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How Much Walking For Weight Loss (How Many Miles Does It Take)

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 shoes and away you go! It’s a great way to reach your target BMI yet it gets discounted in favor of expensive gym memberships or the popular Couch to 5K running programs.

So how does it work and how much walking for weight loss do you need to do?

  • 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 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.

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 adapt to 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.

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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.

Personally, I’d choose exercise any day over dieting. My recommended calorie intake as a woman is 2000 a day, (it’s 2500 for men).

I’d have to cut 500 calories from my daily diet to lose one pound a week. That’s a quarter of my food intake and it’s the reason every diet I’ve ever tried has failed. It makes me too hungry.

Now I’m not going to say what you eat isn’t 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.

It’s just that the deficit you need to lose weight will come from walking.

Eat a healthy diet built around whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, beans and lentils, with just a few handfuls of nuts and seeds – and walking for weight loss works.

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 off 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.

Calculate Your Weight Loss

This guide is a rough indicator of 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.

Weight2.0 mph (3.2 kpg)2.5 mph (4.0 kpg)3.0 mph (4.8 kpg)3.5 mph (5.6 kpg)4.0 mph (6.4 kpg)
120 pounds (55 kg)150155180220260
150 pounds (68 kg)160170200245285
180 pounds (82 kg)175185215265310
210 pounds (95 kg)190200235290335
240 pounds (109 kg)200220255310360
270 pounds (123 kg)220235270335390
300 pounds (136 kg)230250290360415
The table is based on calories burned by an average height woman. For men allow an extra 20%.

Walk 5 miles a day and you can lose one pound a week provided you’re sticking to the recommended calorie intake of 2000 for women or 2500 for men. This can often be an over-estimate and you’ll get a more accurate guide using this calculator. 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.

how much should I walk to lose weight

How Much Do I Need To Walk Every Day To Lose Weight?

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

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

Walk One Mile A Day

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 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.

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 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.
  • 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

Combine your walking for weight loss program with healthy eating and you’ll see a big change to your health and fitness. If you give the fat buster walking challenge a try I’d love to get some feedback.

Save this pin as a reminder to access the challenge at any time!
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.

Charlie

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

Alison

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!

Alison

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!

Catarina

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!

Sunny

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

I am 30 now. As per my weight I need to lose 6 kg more. Trying to maintain walking one mile every day after 2 hrs of dinner. At morning I do free hand exercise for 20 min. Literally eat regular food like veggies, chicken, whole grain, nuts and fish. 1 cup of rice I eat at lunchtime with lentils, veg and fish. Except this time I try to avoid carb, sugar and oil. Avoid carb at night. Black coffee or green tea is mandatory for starting my day after breakfast and as evening snacks. But in sometime when I break this routine my weight gain gradually. Any advice?

Alison

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Hi Sunny, It sounds like you're eating the right amount to maintain your weight for level of exercise, height and size. This is why when you break your routine you start to gain weight slowly. It seems to be a healthy diet - I would just watch out for oil laden sauces or any other hidden calories that are preventing you from losing weight. I suggest you aim for more cardio exercise - one mile a day walking is not very much. Try to walk further and at a fast pace or even bike or take up running. I'm not a huge fan of calorie counting but it has its place. Try keeping a food diary for a week and accurately counting the calories you consume. You may find you're eating a lot more than you realised. At 30 it should be relatively easy to lose weight. Make sure your exercise routines are still challenging and your body hasn't become too used to the exercises you undertake daily. Weight loss is about 80% what you eat and 20% exercise - so make sure you're not overeating for your height and weight.

Chan

Monday 2nd of November 2020

Hi there! I'm soon gonna be 19 yrs! And right now I'm 60 kgs and 5'4 in height. My ideal weight is 50 kgs. It would be great If I can lose those 10 kgs in 2 months. Can u suggest me few effective exercises, a simple diet and walking for how many minutes and how many calories should I take per day so I can reach my 50 kgs ideal weight in 2 months time....

Alison

Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

Hi Chan, 60 kg is a healthy BMI for your height - so I'm wondering why you think your ideal weight is 50 kg? At 50 kg you would be verging on underweight. Also losing 10 kg in just two months is a lot - it's 17% of your current body mass. I'm concerned about the risk of anorexia. It's normal for teenagers to worry about body image. Especially today with so many fake images on social media making everyone look like models. That said getting into the habit of exercising regularly will set you up for life. It's not just about weight management, exercise helps you feel positive about your body. The key is to exercise regularly - so commit to an amount of time you can stick to every day. It's better to walk 2 miles (30 minutes) every day than shoot for 4 to 5 miles (1 hour) and give up after one week. It doesn't have to be walking for exercise. At your age especially I suggest you find a sport you enjoy - whatever appeals to you - even if it's something you've never tried before and you're a complete beginner. Improving at a sport is a terrific way to boost confidence and I've seen it make a huge difference to teenagers. If you exercise regularly, work fruit and vegetables into your diet and avoid too many sugary treats or fatty processed foods, you'll find your weight hits the right level for you. If you want to build muscle, (and I know a lot of young men do), sites such as HASfit have some easy to follow videos on YouTube. These will show you how to workout safely from home with light weights. Just note muscle is substantially heavier than body fat and your weight may even increase. Aim to be fit and healthy rather than worry too much about your weight.