How much do I have to walk to lose weight? How fast? How far? Can I lose weight faster going uphill?
We’re going to answer these questions with simple walking to lose weight charts and graphs. Then, we’ll leave you informed, with an 8-week walking plan to achieve your goals.
Walking to lose weight? Yes, it is possible, and you’ve come to the right place.
Walking and general daily movement are some of the healthiest activities you can do for your body. But you already knew that.
In this article, we’ll share how much you have to walk to lose weight, walking tips for weight loss, the benefits of walking, and our 8-Week Walking Plan for Weight Loss.
There are several walking to lose weight charts in this article that will help you. The first are key numbers to remember.
How do I lose weight walking?
Weight loss in its simplest terms boils down to one thing: calorie deficit.
To lose one pound, you have to create a deficit of 3,500 calories. In the metric system, this more or less equates to losing 0.5 kg by creating a deficit of 3,850 calories.
Ideally, calculating your calorie deficit begins by knowing how many calories you consume a day as well as how much you exercise. We walk you through how to find these numbers in our article, ‘30-Day Weight Loss Challenge.’
But, if nothing else changes with your daily diet and your weight is pretty stable, you can guess that walking off 3,500 calories a week results in 1 lb. of weight loss.
The speed at which you should lose weight depends on multiple factors. As we share in our article, ‘How to Lose 20 Pounds,’ the answer could be anywhere between 0.5 to 5 lbs. a week if you’re trying to lose 10 to 100 lbs., respectively.
While this may seem light, it is our recommendation to never drop too much too fast so that your hormone levels remain balanced to keep the weight off long-term. No one wants to experience the dreaded yo-yo effect.
The below graph shows healthy rates of weight loss depending on how many pounds you have to lose.
How much do I have to walk to lose weight?
So, do you know how much weight you want to lose per week? The next step is to figure out how much time and distance you’ll need to walk to lose it.
Once again, it depends on a few factors, including age, weight, sex, walking pace, and difficulty of your course.
According to my Apple Watch, it takes me 2 hours, 5 miles (8 km) at a moderate pace, and just over 10,000 steps to walk off 500 calories. If I did that 7 days a week, I’d reach a 3,500 calorie deficit to lose 1 lb. a week.
If you have an Apple Watch, FitBit, or MiBand, you’re a step ahead. Wearables like these are very convenient and share your walking pace, distance walked, heart rate, and calories burned in real-time.
If you don’t have a wearable, refer to our rule-of-thumb “walking for weight loss” charts below. Just know that these are approximate measurements (just like all the calculations online) for reference.
If you want accurate numbers, you really need a fitness watch. We highly recommend the MiBand watch because it’s far cheaper than a FitBit or Apple watch, does the same things, and is high quality.
Walking to Lose Weight Chart Assumptions
Walking speed: 3.3 mph or 5.3 km/h
Weight: 190 lbs. or 86 kg
If you weigh more, your weekly goals will be lower. If you weigh less than 190 lbs. or 86 kg, your weekly goals will be higher.
We used the WebMD exercise calculator, and these numbers seem conservative. Here is the walking to lose weight chart in pounds.
And here is the walking to lose weight chart in kilograms.
These numbers seem daunting, don’t they?
The good news is there are ways to significantly increase your calorie burn while walking. Mainly, pick up the pace!
In the next section, we’ll share a chart (according to your weight) that shows how your pace affects calorie burn.
walking to lose weight tips
While walking seems relatively simple, it’s not always easy. Perhaps you’re dealing with an injury, or simply can’t find the time to walk every day.
Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Walk faster
Walking speed directly affects weight loss.
The faster you walk, the more calories you’ll burn. How much more depends on the pace. As you near a jog, the calorie burn increases even faster.
This might be a relief after seeing the “walking to lose weight” charts up above. While it’s ideal, we don’t always have one and a half hours to walk every day.
Going from a stroll to a moderate walk only marginally increases your calorie burn. Going from 2 miles per hour to 3 miles per hour burns 33% more calories.
However, when you up the ante to a brisk walk at 4 miles per hour (definitely a walk, not quite a jog yet) you’ll double your calorie burn.
Here are the approximate speeds:
According to Healthline, here is approximately how many calories you’ll burn per hour on a flat walk:
If you double your pace, you double your weight loss.
As you walk towards weight loss, try to improve your pace weekly to get the most calorie burn possible.
3. Welcome the hills
Where you walk also plays a role in how much weight you can lose while walking. The charts above show calories burned when walking on a flat surface – like on a track or a flat sidewalk.
But what happens when you walk uphill? It turns out your calorie burn will increase dramatically.
According to Healthline, here is the calorie burn you can expect walking at the same speed but going uphill:
On a treadmill, setting an intense incline of 18% can increase calorie burn even more, as much as 70%.
In addition to increasing your heart rate and workload, hill walks are great for your muscles. They activate your calf, glute, and hamstring muscles even more than a flat walk, without any added risk of injury.
Note, though, that some people find it hard on their knees to walk downhill. If that’s you, ease into it and shorten your strides. Or opt to walk on an incline on a treadmill only. That way, you only have to go up, and not come down!
4. Try minimalist walking shoes
We personally love the experience of walking with our FiveFingers. Yeah, those are the funky toe shoes. You can feel the ground below you, which is a fun experience, and they promote a shorter, more natural stride.
Plus, we never have to worry about the weather, because if it is muddy and rainy, we simply throw our shoes in the washing machine. We share more information (and a special offer) in the below article.
5. Get paid for each step
Did you know that are apps that will pay you for your steps? After using Achievement for the last 3 months, they just sent me $20.
We challenge you to step up your game with this extra incentive! There’s nothing to lose but everything to gain, especially since our two favorite fitness apps (Achievement and Sweatcoin) are free and pay us real money for our daily step counts. Win-win-win.
6. Grab a buddy or your headphones
We recommend you recruit a walking buddy. Invite a friend or your spouse to join you on your walk.
This will keep you more accountable and have you looking forward to each walk!
Otherwise, download an audiobook or podcast. We prefer walking like this over music because you can still hear the traffic around you. Plus, if it’s a really good book, you can habit stack by only allowing yourself to listen while walking.
Talk about added motivation!
7. Share your location
Use a location sharing app if walking alone. There are many apps, but we prefer to use Google Maps. Yep, the same app you already have!
On the app, simply log in, click on your photo, and you’ll see the “Location Sharing” feature. As long as your partner has the Google Maps app as well, you can share to them.
At the very least, let somebody know where you plan to walk and for how long.
8. Bring water
Nothing unnecessarily cuts short a walk than not having water. Plus, hydration is critical for weight loss since it boosts digestion and metabolism. So get your body working double time and grab your Nalgene!
9. Track your walk with a wearable
If you’re serious about tracking your walks for weight loss, a wearable like an Apple Watch, FitBit, or MiBand are extremely helpful.
Again, the MiBand is a cheap, capable, and quality watch we highly recommend.
Since we know that calorie burn changes from person to person, it’s helpful to learn your statistics like calories burned, distance walked, steps taken, heart rate, and even your course’s elevation change.
10. Measure for weight loss (the right way)
You’re putting in the work to lose the weight, and we highly recommend you put in the work to track your weight loss journey. The scale is helpful, but it’s not enough.
As engineers, one of our favorite sayings is, “What gets tracked gets improved,” and weight loss is no different.
Without benchmarking your numbers — weight, body fat percentage, waist-hip ratio, measurements, etc. — how do you know what you’re doing is working?
In our article, ‘Measuring for Weight Loss,’ we share the best metrics to track. We’ll teach you how to measure fat loss and weight loss, and recommend the most accurate tools.
The Health Benefits of Walking
Even if you exercise regularly (or not at all) everyone benefits from added walking.
The American Cancer Society conducted a study of 140,000 adults in 2017 and found profound health benefits from even just a little bit of walking.
For the active walkers, moving for 5 minutes every hour, coupled with one long walk a day for a total of 6 hours a week, showed lasting benefits. These included a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and cancer.
Even for the less active folks who only walked 2 hours a week, the study showed that longevity was still improved.
The data couldn’t be clearer: get up and walk a bit!
Plus, there is equally scary data showing that sitting more than 8 hours a day shortens your life, no matter how active you are.
In fact, the World Health Organization warns that a sedentary lifestyle could be among the 10 leading causes of death and disability in the world. This is why we now use a standing desk and walking as much as possible.
In addition to weight loss and the life-saving benefits, walking achieves the following.
Boosts your mood
Like all forms of exercise, walking reduces feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Increases lean muscle
Walking, especially uphill, strengthens your muscles. This is important for anyone trying to lose weight since muscle helps you burn calories faster.
Additionally, we lose muscle mass as we age, so walking it an excellent longevity hack!
Increases body robustness
Walking strengthens muscles, keeps joints lubricated, and increases the blood flow to distribute more oxygen and nutrients, and prevents inflammation caused by tissue stagnation.
This keeps your body young and prevents injury, aches, and pains.
8-Week Walking Plan for Weight Loss
If you’ve made it this far, you’re determined and deserve a well-thought-out plan.
We’ve created an 8-week walking plan for you. Here is what you can expect regarding weight loss.
Below is the 8-Week Walking Plan for Weight Loss. If you have questions or feedback about the walking plan, feel free to reach out to us in the comments.
Walking to lose weight FAQs
Is it possible to lose weight just by walking?
Absolutely. It is possible but it might require more walking than you expect. That’s why we recommend increasing your pace over time and walking up hills.
Losing 1 lb. per week is a healthy rate to lose weight. To do that just by walking, you’d need to walk for roughly 10.5 hours, 35 miles, or 70,000 steps.
How soon will I see results from walking?
You will feel results (more energy, better sleep, fewer aches and pains) before you see results.
First, you’ll need to track your progress using a body measurement chart. Weight loss can be mysterious and frustrating when tracked using only a scale. Get your tape measure and track progress weekly.
Following our 8-Week Walking Plan for Weight Loss, you should see results from walking within 2-4 weeks.
Does walking reduce belly fat?
Yes, walking reduces belly fat, both subcutaneous and visceral abdominal fat.
According to this study on obese women, walking for 50-70 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks yielded a significant reduction.
When is the best time for walking to lose weight?
So, when should you walk to lose weight most efficiently, morning, afternoon, or evening?
In short: whenever you can be consistent.
Some studies are showing that afternoon walks are most effective, other studies suggest that walking after meals is best for weight loss, and then many health experts swear that morning is the best time to exercise.
You should self-experiment to figure out what is best for your body and your schedule.
If your progress slows, make sure you read about how to fix that stubborn weight loss plateau.
For questions regarding our walking to lose weight charts or the 8-week walking plan, please ask in the comments.
30-Day Weight Loss Challenge
As engineers with ten years of health coaching experience, we needed to create a data-driven way for our clients to sustain weight loss. The number on the scale matters for weight loss, but other numbers are significantly more important.
Too many weight loss challenges involve a long list of what you can, cannot, and need to do every day. We’ve reduced the overwhelm and only require you to track five numbers a day — calories, steps, fiber, sleep, waistline.
In this 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge, you'll track five numbers daily to give you the highest return for sustainable weight loss.
Hey we're Ryan and Alex
The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”
After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.
The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship as a couple.
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