I’m trying to lose about 30lbs, however, with the world shut down I obviously can’t get to a gym. I work, a lot, and was thinking about wearing ankle weights to work everyday to help with burning more calories, and to tone my legs. I’m sticking to a 1,200 calorie a day diet. I walk on average about 3 miles at work each day (around 7,000steps). Do you think incorporating the ankle weights will actually be beneficial? I’ve read a lot of conflicting info online. Do they REALLY help tone your legs? What weight should I start with? Anyone with any personal experience?
If you're looking to lose 30lbs I would set that as a 4 month goal. 1,200 calories a day, unless advised by a dietitian or doctor is way too low on calories. The FDA has a website available called MyPlate that would give you a caloric deficit to follow to safely lose weight and keep off the weight based on your age, weight, height, and gender. If you've never worn ankle weights before there will be a break in period. It's the same idea with any sort of fitness, you have to prep your body for added strain / load. Jumping right into wearing even 2.5lb weights around each ankle for 8+ hours a day increases your potential for injury as your body won't be used to lugging around that extra weight. If you want to proceed down the ankle weight route try wearing them around the house a little at a time so your body actually adjusts to them before committing to wearing them for long periods of time. They make ankle weights that are loadable so you can add / remove weight as you get used to them. The most beneficial piece to your weight loss is going to be the calories you're putting in. You can tone your legs without the need for the ankle weights. Squats & lunges without weight will also help tone your legs. I personally own a set of 2.5lb wrist weights, a set of 5lb ankle weights, and a 60lb weight vest. I don't really use any of them.
“Tone” comes from lower amounts of body fat and higher amounts of muscle. Ankle weights are useless for this endeavor unless you’re 90 years old and having trouble putting one foot in front of the other.
While we’re in COVID lockdown, and gym access is restricted, focus on your diet. Don’t do anything crazy. Just eat 500 fewer calories than what you burn. Don’t starve yourself.
When you can get better access to a gym, then learn how to squat using a barbell.