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How an 11¢ Twist Can Help You Walk Off Weight Faster, According to Experts

Exciting research shows turmeric can make all the difference — here's how to use it

We’re always looking for faster and easier ways to walk off weight — and thanks to reader Deb Stone, we hit gold. The New Jersey grandmother, 65, told us that after many years when shape-up efforts seemed to make little difference, a yellow spice became her secret weapon. “My mom and aunts have joint issues and were told to take turmeric. Then my friend who lost 200 pounds recommended a supplement with turmeric,” says Deb, who added daily doses to a regimen of Mediterranean-style meals and five walks a week. The next thing Deb knew, her chronic tummy trouble and fatigue were gone, her mood and sleep were transformed and she’d shed 74 pounds. Keep reading to learn why experts say turmeric can help millions of us walk off weight and get truly amazing results. 

How to walk off weight faster with turmeric

After we talked to Deb, we did some digging and discovered studies that show adding turmeric to walking and portion control seems to make a big difference. Research published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism found that among folks who walked and limited calories to 1,800 per day, those who given a supplement containing turmeric (scientific name: curcuma longa) lost belly fat 3.1 times faster and lost overall body weight 6.2 times faster than folks given a placebo.

Turns out, toasty-sweet turmeric contains an active compound called curcumin that gives it powers traditional healers have relied on since ancient times. “It eases joint pain, improves cholesterol, stimulates brain function, reverses fatigue and much more,” reveals integrative health expert and The Hot Belly Diet author Suhas Kshirsagar, MD. He adds that walking “stimulates circulation, helping enhance delivery of nutrients like curcumin to tissues throughout the body.” So all the perks you’d normally get from just turmeric or just walking are amplified. And the effect is potent!

Related: Turmeric Milk for Weight Loss: How to Reap the Benefits of This Delicious Fat-Burner

Why soothing inflammation helps you get slim

Clinical tests show turmeric soothes away 59% of inflammation inside us, which Dr. Suhas says beats Advil and Tylenol. And a UC San Diego team found that walking triggers an anti-inflammatory nervous system response, slashing inflammation in just 20 minutes. As you’d expect, this reduces pain from conditions like arthritis or plantar fasciitis, making activity more comfortable.

And here’s a nice surprise: Soothing inflammation helps eliminate waist-plumping stress responses and improves thyroid function, notes Dr. Suhas. Plus, recent Yale research found that the less inflammation older folks have around their fat, the more readily that fat burns. Dr. Suhas says all these factors help explain why turmeric-and-walking devotees like Deb not only walk off more weight, they’re able to lose stubborn pounds that didn’t respond to previous weight-loss attempts.

Related: Turmeric Benefits for Women: Why Experts Call It a “Complete Well-Being Tonic” for Your Health

3 more ways turmeric boost weight loss

1. Fat storage drops

You’ve probably heard modern diets cause blood-sugar spikes that gradually damage cells. The hormone insulin then struggles to get sugar where it’s needed for fuel, explains Dr. Suhas. Fuel deprivation makes us crave blood-sugar-spiking foods and churn out extra insulin to try and force sugar in ‘broken’ cells. The typical result? Lots of excess sugar that insulin just ends up storing as fat.

Luckily, as muscles pump during walks, they can burn away excess blood sugar without involving insulin or damaged cells. Plus, curcumin is so good at healing cells, Harvard tests show 200 mg daily staved off diabetes in 100% of prediabetics. Dr. Suhas notes that blood-sugar issues are like a false alarm to store fat. Walking and turmeric “turn the alarm off.”

Related: 5 Easy Lifestyle Tricks That May Help You Balance Your Blood Sugar

2. Metabolism revs up

Lowering inflammation takes pressure off cells in a way that allows metabolism to perk up. Plus, both walking and turmeric increase AMPK, an enzyme key to metabolism, so folks who spice up their walks can expect “faster and hotter metabolisms,” says Dr. Suhas.

3. New fat is blocked

Scientists have found that curcumin can help suppress the development of new fatty tissue. And, per Tufts research, curcumin blocks blood vessels feeding our fat, causing a significant number of fat cells to self-destruct.

How much turmeric should you get to help walk off weight?

Dr. Suhas recommends at least 2½ tsp. daily, which is about an 11¢ dose if you get the spice at Walmart or Costco. Supplements are also fine; 500 mg twice daily is a typical dose of curcumin, but check with your health-care provider.

Take half your dose right before walking to maximize the effect. How soon will you see a difference? Everyone is different, but some women tell us they’ve dropped up to two sizes in two weeks.

Walk off weight success story: Suzanne Denison, 60

“I thought it was my fate to be heavier as I got older,” shares Suzanne Denison, 60. Rheumatoid arthritis made her less active, which led to weight gain “and made my pain worse.” Yet the Florida sales manager wanted to be as healthy as possible. “I did research and read that if I was consistent with turmeric for eight to 10 weeks, I might see a difference.”

Her rheumatologist suggested 1,500 mg twice a day; she used Nature Made brand. She also added two 20-minute walks a day — often strolling with her pal Stacy — and joined WeightWatchers to get her eating on track.

After six weeks, her pain fading, “I could walk faster and farther. Within two months, I was up to 7 miles a day.” GI issues vanished and her sleep deepened as her pants got looser. In 10 months, Suzanne shed five sizes. “My arthritis is mostly in remission, and I start the day ready to take on the world.”

Her advice: Try walking and turmeric. “It’s fine to start slow, but definitely start. You won’t believe how great it can make you feel!”

Walk off weight before and after: Deb Stone, 65

Before and after photos of Deb Stone who lost 74 lbs by walking off weight
Josephine Donatelli

When Deb Stone’s doctor ordered a sleep apnea test, it felt like the last straw. “I was at my heaviest and knew my health would keep getting worse if I didn’t change,” recalls the New Jersey grandmother. So Deb saw a nutritionist, hit the library and got advice from her 200-pounds-slimmer friend Barbara. Then she settled into a routine including daily turmeric, Mediterranean-style fare tracked with the Noom app, a little yoga and walks most days.

At first only able to walk one block, Deb was soon up to 6 miles at a pop. “I’d lost 40 pounds before my sleep apnea test, so we cancelled it.” Today, she’s 74 pounds lighter. “My mood and sleep are better, I’m less stressed. I took a lot of little steps and went really far!”

Fun ways to get more burn-boosting turmeric

To enhance weight loss and health with turmeric, experts suggest 2½ to 5 tsp. daily, which delivers 500 to 1,000 mg of the active ingredient curcumin. (It’s fine to get some or all from a supplement.) Tip: Pairing turmeric with a little black pepper increases absorption of turmeric compounds by up to 2,000%, per a University of Texas study.

Aim to be active at least 30 minutes most days. And use common sense at meals, sticking to healthier fare and enjoying moderate portions. We’ve got tasty turmeric-spiked ideas to get you started

Quick Spiced Pancakes

(walk off weight) Pancakes with raspberries and honey in a plate
Carlo A/Getty

In blender, blitz 1 ripe banana, ⅔ cup oats, 2 eggs, ½ tsp turmeric; cook pancake-style in coconut oil, using about ¼ cup batter per pancake. Cook until golden, 1-2 minutes per side. Note that bubble don’t form as oat-based pancakes cook. Garnish and enjoy.

Prep-ahead Shortcut Curry

Chicken curry with onion (walk off weight)
Morgans, Gareth/Getty

To a slow cooker, add 1 lb. trimmed chicken, 30 oz. chickpeas, 1 diced onion, 15 oz. Indian simmer sauce, 1 Tbs. turmeric. Cook on low 3 to 5 hours. Shred chicken with two forks. Makes 6-7 servings that can be portioned out and refrigerated or frozen to reheat for a quick meal.

Kicked-up Burgers

(walk off weight) A Back Bacon or Grilled Ham Cheeseburger with Lettuce,Tomato and Pickles at an Outdoor BBQ-
LauriPatterson/Getty

To 1 lb. ground beef, add 1 tsp. each turmeric, garlic salt and pepper. Form patties; cook, serve as desired.

Bonus recipe: Air-fryer Fire Fries

(walk off weight) Assorted beer snacks like potato wedges, french fries and cheese balls
Anton Dobrea/Getty

This spicy side is a delicious way to heat up your metabolism. It makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Russet potatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Peel potatoes and cut into fries. Soak in water 10 minutes; drain and pat dry.
  2. Toss potatoes with turmeric, cayenne, salt, pepper and olive oil, coating evenly.
  3. Cook in the air fryer at 350°F until crispy, about 16–20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through.

Note: To make fries in oven, double the oil used then spread seasoned potatoes on a parchment lined sheet. Bake at 375ºF for 20 minutes, stir, then bake another 20 minutes at 425ºF.


For more on walking, click through the links below:

These Two Sisters Walked Off 373 Lbs – Here’s How Walking Poles Helped Them Succeed 

New Twist on Walking Is Helping Women Lose Weight Faster: What You Need to Know About Rucking

Study: Slow Walking Actually Helps Women Over 50 Boost Weight Loss + Burn Fat Faster

Women Over 50 Are Losing 100+ lbs Without Dieting Just By Walking First Thing In the Morning

Women Over 50 Are Losing 100+ lbs Without Dieting Just By Walking First Thing In the Morning

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