Walking to Burn Fat and Lose Weight

Walking Off Weight

To lose weight and keep it off, you need to get moving. Though walking is a regular part of your everyday life, it can also be a part of your weight loss strategy. Walking at a moderate pace for 30 to 60 minutes burns stored fat and can build muscle to speed up your metabolism.

Weight Loss Walking Plans

To use walking as part of your weight loss plan, you need to be consistent with your workout schedule.

Health authorities recommend walking an hour a day most days of the week to support weight loss. That is a significant amount of time to spend exercising. The good news is that this will also reduce your health risks, so it has multiple benefits.

  • Walking Schedule for Weight Loss
    Mix up your walking workouts to get the most weight loss effect. Use this plan for short days, long days, long easy days, days off, and weight training. You won't get bored doing the same kind of walk each day. You'll build your aerobic capacity, endurance, and walking speed.
  • Treadmill Weight Loss Walking Plan
    If you prefer using the treadmill for your workouts, this plan will help you challenge your body with a variety of workouts and a weekly schedule to maximize them.

You may be more successful staying on the path to losing weight by keeping track of your walking time and calories. Keeping a log or journal will help ensure success, or use a pedometer with memory or that is linked to an app to track your walks and exercise. Check out these best activity trackers and pedometers for losing weight to see those that include coaching, a food diary, and nutrition analysis in their apps and online dashboards.

How Many Calories Can You Burn Walking?

You can use walking to balance how many calories your burn each day with the calories that you eat. If you burn more than you eat, you can lose weight. But you need to know the numbers.

The number of calories that you burn walking depends mostly on how much you weigh and how far you walk. If you weigh more, you burn more. If you walk farther, you burn more calories. Lesser factors include speed and incline. You can use these calculator charts to see how it varies.

There are good and bad ways to try to burn more calories when walking. Walking farther is the best and safest tactic. Walking at a brisk pace is recommended both for burning fat and for getting the best health benefits from your walking workouts. Walking with fitness walking poles is another good tactic to boost your calorie burn at any walking speed.

What not to do? Avoid wearing ankle or wrist weights or carrying dumbbells in your hands.

Adding weights when you go for a walk can place unnatural stress on your joints and lead to aches and pains, as well as make it harder to use good walking form. This is also a reason to avoid heavy shoes if they are not necessary.

The bottom line is that, to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn each day. One candy bar takes three to five miles of walking to burn off, for example, so awareness is key.

How Fast and How Long Do You Need to Walk to Burn Fat?

Speed matters when it comes to doing effective walking workouts. You should walk at a brisk, determined pace. In the prime fat-burning zone, your heart rate should reach 60 percent to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Use our target heart rate calculator charts to see what that zone is for your age. The best walking workout distance and time for weight loss make your body burn stored fat as fuel.

Aim to walk for 30 to 60 minutes per day, five days per week at a brisk walking pace. Shorter walks are also beneficial for burning calories in general, so don't skip a walk just because you can't walk for over 30 minutes. Walking 10 to 15 minutes is far better than just sitting around.

When You've Been Walking and Not Losing Any Weight

If you've been walking as much (or more) than is recommended, and you don't see any weight loss, it's wise to step back and take an honest look at your eating and exercise habits. At this point, you need to start a food diary so you can reference the calories you are eating each day. There may be one included in the app for your fitness tracker, or you can use another app or online site, such as CalorieCount. Your fitness tracker is likely to be tracking your exercise calories, or you can also add those.

Discuss your weight loss goals and challenges with your doctor or health care advisor, especially if you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.

Ask for advice as to what dieting strategy might work best for you.

A Word From Verywell

You've taken the first step on your weight loss journey by looking for how to walk off weight. You can do this. If you are new to walking, you'll discover how it can do more for you than simply burn calories. Being active, you are also reducing your health risks at any weight. When you've had success in taking off 10 pounds or more, you'll also find it even easier to enjoy walking. Keep moving and enjoy a healthy, active life


CDC. Physical activity and health.

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