies and end up eating far fewer calories than if you're doing something like beef/cheese/nuts.


    Well, woke up this morning and down to 195.4!! Finally! Cracked that little plataue. Now, I am sure since I was almost 3 pounds heavier yesterday, it's almost all water weight, but I am hoping that it was water that was sticking around for the last few weeks? Who knows.

    That's a great idea with the shrimp/ fish. I have a bunch in the freezer, and just forgot about them all this time. I need to get something different in the diet anyway... sweet!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melancholy View Post
    Well, woke up this morning and down to 195.4!! Finally! Cracked that little plataue. Now, I am sure since I was almost 3 pounds heavier yesterday, it's almost all water weight, but I am hoping that it was water that was sticking around for the last few weeks? Who knows.
    Awesome It's possible especially if you're dealing with inflammation!

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    Walking is the most effective and tested method as far as weight loss is concerned. Walking is taken as the best and the simplest form of cardiovascular exercise. You do not have to go to gym or invest in expensive machines at home. All you need is to make walking a daily routine and you will see the results. It will help you to burn lots of calories- which will ultimately lead to weight loss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aeroplane View Post
    yes you can build muscle walking, you just need to walk uphill on a treadmill at various inclines
    Maybe if you were very un/detrained.

    But for most folks... no, they will not build muscle doing this. Especially if they're dieting. Think about it. Muscular growth requires progressively overloading the muscles with sufficient tension and time.

    If you're losing weight, tension is actually going down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Maybe if you were very un/detrained.

    But for most folks... no, they will not build muscle doing this. Especially if they're dieting. Think about it. Muscular growth requires progressively overloading the muscles with sufficient tension and time.

    If you're losing weight, tension is actually going down.
    It makes sense, but at the same time contradicts my experience of losing weight and getting noticeably stronger at the same time.

    Is it possible to become stronger without building muscle? By the way, this happened to me a few times and I definitely wasn't that undertrained because I did some forms of workouts throughout my life.

    Probably the most it happened was when I did martial arts, dropped a lot of weight, and at the same time was able to do things like 50 push ups in one setting (male push ups as a woman), pull ups and all that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by biggestloser105 View Post
    It makes sense, but at the same time contradicts my experience of losing weight and getting noticeably stronger at the same time.

    Is it possible to become stronger without building muscle? By the way, this happened to me a few times and I definitely wasn't that undertrained because I did some forms of workouts throughout my life.

    Probably the most it happened was when I did martial arts, dropped a lot of weight, and at the same time was able to do things like 50 push ups in one setting (male push ups as a woman), pull ups and all that.
    Not only is it possible, it's probable. As in certain.

    Strength is a product of your neurological system and muscle cells. Your muscle cells can remain the same size while your neurological system "learns" to manifest strength more efficiently.

    EDIT: See post number 112 in this thread:

    http://weight-loss.fitness.com/weigh...tml#post417355
    Last edited by Steve; September 22nd, 2010 at 01:28 AM.

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