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How Much Walking For Weight Loss (How Many Miles)

Walking has got to be the most accessible form of exercise. You don’t need any special equipment or clothing, just a comfortable pair of walking shoes or trainers – and away you go! It’s a great way to lose weight and reach your target BMI – plus it’s one of the best ways to improve your fitness level.

Walking is better than just dieting and comes with so many health benefits from protecting against heart disease to improving your moods and helping you maintain a healthy weight.

So how does it work and how much should you walk to lose weight and reach a healthy BMI?

  • The ideal target for weight loss is walking 5 miles a day. This will burn around 3,500 calories a week, the equivalent of one pound of excess fat.
  • Build up to walking 5 miles a day gradually. If you have a high body mass index BMI, and you’re carrying a lot of excess weight, your calorie burn rate will be much higher. Just walking 1-2 miles a day may be enough to lose weight.
  • You don’t need to walk 5 miles all in one go. If you’re short of time, split the distance into 2 or 3 short walks.
  • If you don’t have time to walk 5 miles, aim for 30 minutes walking a day and try to increase the intensity of your walks.

When it comes to burning calories, walking is almost as good as running, especially if you’re walking at a fast pace. While running is a big step if you haven’t laced up your trainers since high school, most people can manage a walking for weight loss program.

✅ Skip ahead to the Fat Buster Walking Challenge or keep on reading to understand how walking can help you reduce your BMI and lose excess weight.

How much walking for weight loss

Can You Lose Weight Just By Walking?

Weight loss is based on building a calorie deficit. You need a deficit of 3500 calories to burn off one pound of fat. The choice is to do this by dieting or lacing up those shoes and going for a walk.

Calorie Burn

In theory, diet is more important than exercise for weight loss but that’s only because it’s easy to undo some of the benefits of walking by rewarding yourself with high-calorie treats. Don’t head to a cafe for a latte and a cake after finishing your walk! Instead, try these non-food treats!

When you diet you need to eat 500 calories less than your recommended daily intake to lose one pound a week. The recommended number of calories for a woman is 2000 a day, or 2500 for a man. A deficit of 500 calories is between 20% and a quarter of a person’s daily calorie intake and it’s the reason diets fail. Most people get too hungry.

Cutting 500 calories a day from your diet rarely leads to long-term weight loss. Instead, your body gets more efficient at burning calories and survives on a lower daily calorie intake.

how much walking for weight loss

Body Fat vs Muscle

When you’re walking to lose weight you’re building stronger muscles from the increased daily exercise. If you’re just dieting, your body will indiscriminately burn body fat and muscle to make up the calorie deficit. You may end up lighter on the scales, but losing strength has a negative effect on your metabolism and long-term health. 

Regular walking combined with eating better and two or three short sessions a week of strength training will produce the best results. These bodyweight exercises are great for both runners and walkers.

Related post: Fat vs. Muscle: How Does It Affect Your Weight?

Eating Less

What you eat is still important. It’s the biggest reason people gain weight. Most people eat more calories than they burn every day. You still need to cut out those excess calories – the donuts, M&Ms, burgers, and cakes – if you want to lose weight by walking.

Eat a healthy diet built around whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables, and lean protein to get the best results from your walking for weight loss program.

Related post: What To Eat After Walking To Lose Weight

How Much Weight Can You Lose By Walking?

Losing one pound a week is a sensible target for most people. It may not sound like much but the aim is permanent weight loss.

Actually burning fat, not just losing water weight, and sticking to an eating plan you can maintain. We’ve all been on diets where the weight piles back on the minute you stop.

If you have a lot of weight to lose, (your body weight is 200 lbs+), you’ll lose more than one pound per week when you first start walking for weight loss. Heavier bodies burn more calories from walking.

how much should I walk to lose weight
How much should I walk to lose weight?

How To Lose Weight By Walking

Before you start make sure your weight loss goal is realistic and target your ideal normal weight based on your BMI.

Calculate Your Weight Loss

The chart below is a guide to how many calories you’ll burn per hour by walking. Most people will burn around 80 to 100 calories a mile but it depends on so many factors such as your weight, gender, physical fitness, and walking pace.

Alternatively, to find out the total calories burned walking, use my calories burned walking calculator.

Estimated Calories Burned Per Hour By Walking

Weight2.5 mph (4.0 km/h)3.0 mph (4.8 km/h)3.5 mph (5.6 km/h)4.0 mph (6.4 km/h)4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)
120 pounds (55 kg)171200246286400
150 pounds (68 kg)214250307357500
180 pounds (82 kg)257300369429600
210 pounds (95 kg)300350430500700
240 pounds (109 kg)343400492572800
270 pounds (123 kg)386450553643900
300 pounds (136 kg)4295006147141000
Based on this Calories Burned By Activity Calculator

Measure Your Walking Speed

To get the most out of your walking for weight loss plan aim to walk at a brisk pace. For most people, a brisk pace is 3.5 miles per hour but it depends on your fitness level. At a brisk pace, you’ll be able to talk and walk but your heart rate will be elevated and you’re making a conscious effort to maintain your walking speed.

You can use a fitness tracker or a walking app to measure your walking pace.

  • 2.5 mph = 24 minutes/mile (easy pace).
  • 3.0 mph = 20 minutes/mile (moderate pace).
  • 3.5 mph = 17.1 minutes/mile (brisk pace).
  • 4.0 mph = 15 minutes/mile (very brisk pace).
  • 4.5 mph = 13.3 minutes per mile (power walking).

If you can only walk slowly – it’s still good for your health!

how much walking for weight loss

Set A Weekly Target

Walk 5 miles a day and you can lose one pound a week provided you keep to the recommended calorie intake of 2000 for women or 2500 for men. This can often be an overestimate and you’ll get a more accurate guide using this calculator for how many calories do I burn a day. If you’re young and male, you burn more calories. Basically, if you’re older and female it sucks!

One pound a week weight loss doesn’t sound very much but that’s 10 pounds in 10 weeks. Permanent weight loss. Not lose 10 pounds in 21 days and pile it all back on a few months later.

Related post: Walking An Hour A Day: Health Benefits And Weight Loss

Increase Intensity

As you get fitter, you’ll need to work harder to get the same weight loss results. Increasing intensity can increase calorie burn and can be a big help if you only have limited time for walking.

Increase the intensity of your workout by:

You don’t need to walk outside to benefit from walking for weight loss. Try treadmill walking or walking in place!

how much should I walk to lose weight

How Much Should I Walk Every Day To Lose Weight?

This will depend on your goals. I’m a great believer that anything is better than nothing. Just lacing up some trainers and heading out the door is going to improve your health and fitness.

How Many Days Of The Week?

It’s regular exercise that makes the difference. So committing to a short walk of one mile a day every day is a good start if you’re the sort of person who never exercises.

If you’re using a step counter, you can convert steps to miles and calories burned. As a rough guide, the number of steps in a mile is between 2000 and 2500 depending on your step length.

Walk One Mile A Day – How Many Calories Burned?

One mile a day will burn around 560 to 700 calories a week so if you’re also improving your diet this is going to be a big help.

Of course, more is better. If you can build up to walking 5 miles a day that’s a massive 2,800 to 3,500 calories burned and you’ll be hitting your one pound a week weight loss goal.

Just don’t reward your daily exercise with a sticky treat. That’s a good way to make sure your weight loss is slow!

Walk Two Miles A Day

If you’re starting from a low fitness level, most people can still manage to walk 2 miles a day and start to enjoy the health benefits of walking for 30 minutes. Gradually build distance – when you can comfortably walk 2 miles a day, try walking 3 miles a day!

Walk 5 Miles A Day

With a little thought, you can fit 5 miles a day into your daily routine. That’s about 85 minutes at a brisk walking pace. Try walking to work and back or get off a few stops early. Take a walk at lunchtime or leave the car behind when you go to pick up food. You don’t have to do your 5 miles all in one go.

I find heading out for a walk or run every day boosts my mood and helps me work more efficiently when I return. It’s a case of building a habit. Once you’re used to moving more every day you’ll find you need it and will learn to love it.

Related post: Walking or Running: Which Is Better For Weight Loss?

How Much Walking Every Day Based On Your BMI?

Check your current BMI and find out how much weight you need to lose to hit your target BMI. Each pound of weight loss will represent one week following the Fat Buster Walking Challenge.

If you need to lose more than 9 – 10 pounds, keep repeating Week 9 of the walking challenge, walking 5 miles a day, until you hit your weight loss goals.

Most people find they love walking. They enjoy the physical and mental health benefits so much that walking becomes a permanent habit! You don’t have to stop walking when you get to the end of the Fat Buster challenge!

how much walking for weight loss

Walking For Weight Loss Program – The Fat Buster Walking Challenge

Some people will be able to launch straight into walking 5 miles a day but for most, it will make sense to gradually increase how far you walk.

This easy-to-follow, fat buster challenge is for someone who’s starting from rock bottom when it comes to exercise. It is a big commitment but it gets results. Most people will lose 10 pounds over the 9-week program.

There are walking for weight loss programs that pretend you can lose a lot of weight just walking for 10 minutes a day. This isn’t one of them. Of course, 10 minutes a day is better than nothing but here the aim is real weight loss without a restrictive diet.

There’s no need to diet on the fat buster walking program although I do recommend a healthy eating program or trying to cut back on sugar. Just follow the program and stick to your recommended calorie intake.

The program uses different speeds.

  • Slow is 25 minutes per mile or 2.4 miles per hour. It’s a stroll.
  • Moderate (Mod) is a normal walking pace for most people 20 minutes/mile or 3 miles per hour. You can still talk as you walk.
  • Fast is walking at a brisk pace where you’re pushing yourself. 3.5 miles + per hour, 17 minutes/mile. Talking will be harder and you’ll be out of breath if you hit a hill. Pushing the pace will help boost your metabolism.
  • If you find any week on the program hard work, it’s okay to repeat a week. The aim is for gradual improvement. Not overdoing it.
  • It’s okay to split each day’s session into two or even three blocks if it fits better with your schedule. Look for opportunities to walk during the day instead of jumping in a car!

Fat Buster Walking Challenge

Week 1Workout
Mon25 min slow
Tue5 min slow, 20 min mod
Wed25 min slow
Thur5 min slow, 20 min mod
Fri25 min slow
Sat25 min slow, 20 min mod
Sun25 min slow, 20 min mod
Total Miles9
Week 2Workout
Mon20 min mod
Tue20 min mod
Wed40 min mod
Thur40 min mod
Fri20 min mod
Sat20 min mod, 17 min fast
Sun60 min mod
Total Miles12
Week 3Workout
Mon20 min mod, 17 min fast
Tue40 min mod
Wed25 min easy, 40 min mod
Thur20 min mod, 17 min fast
Fri40 min mod, 25 min easy
Sat40 min mod
Sun20 min mod, 17 min fast
Total Miles16
Week 4Workout
Mon20 min mod, 17 min fast, 20 min mod
Tue40 min mod
Wed20 min mod, 17 min fast, 20 min mod
Thur40 min mod, 17 min fast
Fri40 min mod
Sat20 min mod, 17 min fast, 20 min mod
Sun25 min easy, 34 min fast
Total Miles19
Week 5Workout
Mon20 min mod, 17 min fast, 20 min mod
Tue25 min easy, 34 min fast
Wed60 min mod
Thur20 min mod, 17 min fast, 20 min mod
Fri20 min mod, 34 min fast
Sat60 min mod
Sun25 min easy, 34 min fast
Total Miles21
Week 6Workout
Mon60 min mod
Tue25 min easy, 34 min fast
Wed20 min mod, 34 min fast, 20 min mod
Thur20 min mod, 34 min fast, 25 min easy
Fri60 min mod
Sat60 min mod, 17 min fast
Sun20 min mod, 17 min fast, 20 min mod
Total Miles24
Week 7Workout
Mon20 min mod, 17 min fast, 20 min mod
Tue20 min mod, 34 min fast, 25 min easy
Wed20 min mod, 34 min fast
Thur100 min mod
Fri20 min mod, 17 min fast, 20 min mod
Sat40 min mod, 51 min fast
Sun80 min mod
Total Miles27
Week 8Workout
Mon20 min mod, 34 min fast, 20 min mod
Tue20 min mod, 51 min fast, 20 min mod
Wed20 min mod, 34 min fast, 20 min mod
Thur20 min mod, 51 min fast, 20 min mod
Fri20 min mod, 34 min fast, 20 min mod
Sat20 min mod, 51 min fast, 20 min mod
Sun20 min mod, 34 min fast, 20 min mod
Total Miles31
Week 9Workout
Mon20 min mod, 51 min fast, 20 min mod
Tue20 min mod, 51 min fast, 20 min mod
Wed20 min mod, 51 min fast, 25 min easy
Thur20 min mod, 51 min fast, 20 min mod
Fri20 min mod, 51 min fast, 20 min mod
Sat20 min mod, 51 min fast, 25 min easy
Sun20 min mod, 51 min fast, 20 min mod
Total Miles35

Thoughts From Love Life Be Fit

Combine your walking for weight loss program with healthy eating and you’ll see a big change in your health and fitness. It really is one of the easiest ways to get fitter and invest in your health.

If you’re struggling to fit walking into your day, try these tips for how to get more steps in a day. My best tip is to make your walks a priority and mark them in your daily schedule.

10,000 steps or 4 to 5 miles a day is an achievable goal for most people if they’re trying to lose weight. Take the time, invest in yourself, and make it happen!

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t lose weight in the first few weeks of the walking for weight loss plan – that’s normal. Find out why you’re not losing weight walking!

If you give the fat buster walking challenge a try we’d love to get some feedback. Start walking now! You won’t regret it…

Related post: Walking For Weight Loss: Everything You Need To Know

fat buster walking challenge
Save this pin as a reminder to access the challenge at any time!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to lose 10 pounds by walking?

Losing about one pound a week is a sensible aim for permanent weight loss. The Fat Buster Walking For Weight Loss Challenge aims to help you lose 10 pounds in 9 weeks. No dieting, just sticking to your recommended daily calorie intake and building up to walking 5 miles a day. That’s a reasonable target for most people.

How much walking for weight loss?

Walking burns around 80 to 100 calories per mile. The exact amount depends on your pace, weight and if you’re walking up hills. Building up to walking 5 miles a day will help you hit a sensible goal of losing one pound a week. You do need to stick to your recommended calorie intake to lose weight, around 2000 calories a day for women and 2500 for men.

How many calories burned walking a mile a day?

If you want to burn calories try walking! Walking burns about 80 to 100 calories per mile so if you walk a mile every day you can burn up to 700 calories a week. To burn more calories try power walking or walking uphill. The more intensity you add to your walking routine – the easier it will be to lose weight.


Thursday 16th of March 2023

Hi Alison, do you have the 9 week program in a downloadable document to be printed off? Thanks!


Thursday 16th of March 2023

Not just yet but it's something I'm working on!


Tuesday 8th of March 2022

Hi there! I’m 24 turning 25 and just had my third baby. My oldest is three and youngest is 4 months. Because I was pregnant back to back to back I’ve put on a ton of weight. I went from weighing 135 pounds with my first pregnancy to weighing 178 pounds with my last pregnancy. I’m now at 183 pounds. And with being only 5’0 my BMI is 35. Which is really high. I guess what my question is: How much walking on the treadmill do I need to do a day to get to my first goal weight of 140 pounds. And then eventually down to 130 pounds. My day consists of little to no exercise. I only eat Chicken and Turkey as meats. I drink maybe one water bottle a day And I’m such a sucker for sweet treats! I need to be wedding ready for my sister in laws wedding in July of 2023 and for my wedding in May of 2024.

Thanks in advance for answering my questions and hopefully you are able to give me tricks and tips. :)


Tuesday 8th of March 2022

Hi Leah First of all congratulations - three children in 3 years is HUGE so start feeling good about yourself! Aim to lose one pound a week and follow the Fat Buster Plan on this post to build up to walking 5 miles a day. Keep up the 5 miles a day until you've lost the weight - if your weight loss starts to slow, increase your walking pace, add some hills or even try running. Children love exercising and being outdoors - so try and do some of your miles outside instead of on the treadmill. Get a double buggy and a papoose for your baby. Yes, it's hard to carry a baby and push a buggy at the same time, but it's great exercise and you're young enough to cope! Your three-year-old will be able to walk with you some of the time although I know they can be very slow! Find any and every excuse to exercise - chase your toddler around the garden if you have one or go to the nearest park. The recommended daily calories for a woman your age is 2000 if you don't exercise - possibly a little less because of your height. I suspect you're eating more as you're still putting on weight. So try keeping a food diary for a week and see where the calories are coming from. You don't want to sabotage your exercise efforts by eating too much. Try and get your calorie intake down to 2000 with exercising but don't go too low. Anything less than 1500 is really hard to maintain and could even make it very hard to lose weight in the future - your body just adapts to eating really low calories. If sweet treats are your Achilles heel, try and limit yourself to one small treat a day. If you find that's not working and it's hard to stop at one, I suggest you go cold turkey on the added sugar for a month. Take a look at my post about quitting sugar. It should reset your taste buds. Make sure you're drinking enough water or fluids - recommendations are 8 glasses of fluid a day so one bottle may not be enough - depends how big it is and are you drinking anything else. Try and fill up on vegetables and whole grains. Chicken and turkey are generally low fat which is great - as long as you're not eating chicken dippers! Be kind to yourself - 3 very young children must take a lot out of you. It helps that you're just 25 but try and make sure you're eating properly. Meal prep is a great way to go. My food posts are about being vegan but food prep works just as well for meat-eaters. If you have a healthy meal prepared in advance, you're less tempted to get a takeaway. You should be able to lose weight easily at your age. If you follow the Fat Buster Plan and don't overeat - and you still find you're not losing any weight, get an appointment with your doctor. A lot of women have thyroid issues and from my experience pregnancy seems to set them off. It's better to get help with controlling your weight now than put it off until the problem is insurmountable. Your children will benefit so much from an active healthy mother who can run around with them and encourage them to be fit and healthy as they grow up. I hope your weight loss goes well - at one pound a week you should hit your first goal by Spring 2022 or possibly sooner as you're young and the first few pounds can come off more easily. The last 10 pounds tend to be the hardest but by then you should love your new body and be a convert to exercising!


Wednesday 8th of September 2021

So glad I found this! I’m going to start your walking exercise programme next week. We have just bought a puppy also so when she is allowed out on walks it will give me an excuse to go out more!

Im 29, 5ft2 and weight just over 13 stone 😞 not good! I would like to start off by aiming for the 10 stone mark and see where I feel from there (currently in size 14-16 clothes for the first time in my life and would like be in a comfortable size 10)

My diet goes up and down but it’s not the worst. I don’t tend to have a sweet tooth but I do like my savoury and meals (portion control is something I’m trying to learn) and I’m not good at drinking a lot throughout the day, but when I do it’s 99% of the time, water.

Any tips and advice would be amazing. I’m not one of these that enjoy exercising and actually makes my mood worse when I have tried in the past but walking is something I don’t seem ‘scared’ of.

Thank you


Thursday 9th of September 2021

Hi Charlie. Your weight loss goal sounds sensible and realistic and at 29 it's a good age to get your health sorted before weight gain over-whelms you. And a dog begging to go out every day should help! It's easy to overeat when you're starving so try and eat regularly and keep low-calorie snacks to hand for when the munchies set in. Opting for a largely plant-based diet with lots of vegetables, rice and whole grains, beans, and lentils will fill you up, fuel your exercise and keep the calories down. Dehydration will work against you when it comes to weight loss. So keep a bottle of water with you during the day and drink regularly. Be patient. You're trying to lose almost one-third of your body weight. It's not going to happen overnight but it's better to accept it's going to take between 20 to 40 weeks to lose this much weight than end up in a yo-yo pattern of fast weight loss and equally fast, weight regain. Try and find an exercise you enjoy. It can be anything. Dancing is exercise! When you're carrying excess weight and you're trying to run or do something really strenuous it can make you feel worse because the weight makes it so hard. That's why walking is often a better way to start getting fit. For walking, it's much more enjoyable walking in nature and so much better for your puppy! Your puppy will help you come up with a routine for your walks. Walking at a set time every day will help it become something you always do, just like taking a shower or brushing your teeth. Make sure you have some comfortable trainers or walking shoes with good support and grip. Don't try and do too much too soon. You can repeat weeks on the walking plan if necessary. The aim is to make exercise a consistent part of your life. That way you'll feel better and want to eat better. Lastly, it really helps to keep food diaries for a couple of weeks so you can understand what you're eating, when, and why. Eating can be triggered by emotions. If you start to understand those triggers it can give you the strength to try and eliminate those causes or find alternative ways (such as exercise) to make yourself feel better. Hope this helps and I'd love to know how you get on!

Julia Hinkle

Sunday 30th of May 2021

I'm so glad I found you! I plan to start your walking plan tomorrow and will let you know how it goes. I'm 68 and out of shape but just know I can do this!


Monday 31st of May 2021

Hi Julia, yes it will be wonderful to hear how you get on. I don't think anyone is ever too old to get in shape and walking is a natural exercise you can take up at any age. If you find you're over-doing it just repeat a week before you progress to longer distances. You can also break up your walking into smaller chunks. Leave your car at home more and walk to the shops!


Tuesday 16th of March 2021

Hi! I am trying to lose weight, I am 25 years old and my weight is 145 lbs. I have been walking for about a month now and I gained 2 pounds... My diet is exactly the same as before and I have been a lot more active lately. I started to freak out a little bit because I am feeling like I am doing something wrong.

Alison Wright

Thursday 18th of March 2021

Hi Catarina, I feel your frustration! Our bodies are complex and 2 pounds isn't a huge amount. Some women find their weight varies considerably depending on hormone levels and the time of the month. So rule out normal fluctuations by weighing yourself at the same time every day and look for the overall trend in your body weight. Make sure you're not dehydrated from the extra exercise. Dehydration is a curious one - on the one hand it makes you lighter but on the other low levels of dehydration makes your body bloat and retain water. This could be a cause of extra weight. Be patient - sometimes your body reacts to exercise by saying - hang on a moment what's happening? I'd better cling on to my reserves in case I need them. This is temporary. My body is used to running. But if I have a hard run, often the next day my weight goes up. It can be 2-3 days before my weight goes back to it's normal level or often lower. Weight isn't the only way to measure changes to your body. Get out a tape measure. It's possible your replacing fat with heavier lean muscle. If you're average height, 145 lbs isn't heavy if you have a lean muscular body. Lastly, weight loss is 20% exercise and 80% what you eat. It can be a good idea to keep a food diary for a week to look at what you're really eating. Exercise makes you hungry so you may find your diet has changed without you realising it. If you're trying to lose weight, swap high calorie food for lower calorie, naturally low in fat, whole foods such as fruit and vegetables. Don't freak out! We're designed to move and be active! Your body will adjust and you'll start to see the benefits and feel great!