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Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: July 20, 2023
The journey to weight loss is a varied one, filled with different paths, exercises, and methods. One of the most simple, yet effective methods, is walking. While it may seem too mundane or straightforward, walking has proven to be an exceptional exercise for weight loss, and it’s a regimen that can be followed by almost anyone, regardless of fitness level.
This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of walking to lose weight, leveraging informative charts, tips, and an introductory walking plan.
Table of Contents
- Walking is an effective and accessible exercise for weight loss, with different speeds and inclines resulting in different levels of caloric burn.
- To lose 1 pound per week, you would need to burn approximately 3,500 calories more than your intake, achievable by integrating a steady walking routine.
- Walking speeds significantly affect the number of calories burnt, with brisk walking offering the most weight-loss benefits.
- Walking uphill can significantly increase caloric burn, as it involves more muscle engagement and energy expenditure.
- Consistency is key for weight loss success, along with following a balanced diet and gradually increasing the intensity of your walks.
Walking to Lose Weight Charts
How Much to Walk to Lose 1 Pound per Week Chart
|Body Weight||Calories Burned Per Mile (Moderate Pace)||Miles Needed to Walk Daily to Lose 1 Pound per Week|
|120 lbs||~65 calories||7.7 miles|
|150 lbs||~80 calories||6.25 miles|
|180 lbs||~100 calories||5 miles|
|210 lbs||~115 calories||4.3 miles|
|240 lbs||~130 calories||3.8 miles|
In this chart, we’ve displayed a breakdown of how much an individual needs to walk daily to lose approximately one pound per week, based on their body weight and a moderate walking pace.
This chart is built on the premise that 1 pound of weight loss equates to a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories. This means you would need to burn an additional 500 calories per day (3,500 ÷ 7 days) to lose 1 pound per week.
Let’s start with an individual who weighs 120 pounds. At a moderate pace, they burn approximately 65 calories per mile walked. To achieve a daily deficit of 500 calories, they would need to walk about 7.7 miles per day (500 ÷ 65).
For a person weighing 150 pounds, the caloric burn increases to around 80 calories per mile. Therefore, to reach a 500 calorie daily deficit, they need to walk approximately 6.25 miles (500 ÷ 80).
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As the weight increases, so does the caloric burn. For example, a person weighing 180 pounds burns around 100 calories per mile, meaning they’d need to walk 5 miles per day to achieve the 500 calorie deficit.
At 210 pounds, an individual burns approximately 115 calories per mile. So, they would need to walk around 4.3 miles each day to reach the same deficit.
Lastly, a 240-pound person would burn about 130 calories per mile walked at a moderate pace. Thus, they would need to walk about 3.8 miles per day to create a 500 calorie deficit.
Remember, these numbers are approximations and actual calories burned can vary based on factors such as metabolic rate, walking efficiency, and more. However, this chart provides a helpful starting point for understanding how much you might need to walk to reach your weight loss goals.
Walking Speeds and Caloric Burn Chart
|Walking Speed (mph)||Calories Burned Per Mile for 150 lbs||Calories Burned Per Mile for 180 lbs||Calories Burned Per Mile for 210 lbs|
|2 (casual pace)||~65 calories||~80 calories||~95 calories|
|3 (moderate pace)||~80 calories||~100 calories||~115 calories|
|4 (brisk pace)||~95 calories||~115 calories||~135 calories|
This chart illustrates the approximate number of calories burned per mile when walking at different speeds, considering different body weights.
If you’re walking at a casual pace of 2 mph, a 150-pound person would burn approximately 65 calories per mile, while a 180-pound person would burn around 80 calories. A heavier person, say 210 pounds, would burn around 95 calories at the same pace.
Increasing the walking speed to a moderate 3 mph increases the caloric burn to around 80 calories per mile for a 150-pound person, about 100 calories for a 180-pound person, and approximately 115 calories for a 210-pound person.
Lastly, at a brisk pace of 4 mph, a 150-pound person would burn approximately 95 calories per mile, a 180-pound person around 115 calories, and a 210-pound person about 135 calories.
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This information is crucial for creating a walking plan that aligns with your weight loss goals. By understanding how speed and weight impact caloric burn, you can estimate the duration and speed you need to walk to reach your specific goals. Remember, these figures are estimates, and the actual caloric burn can vary based on individual factors.
Walking Uphill and Caloric Burn Chart
|Incline (%)||Calories Burned Per Mile for 150 lbs||Calories Burned Per Mile for 180 lbs||Calories Burned Per Mile for 210 lbs|
|Flat (0%)||~80 calories||~100 calories||~115 calories|
|5%||~105 calories||~125 calories||~145 calories|
|10%||~130 calories||~155 calories||~180 calories|
|15%||~155 calories||~185 calories||~215 calories|
This chart demonstrates how walking uphill at varying inclines increases caloric burn per mile, based on different body weights.
Walking on a flat surface with no incline at a moderate pace, a 150-pound person burns around 80 calories per mile. A 180-pound person burns about 100 calories, and a 210-pound person burns approximately 115 calories.
As the incline increases to 5%, the caloric burn increases significantly. For example, a 150-pound person will now burn around 105 calories per mile, a 180-pound person will burn about 125 calories, and a 210-pound person will burn roughly 145 calories.
At a more challenging incline of 10%, the caloric burn rises further. A 150-pound person will burn around 130 calories, a 180-pound person approximately 155 calories, and a 210-pound person about 180 calories.
Lastly, at a very steep incline of 15%, the caloric burn continues to rise. A 150-pound person will burn approximately 155 calories per mile, a 180-pound person around 185 calories, and a 210-pound person could burn up to 215 calories.
This chart can help you understand how adding incline to your walks can boost caloric burn, which can significantly speed up weight loss. However, it’s essential to build up your fitness gradually before attempting steeper inclines to avoid injury. As always, these figures are estimates and individual results may vary.
Sample Walking Plan to Get You Started
Getting started on a walking routine for weight loss can seem daunting, especially if you’re new to regular exercise. The key to a successful routine is to start slow and gradually increase intensity and duration over time. Here’s a simple, beginner-friendly 9-week walking plan to get you started:
- Week 1-2: Walk for 20 minutes at a moderate pace (3 mph), 5 days a week.
- Week 3-4: Increase to 30 minutes per walk, maintaining a moderate pace, 5 days a week.
- Week 5-6: Increase to 40 minutes per walk, try incorporating a brisk pace (4 mph) for 10 minutes during the walk, 5 days a week.
- Week 7-8: Walk for 45 minutes, alternating between moderate and brisk pace, 5 days a week. Start including a mild incline (5%) during part of your walk.
- Week 9 and beyond: Gradually increase the time, speed, and incline based on your comfort and ability.
This plan starts with 20-minute walks at a moderate pace for the first two weeks. This duration and speed are manageable for most beginners and are designed to help your body adapt to regular exercise.
By week three, you should increase your walking duration to 30 minutes per walk, maintaining the moderate pace. This increase challenges your endurance and burns more calories, boosting your weight loss efforts.
For weeks five and six, try increasing your walk duration to 40 minutes. Start incorporating periods of brisk walking (4 mph) for about 10 minutes during your walk. This shift in speed not only burns more calories but also introduces your body to higher intensity exercise.
By week seven, you should be ready to walk for 45 minutes at a time, alternating between moderate and brisk pace. At this stage, start introducing a mild incline to your walks. As discussed earlier, walking uphill increases the intensity of your workout and significantly boosts your caloric burn.
After the ninth week, continue to gradually increase the duration, speed, and incline based on your comfort, ability, and weight loss goals. The key is to listen to your body and progress at a pace that is challenging but sustainable in the long run.
Remember, consistency is the key to any successful weight loss plan. Even on days when you don’t feel like it, try to do at least a short walk. Every step you take brings you closer to your weight loss goals.
Our Top Tips for Success
Adopting a walking routine for weight loss is a fantastic step towards a healthier lifestyle. However, to maximize your success and sustain your efforts over the long term, consider these top tips:
- Set Realistic Goals: Goal setting is crucial, but it’s important to keep these goals achievable. Setting overly ambitious goals can lead to burnout and disappointment. Start with small, attainable goals, like walking for 20 minutes a day, and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your walks as your fitness improves.
- Consistency is Key: Consistency trumps intensity when it comes to long-term weight loss. It’s better to walk a little every day than to exhaust yourself with a long walk once a week. Aim for a daily routine that you can stick to.
- Pair Walking with a Healthy Diet: While walking can contribute to a calorie deficit, it’s most effective when combined with a balanced, nutritious diet. Remember, weight loss is about energy balance. You want to expend more calories than you consume.
- Mix It Up: Adding variety to your walking routine can keep it exciting and prevent boredom. Try different routes, incorporate hills or stairs, or listen to your favorite music, podcast, or audiobook while walking.
- Listen to Your Body: If you’re feeling tired or experiencing pain, give your body time to rest and recover. Pushing through the pain can lead to injury, which could set you back on your weight loss journey.
- Track Your Progress: Use a fitness tracker or a simple journal to keep track of your daily steps, distance covered, and calories burned. Seeing your progress can be incredibly motivating and can help you adjust your routine as needed.
- Stay Hydrated: Even if you’re just walking, your body still needs plenty of water, especially in hot weather. Stay hydrated to keep your body functioning well.
- Get Good Walking Shoes: A good pair of walking shoes can make a big difference in your comfort and performance. Look for shoes that offer good support and fit well.
- Use Walking as “Me” Time: See your daily walk as a time to disconnect from the pressures of the day. This shift in mindset can make your walks more enjoyable and something you look forward to.
Remember, every person is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with different strategies and see what works best for you. Over time, these small changes can lead to significant improvements in your overall health and fitness.
Walking for weight loss is a journey, not a sprint. It may take time, but the benefits are worth the effort. With consistency, a balanced diet, and a gradual increase in intensity, you can make significant strides towards your weight loss goals.
Remember, it’s not just about the calories burnt during the walk; it’s also about the improved metabolism, enhanced mood, and overall healthier lifestyle.
So, lace up your shoes and get started on your journey today!