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How Much Should I Walk According To My BMI?

Follow this 5-step plan and find out how much to walk according to BMI. Walking to lose weight charts included.

Worried about a high body mass index (BMI) or just your body weight in general? Losing weight is never easy and crash diets are rarely the answer. It’s better to take a long-term approach and balance exercise with a healthy diet for permanent weight loss.

Follow this 5-step plan and find out how much to walk according to BMI to get fitter, reach a healthy weight and lose weight for good.

This post looks at:

  • The benefits of walking to lose weight.
  • What is normal body weight?
  • How much to walk according to the BMI calculator?
  • How much weight do you need to lose to have a healthy BMI?
  • How far do you need to walk every day?
  • How many calories can you eat and still lose weight?
  • A 5-step plan for walking for weight loss.

Let’s get started!

walking to lose weight charts

The Benefits Of Walking For Weight Loss

Walking is a great way to lose weight, but when you first start walking a few times a week it can feel like hard work and you may not lose weight straight away. So is it worth the effort?

Here are some of the main benefits of walking for weight loss:

#1 It’s easier than just dieting.

I bet most people reading this article have followed at least one crash diet. And I’m guessing the diet failed or you struggled to maintain your ideal weight.

Diets work by severely restricting your calorie intake. It’s not sustainable. As soon as the diet stops, your weight rebounds back to its former level or even higher. You may be burning excess fat but you’re also losing muscles. Plus you’re failing to adopt lifelong healthy habits.

#2 Walking makes you feel better.

Moods are one of the biggest reasons diets fail. If you’re feeling good about yourself, you’re less likely to reach for the biscuit tin! Walking in the fresh air is a great mood enhancer.

Here are some of the other health benefits of regular walking:

  • Walking at a brisk pace elevates your heart rate and improves cardiovascular fitness.
  • Strengthens bones and builds muscles.
  • Aids with weight management and reducing body fat.
  • Reduces the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.
  • Reduces stress levels and helps with mental health.
  • Enhances mobility and balance.
  • Boosts energy levels.

If you want to reduce your risk of future health problems – take up walking! Find out more about the evidence-based health benefits of walking an hour a day.

#3 Walking helps to keep the weight off permanently.

Building a regular walking habit will help you maintain a healthy weight. Say goodbye to weight gain and enjoy the lifestyle changes of being fit and active.

Instead of constantly worrying about the health risks of being overweight, start enjoying being fit and living life to the full.

What Is Normal Body Weight?

Normal weight refers to your body mass index (BMI). It just means you’re not underweight, overweight, or obese.

BMI is a quick way to find your ideal weight range. It has a lot of limitations but it’s easy to apply and get a rough idea of whether your weight is in a healthy range.

It doesn’t work if you have big muscles – young men who work out often have a BMI in the overweight range despite having a low body fat percentage.

For older adults and women with low muscle weight, it’s still possible to have a healthy BMI but have health risks associated with too much body fat.

Find your current body mass index with this BMI calculator.

Alternatively use this Body Mass Index (BMI) Chart:

body mass index bmi chart
Body Mass Index (BMI) Chart
BMI chart legend

It’s always best to seek medical advice before starting a weight loss or exercise program.

How Much To Walk According To BMI Calculator

When you know your current body mass index (BMI) and your goal weight, you can calculate how much weight you need to lose.

You need to burn more calories a day than you consume to lose weight.

This is a calorie deficit. Create a calorie deficit:

  • just by eating less
  • just by walking
  • or from walking and eating fewer calories.

Assuming you’re losing just body fat and not muscle, it takes a deficit of 3500 calories to burn one pound of fat.

You will find this figure quoted everywhere. It’s based on research by a scientist called Max Wishnofsky way back in 1958.

This research created the myth that if you eat 500 calories less a day, you will lose one pound of body fat a week.

In reality, this never happens. Why? Because your body adapts to eating less food. It switches into starvation mode (technical term adaptive thermogenesis).

Your body becomes more efficient at burning calories and you move around less.

Walking To Lose Weight

If dieting to lose weight doesn’t work, why is walking for weight loss better?

Regular walking at a brisk pace continually challenges your body. As you get fitter, you walk a bit faster.

Finding walking too easy? Add some hills, walk with weights, or even start running for weight loss.

Your body doesn’t get a chance to adapt and will continue to burn body fat. Plus you’re building stronger muscles which will help to boost your metabolism.

You can lose weight just by walking provided you don’t start overeating. Use this calculator to work out how many calories you burn every day.

how much to walk according to BMI

How Much Walking To Have A Healthy Body Mass Index?

To get a healthy BMI you just need to walk off the weight!

Use the Calories Burned Walking Calculator to find out how many calories you’re burning based on your current weight and walking pace.

A typical person burns 100 calories per mile walking at a brisk walking pace. Brisk walking is a sustained effort. Your heart rate will be elevated but you’ll still be able to hold a conversation.

How many miles?

To lose one pound of body fat just from walking you need to walk 5 miles a day or 35 miles a week. Aim for daily walks – it’s regular walking that gets results. That’s approximately 10,000 to 12,000 steps a day or 70,000 – 84,000 steps a week depending on your stride length.

It sounds like a lot doesn’t it? But you can split up your miles into 2 or 3 walks a day.

Daily GoalWeekly Goal
Miles 535
Steps10,000 – 12,00070,000 – 84,000
Time (hours)1:15 to 2:008:45 to 14:00
Walking To Lose Weight Chart

5 miles a day is too much for beginners.

Don’t start a walking plan at 5 miles a day unless you’re already an experienced walker. You’ll just get too tired or injured.

How much should I walk?

If you’re new to exercise with a higher BMI, start by walking 1-2 miles a day. That’s about 2,000 to 5,000 steps.

Related post: How To Lose Weight Walking 2 Miles A Day.

At the start of a walking program, your body will be working hard. You’ll burn calories at a rate of more than 100 per mile. So don’t worry if your walking duration isn’t long enough in the first couple of weeks.

For best results follow my 9-Week Fat Buster Walking Challenge.

This weight loss program starts slowly at a level almost anyone can manage. As the weeks go by, walking distance and walking speed gradually increase.

As you adapt to the exercise regime, the program makes you work harder until you’re walking 5 miles a day.

How Much Can You Eat On A Walking For Weight Loss Plan?

Walking to lose extra weight loss isn’t about controlling calories. You just have to make sure you’re not eating excess calories.

That’s more than your body needs for its day-to-day activity.

Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2020-2025), most female adults typically need 1600 to 2400 calories per day, and male adults 2000 to 3200.

Age, gender, body composition, metabolism, and the amount you exercise all account for the huge differences.

To lose weight by walking, find your daily calories for a sedentary lifestyle based on this Daily Energy Expenditure Calculator.

Keep within this limit for your daily calorie intake and the extra calorie burning from walking will reduce your excess weight.

What if walking makes me hungry?

This can be a problem, especially in the first few weeks. Try to fill up low-fat meals high in protein.

Follow the tips in this post What To Eat After Walking For Weight Loss.

What if I’m eating too much?

Try making small, sustainable changes to your diet to eat fewer calories. If you try and change your diet too much too soon, you will fail.

Try and cut down on high-calorie food such as cakes, junk food, and takeaways. Sugary drinks can be a high source of hidden calories. Switch to drinking water – it’s far more refreshing, especially after exercise.

Help, I’m walking everyday but gaining weight!

It’s normal to gain a few pounds over the first week or so. This will be from fluid retention.

Exercising causes small micro tears and inflammation in your muscle fibers. This inflammation causes water retention.

It’s temporary. As your body adapts to your new walking regime, your body will shed the water weight. So don’t give up!

Find out more in this related post: Why You’re Not Losing Weight Walking?

how much should I walk according to my BMI

5-Step Plan For Walking For Weight Loss

Hit your weight loss goals with this 5-step plan and walk-to-lose weight chart:

Step #1 Find your current BMI.

Use this BMI calculator to find your body mass index based on your height and current weight.

Step #2 Find your normal weight.

The chart below provides the normal weight for different heights. This is the figure at the top end of the normal weight range. It’s best to be a few pounds below this figure to allow for weight fluctuations.

Find your normal weight below and subtract 2 pounds. This is your weight loss goal.

(feet and inches)
Normal Weight
Upper Limit (pounds)
4 ft 10″119
4 ft 11″123
5 ft127
5 ft 1″132
5 ft 2″136
5 ft 3″140
5 ft 4″145
5 ft 5″149
5 ft 6″154
5 ft 7″159
5 ft 8″164
5 ft 9″168
5 ft 10″173
5 ft 11″178
6 ft183
6 ft 1″189
6 ft 2″194
6 ft 3″199
6 ft 4″204
6 ft 5″210
How Much To Walk According To BMI Chart: Weight Loss Goal

Step #3 How many pounds do I need to lose?

Simply subtract your goal weight from your BMI calculation.

Step #4 How much should I walk according to my BMI?

Use the table below to find out how long it will take to hit your weight loss goals if you’re walking 2 miles, 3 miles, 4 miles, or 5 miles a day.

These figures are approximate. If you have a lot of weight to lose, your weight loss will be a lot faster over the first 4 to 8 weeks. It will also be a lot harder to lose the last 10 pounds to hit your target than it is to lose the first 10 pounds. Why? Because when you weigh less, your daily calorie requirements are lower.

Weight loss per week
Walking 2 miles/day0.4
Walking 3 miles/day0.6
Walking 4 mile/day0.8
Walking 5 miles/day1.0
Walking 6 miles/day1.2
How Much To Walk According To BMI Chart: Weight Loss Per Week

I recommend walking every day. Walking is a low-impact activity with less injury risk than running.

Providing your walking isn’t more than 5 miles a day and you build up to this level gradually, most people can cope with walking daily. Just make sure you have a good pair of walking shoes or trainers – you don’t want to get any blisters!

Step #5 Monitor your results

It’s best to keep a walking journal to record your miles walked and progress towards your fitness goals.

If you’re struggling to reduce weight try and work out why.

  • Are you walking regularly and hitting your distance targets? Make sure walking is part of your daily routine.
  • Are your efforts at a brisk walk pace? Walking for weight loss isn’t just taking a stroll – you should be making a consistent effort.
  • Is walking too easy for you? Follow the suggestions in this article about How To Get Results Walking For Weight Loss.
  • Mix things up by walking uphill or following the suggestions in this daily walking workout schedule.
  • As you get fitter, consider running for weight loss. You can burn more calories per mile but it doesn’t suit everyone.
How Much Walking To Lose Weight Chart
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Extra Tips From Love Life Be Fit

Walking is a good way to reduce a high BMI and start leading a healthy lifestyle. In theory weight loss is simple: move more and eat less. In practice, it can be a lot harder but keep monitoring your results and make sure you adapt your walking sessions as you get fitter.

If you struggle to hit your daily walking target, split your walks and long distances into 2 or 3 sessions. It’s the number of steps you take that will count – you don’t need to complete your target walking distance all in one go.

Aim for healthy weight loss. Being underweight can be dangerous for your health and it’s never a good idea to try and lose weight too quickly.

Concerned about your health, please seek medical advice. If you have an existing medical condition, you haven’t exercised in a long time or you’re carrying a lot of excess weight it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting a walking program.