How Many Miles A Day To Lose Weight? Essential Guide In 2024

Are you tired of struggling to shed those extra pounds? Look no further! Welcome to our essential guide on how many miles a day you should be walking to achieve weight loss.[1] 

Taking a walk is a simple yet powerful exercise that can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or a beginner, this article will provide valuable insights on losing weight effectively. 

We’ll explore the optimal walking frequency, discussing how often you should aim to walk. Even if it’s infrequent, increasing your daily mileage can maximize your calorie burn and accelerate your weight loss journey.[2]

How Many Miles Should I Walk A Day To Lose Weight?

To lose weight, it’s important to create a calorie deficit. There are approximately 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. On average, walking one mile at a brisk pace burns around 100 calories.[3] 

This will vary slightly according to your body weight, gender, and ethnicity but we will use this as a general guide.

To lose one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories.[2] This translates to approximately 35 miles.

If you plan to exercise seven days a week, dividing the 35 miles evenly would mean performing around five miles daily. Maintaining this routine for a week can potentially cause you to lose one pound of fat. However, various factors, including diet, metabolism, and overall activity level, influence weight loss.

How Many Miles A Day To Lose Weight?

Running five miles daily for a week can potentially lose one pound of fat. Photo: Freepik

Optimal Frequency

To maximize weight loss through walking, aiming for seven to nine weekly walking sessions is recommended. While walking five times a week can be beneficial, increasing the frequency can significantly impact your weight. Adding a few more sessions can create a consistent routine that keeps your metabolism engaged and burns calories more effectively. 

Additionally, spreading your walks throughout the week allows for better recovery and reduces the risk of overuse injuries. Remember, consistency is key when losing weight, so strive to meet the recommended frequency for optimal results.

Determining The Ideal Mileage

When it comes to the number of miles to walk each day for weight loss, a range of three to five miles is generally recommended. However, this can vary depending on your fitness level, current weight, and overall goals.

Starting with lower mileage and gradually increasing it over time can help prevent burnout. It also allows your body to adapt to the increased physical activity. Finding a balance that challenges you without pushing you beyond your limits is crucial. You can create a sustainable calorie deficit by consistently walking three to five miles daily.

Understanding Caloric Expenditure

The number of calories burned[4] while walking depends on factors such as body weight, walking speed, and terrain. On average, a person weighing 155 pounds can burn around 314 calories per hour of brisk walking. However, the actual calorie expenditure may differ for each individual.

To estimate the calories burned during your walks more accurately, use a fitness tracker or online calculator. Tracking your caloric expenditure can help you better understand the impact of your walks and adjust your calorie intake accordingly.

Caloric Deficit: The Key To Losing Weight

Creating a calorie deficit[5] is essential to lose weight. This means consuming fewer calories than your body needs to maintain weight. Walking can contribute to this deficit by increasing your daily energy expenditure. 

For example, if you burn an extra 300 calories through walking each day and reduce your calorie intake by 300 calories, you can achieve a total deficit of 600 calories per day. Over time, this consistent calorie deficit will result in gradual and sustainable weight loss. 

However, it’s crucial to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet to ensure you’re still meeting your body’s nutritional needs while losing weight.

Benefits Of Walking

Walking is a low-impact exercise that offers numerous benefits. Besides burning calories, it also helps improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and increase endurance. Regular walking can boost your metabolism, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight in the long run. 

Walking is accessible to most people and can be easily incorporated into daily routines. Walking also provides mental health benefits by reducing stress, improving mood, and increasing overall well-being. By committing to a consistent walking routine, you can enjoy the physical and mental benefits of this simple yet effective exercise.

Gradual Progression

When increasing your daily mileage, it’s important to do so gradually and listen to your body. Pushing beyond your comfort zone too quickly can lead to injuries or burnout. 

Start by adding an extra half-mile or mile to your walks every few weeks, gradually progressing towards your target mileage. Additionally, consider incorporating interval training or walking uphill to increase intensity and challenge your body. 

Remember to maintain good form, wear appropriate footwear, and stay hydrated during your walks. Progressively increasing your distance and intensity while paying attention to your body allows you to safely lose weight through walking.

Walking is an excellent form of exercise, offering a range of benefits for both physical and mental well-being. Following the recommended frequency, you can harness the power of walking to lose weight.

Facts About Being Overweight

Being overweight[6] affects your physical appearance and significantly affects your overall health and well-being. Carrying excess weight can increase the risk of various health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems. 

If you want to lose weight, incorporating walking into your daily routine is simple and effective. Walking[1] several miles a day can help you create a calorie deficit, burning calories and aiding in weight loss. 

By gradually increasing your mileage and maintaining a consistent pace, you can burn body fat and improve your fitness level. Alongside this, you can also achieve a healthier body composition. 

It’s important to remember that weight loss is not just about the number on the scale. Lifestyle changes, such as eating fewer calories and making healthier choices, are also essential for long-term success.

How Many Calories Does A Mile Run Burn?

Regarding weight loss and burning calories, running is an excellent exercise choice. If you’re wondering how many calories a mile run burns,[7] it depends on factors such as body weight, pace, and fitness level.

On average, a 154-pound person running at 5 miles per hour is estimated to burn 590 calories every hour. If we divide this by five, we get 118 calories per mile.

With this, regular daily running can significantly increase your calorie expenditure.

Ways To Burn More Calories During Your Walk

Whilst walking might burn fewer calories compared to running, there are several things you can do to increase this. Incorporate these tips into your walking workouts when looking to get in shape.

  • Incline Walk – Walking on an incline requires more effort[8] than walking on flat terrain. More effort requires more calories to perform the walk successfully. Find a suitable incline location and either perform a pure incline walk or add in some steps for a bigger calorie burn. 
  • Integrate Strength Training – Adding bouts of strength training into your walk increases the amount of calories[9] you burn. It also provides some variety and splits the walk into manageable sections. Add some walking lunges, and jumps, or find a nearby bench and do some arm exercises. 
  • Increase The Intensity – This one is pretty simple. The higher the intensity of the walk, the more calories you’ll burn[10] in a shorter amount of time. Plot a walking distance and try to beat your previous time each time you walk. 
  • Add Intervals – Intervals are a great way to add training variety and increase the calorie burn. Walk as fast as you can for a set period then slow down to recover. Repeat as needed. 

Sample Walking Workouts Variety

The sample walking workouts below can be used according to your training goals and environment. They’re easy to perform and add some variety to your training. 

Treadmill Walking Workout

If you want to keep things simple, a steady-pace treadmill walking workout does the trick. It helps you meet the minimum suggested requirement[11] for daily exercise and burns a decent amount of calories.

  1. Perform a suitable[12] warm-up consisting of dynamic stretches and a slow five-minute walk. This is to lubricate your joints, increase your heart rate, and improve blood flow. 
  2. Set your treadmill speed so you’re walking at a moderate intensity.[13] This is equal to a brisk pace where you should be able to talk comfortably. 
  3. Walk for 30 minutes for each session. Increase the speed or incline periodically when looking to progress your workout.  

High-Intensity Interval Walking Workout

Whilst the benefits of physical activity are well-known, around 20% of people[14] don’t perform enough worldwide. Most people attribute their low exercise participation to not having enough time[15] available. 

Exercise modes that take up less time but have the same health benefits can help to improve weekly exercise participation. Performing exercise at a higher intensity is one way to achieve this.

High-intensity interval training[16] involves short periods of intense exercise that alternate with recovery periods. This allows you to burn a similar amount of calories in a much smaller time period. 

  1. Perform a brief warm-up for two minutes at a steady walking pace.
  2. Walk for two minutes followed by a one-minute sprint. 
  3. Repeat the same intervals for two sets, making six in total. 
  4. Perform a one-minute cool down at a steady walking pace.

Hillwalking Workout

Wherever you’re walking, you likely have a hill around you. Hillwalking is a great way to increase the intensity of your workout. As we’ve mentioned above, it’s also an easy way to burn more calories if you’re looking to get in shape. 

All you need is a suitable hill and yourself. Hillwalking workouts can also be done using an incline or decline depending on your workout. For this example, we’ve used both. 

  1. Start with a five-minute flat jog.
  2. Run up the hill for five seconds then walk down slowly. Repeat this for 10 seconds and fifteen seconds.
  3. Do this three times followed by a flat walk to cool down.

Other Weight-Loss Tips

Other Weight-Loss Tips
HIIT workout can maximize calorie burn and boost your metabolism. Photo: Freepik
  • Strength Training[17]: Incorporating this training routine helps build lean muscle mass, increasing your metabolism and aiding in weight loss. Aim for two to three sessions per week.
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT workouts involve alternating periods of intense exercise with short recovery periods. This training can maximize calorie burn[2] and boost your metabolism.
  • Hydration: Stay adequately hydrated throughout the day as it helps maintain proper bodily functions and can support weight loss efforts. Opt for water or unsweetened beverages instead of sugary drinks.
  • Sleep and Stress Management[18]: Prioritize getting enough quality sleep and managing stress levels. Lack of sleep and chronic stress can disrupt hormone levels and increase cravings for unhealthy foods. This can then hinder fat-burning and weight-loss progress.
  • Portion Control: Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating. Use smaller plates, measure your food, and practice portion control strategies to manage your caloric intake effectively.
  • Balanced Meals: Eat balanced meals with lean protein, fiber-rich vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. These meals help keep you full and satisfied and provide essential nutrients.
  • Regular Physical Activity: Besides running, engage in other forms of physical activity you enjoy, such as cycling, swimming, or dancing. Variety helps keep your workouts fun and prevents exercise boredom.
  • Consistency and Patience: Remember that sustainable weight loss takes time and consistency. Stay committed to your healthy habits, be patient with yourself, and celebrate small victories.


Achieving weight loss requires a combination of strategies, including creating a calorie deficit, engaging in regular physical activity, and adopting healthy eating habits. 

Adding walking or running into your routine can effectively burn calories and contribute to weight loss. However, it’s important to remember that sustainable weight management takes time and consistency. 

By following these tips and staying committed to your goals, you can embark on a successful weight loss journey. This can lead to a healthier and fitter lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many times a week should you exercise to lose weight?

Aim for seven to nine exercise sessions per week to maximize weight loss.

What is the recommended daily mileage?

Consider walking or running three to 10 miles a day.

How many calories should you consume to lose weight?

Eating fewer calories than your body needs is recommended to create a calorie deficit.

How many calories do you burn during exercise?

The number of calories burned varies depending on factors like intensity and duration.

Does walking help with weight loss?

Walking can aid in weight loss by burning calories and contributing to a calorie deficit.

What is a calorie deficit?

A calorie deficit occurs when you consume fewer calories than you burn.

Are there health benefits associated with losing weight?

Yes, losing weight can improve overall health, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

What are some effective exercises for weight loss?

Besides walking, exercises like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training can be beneficial.


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