eli5 How does walking lose overall body fat?

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I know you can’t spot reduce, but if you walk a 3mph speed isn’t that just working on legs somehow?

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Fat is a store of energy. If you walk, you’ll burn fat for energy and if you don’t eat enough calories to replace the energy you used, you’ll lose weight.

Walking at normal speed still causes your body to use muscles, which in turn uses calories, which in turn burns fat.

You don’t necessarily loose fat in an area by working muscles in that area.

You loose fat by having a calorie deficit – more calories being burned than absorbed – so your body is forced to burn fat reserves for energy.

Walking takes energy, so it increases your calorie deficit.

That being said, it’s possible the increased calorie burn is minimal and has almost no impact. Or the weight loss is due to some psychology that encourages you to eat less because you’ve been investing time in burning fat. Or it just doesn’t work at all. Weight loss science is… Complicated.

Moving requires energy and that energy has to come from somewhere.

Walking uses more energy than sitting and watching TV.

Muscle =/= fat. If you are walking, you are working your leg muscles you are not working your leg fat.

This can have the effect of making the muscles more pronounced, and the fat less pronounced, but it will not decrease the amount of fat in the legs more than it would anywhere else, because when you burn fat, it doesn’t care which parts are working.

(Plus, there’s other parts that are working hard too, your heart, lungs, and brain now have to use energy that they otherwise wouldn’t have had to use, so other fat stores would decrease anyway)