Walking for weightloss

Walking for weightloss

By Sean Redmond

Does the prospect of getting outdoors to get  in shape and stay active become a little easier as the evenings get longer and the mornings get brighter. ‘Tis a fine stretch in the evenings now’…

It’s hard to lose weight and get fit, especially during the summer as you don’t want to spend every bit of good weather (all 9 days of a typical Irish summer) locked inside in a gym.

Can you really lose weight through walking? Short answer yes, but it’s part of an overall picture rather than the sole answer to your weight problems.

But where do I start?…How much is enough?…Won’t I get bored?…How do I progress?

All valid questions…

Keep reading till the end to get a full plan on how to manage your food to aid weightloss.

How do you get started? (and 4 walk recommendations):

5 step guide to getting into walking and building up to tackling some of the more challenging and rewarding walks around the Dublin area.

1. Build up your steps by going on several small 15-20 min walks over the course of the day

Use a step counter app on your phone or smartwatch and track your steps over a week, then try to get that number up by 10%… Rinse and Repeat

Surface: Whatever is outside the front door or office

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: Whatever time & distance you can fit in without putting yourself under massive stress

Calories burned: 591 (for an average 10k steps which is around 8km & all calorie calculations are based on a 75kg person)

Highlights: Can work in around almost any schedule.

Considerations: Will work for a small amount of time but progression will come fast and results will slow

2. Killiney hill is a super friendly intro into hills

it’s a short steep-ish climb, accessible and safe. It offers a nice challenge if you’re new to hills. On a sunny day the views it offers are unrivaled.

Surface: Paved surface, super friendly for walking.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 2.9km & 150 meters elevation

Calories: 299

Highlights: Lots of cool dogs knocking around

                   View over Dalkey Island and Bray head on a sunny day

                   Doing the Rocky celebration at the top of the steps

Considerations: Dog poo… Watch your step

                           Quite exposed so if it’s windy bring a coat

                           Can be crazy busy when the weather is good

3- Ticknock Fairy Loop

This would be the next logical step up after Killiney. It’s not much bigger at 5.5km and 210 meters of elevation. Its length and mixed terrain make for more conscious walking than Killiney, plus you’ll feel like Ernest Shackleton when you get off the road for the first time and onto the mountain path. At the top on a clear day it offers some of the most complete views of Dublin.

Surface: Road, mud track, stones

Difficulty: Moderate-Hard

Distance: 5.5km & 210 meters elevation

Calories: 599

Highlights: The view over the whole of Dublin

                   Fantastic phone signal at the top (for the ever so important social check in)

Considerations: On sunny days and weekends the carpark can be mayhem. I suggest getting there before 10 AM

                           The rocky terrain might cause some concern for beginners or people unsteady on their feet

4. Crone Woods- Maulin loop.

The Crone Maulin loop has both forests & open sweeping mountain vistas. Once you start the ascent up you get a fantastic view into Powerscourt Gardens and waterfall. The height gain makes things a challenge yet the conditions underfoot are stable so it’s accessible to most people if they take it at a handy pace.

Surface: Road, mud track, stones

Difficulty: Hard

Distance: 6.9km & 310 meters elevation

Calories: 984

Highlights: Powerscourt views

                   A lovely mix of forest and mountain side

Considerations: Exposure can be bad at the top, with howling wind and biting rain. Make sure to bring a wind and                                         waterproof jacket.

                           Parking on a nice day is terrible.

5. Glendalough Spink Trail

Known to be one of the most beautiful places in touching distance of Dublin city, Glendalough really has to be visited by everyone at least once. The trail brings you through an old minders village with houses built from stone, over a stream, up onto the mountain with a view over the Glendalough valley and back down through a forest and beside a waterfall.

Surface: Road, mud track, stones, plank boardwalk

Difficulty: Harder

Distance: 9.7km & 410 meters elevation

Calories: 1181

Highlights: Everything. Seriously if you haven’t been yet, stop what you’re doing and go

                   The coffee van at the end for a hard earned pick me up

Considerations: Guess what? Traffic and parking as usual. Arrive early to avoid frustration

                           On bank holidays the boardwalk can get quite crowded and there isn’t enough room to pass people by in                             some sections. I would suggest wearing good waterproof footwear incase you need to step into the mud


How do I put it all together?

  • Hit your 10,000 steps a day (591 cals x 7 days = 4,137 cals a week)
  • Do Killiney Hill 1 evening or morning a week (299 cals)
  • Do a more challenging ‘hike’ on the weekend (599 cals
  • Total: 5,035


If you want to make things more difficult try doing any of these with a bit of weight in a backpack… This can be a real challenge and doesn’t need to be heavy, start with a 2 liter bottle of water (if it’s too much you can always pour it out).

Or join us for 1 of our Elite Hikes, where we are climbing the 4 highest peaks in each province over the next few months (keep an eye on social)


Let me clear up one thing. Walking is only part of the puzzle. The aim of the game for weight loss is a calorie deficit…To simplify that.

  • Eat more energy (food) than you use on a daily basis and you’ll gain weight.
  • Eat less energy (food) than you use on a daily basis and you’ll lose weight.

How much of a deficit does it take to lose 1lb of fat?…If you eat around 3,500 cals less than you expend. This is best accounted for over the space of around 1-2 weeks. 

                  (Please note that there can be many other factors that effect the above 3,500 saying above.)


In our 13 years of dealing with people in Elite Gym we’ve been faced with the same following mistakes

  1. Overly unsustainable restrictive eating.

Think “cabbage soup” diet, where you reduce your diet down to less calories than your pet rabbit eats. This leads to feeling miserable, being constantly hungry and possible HPD (hangry personality disorder). This might result in short term weight loss…. But due to the unsustainable nature of eating like this there will be inevitable binge eating sessions and rebound to your pre cabbage weight (and then some)

       2. Under estimating the amount you are eating

This is common for busy people, particularly parents. Think packing lunch for the kids… I don’t know about you but it’s damn near impossible for me to pack their lunch without having one of those mini Kit Kats… And with 3 kids you can see how this ads up. Or having a bite of your partners burger & chips.

What you need to understand is that in order to lose weight

  • You have to eat in a manner that feels true to your current way of eating.
  • Puts you in a small calorie deficit.
  • You have to be accountable to every moresole that goes in your mouth.

Here in Elite Gym we have a system that helps you balance those 3 factors. Keep an eye peeled in March for the Elite Diet system blog.

The next part of the puzzle is increasing your energy usage… And good news is it can be as simple as getting a pair of shoes on and getting out the door. Or can be complicated and logistical as you want (for example….. planning to ascend the highest mountain in each of the 4 provinces in a 24 hour period).

For most people getting out on a walk is the most accessible, you can do it without any extra travel and with equipment you have.

If the idea of getting help with your diet and exercise to feel like it’s part of your lifestyle and not at odds with it sounds good to you. Click the link below

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