Do People Lose Weight Walking the Camino?

Girl on a walking holiday

Walking the Camino de Santiago is an excellent opportunity for physical exercise. Many people wonder: can walking the Camino help you lose weight? The answer isn’t straightforward, as multiple factors come into play. However, let’s delve into some insights that can help you understand the potential for weight loss during this journey.

people walking the Camino

Distance and Calories Burned

Firstly, it’s important to consider the distance you’ll be covering. With multiple routes to choose from, the Camino can range from 100km/62 miles (The last 100 km of the Camino de Santiago) to nearly 800 km/500 miles (Full Camino Collection​). On average, walking burns around 100 calories per mile, depending on your body weight and walking speed. Therefore, walking long distances each day can result in significant calorie burning.

The Importance of Diet

While walking will help you burn calories, what you eat along the way plays a crucial role in whether or not you’ll lose weight. The Camino offers a variety of food options, including local delicacies that can be rich in calories. If you’re indulging in high-calorie foods or larger portions, you might not see the scale move in the direction you’d like. Keeping a balanced diet during your journey is key to maximising weight loss.

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Metabolism Boost

Another aspect to consider is metabolism. Exercise, like walking, can help speed up your metabolism for a few hours after the activity, aiding in weight loss. This is known as the ‘afterburn effect,’ but it’s relatively minimal. The real metabolic boost comes from consistent physical activity paired with a balanced diet, which over time can contribute to weight loss.

Mental Wellness

Don’t underestimate the role of mental well-being when it comes to weight loss. The Camino can be a transformative experience that helps you reassess life’s priorities, including your health. This newfound perspective could motivate you to make healthier choices, contributing to weight loss during and even after the trip.

Social Influence

Often, you’ll find yourself in a community of like-minded pilgrims. The collective enthusiasm for walking and completing the journey can serve as motivation to push your physical limits, resulting in more calories burned. In addition, observing others’ healthy habits might encourage you to make similar choices.

Hydration and Weight

It’s crucial to remain hydrated during your journey, but be mindful of what you’re drinking. Sugary beverages, including energy drinks, can add many extra calories that hinder weight loss. Stick to water or other low-calorie options to maintain your weight-loss goal.

Additional Activities

The Camino isn’t just about walking; many people incorporate cycling or even running into their journey. These activities burn more calories than walking, providing another avenue for weight loss.

So, do people lose weight walking the Camino de Santiago? The potential is there, but it’s influenced by a host of factors including diet, the specific route chosen, your starting weight, and other activities you may engage in.

For more information about the Camino de Santiago routes and places to stay, please don’t hesitate to contact us

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