Can you lose weight by walking?

Can you lose weight by walking?

Staff Writer
6 minute read


Losing weight is one of the most common goals in fitness and it is definitely a great goal to pursue to improve our health and live longer happier lives.

And we have all heard that physical activity is key to fat loss and maintaining good cardiovascular health. But those grueling workouts you see nowadays on social media, tv, and in movies seem really daunting and difficult for someone who has not worked out in a long time, or maybe never before, especially if you have a few extra pounds and don’t feel like you could exercise at all.

Now there’s still hope and maybe the key to your journey towards a healthy weight and lifestyle actually lies in the most simple of physical activities, one that you have done your whole life and that can be scaled to tailor your goals and grant great results.

In this article, we’re gonna cover the benefits of walking for overall health and weight loss and research what the science says about how effective it can be.


It can if you use it in a smart way as part of your health and weight loss strategy and not as the only tool you use because it has been proved that any type of exercise alone is not effective at fat loss in the long term, but are very useful when combined with proper nutrition.

Proper nutrition in an environment of caloric deficit is the proven and sure-proofed way to achieve healthy weight loss. And building lasting healthy habits is the only way to make sure that healthy weight loss is permanent.

Walking can cover both those requirements and is proved to be a perfect tool when combined with diet to achieve the calorie deficit needed to ensure weight loss. 

Walking is a calorie-burning activity that doesn’t cause a “rebound” compensatory effect of food ingestion. Basically put, the calories you burn walking don’t make you hungrier or compensate by overeating


The Data shows that 30-60 minutes of daily walking shows beneficial effects on body weight, body mass index, and fat mass. And the best results and most significant weight loss and health benefits were shown in the long term with people who were able to adhere to the habit for longer. The studies had a duration from 4 weeks up to a year with an average weight loss of 0.5 kg per week when combined with appropriate nutrition changes.

There is also benefit in multiple shorter walks of around 10 minutes as part of daily calories expended as NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) along with other measures you can take to move more during the day outside of structured exercise and training.

The important fact that all studies have in common is that consistency is key to seeing results, so making it a habit. Even if it is for just 10-20 minutes a day is what is going to show the best results for health and longevity.


No need to worry about this at first but once your daily walks become easier you can always make them more challenging to keep improving and stimulating results.

Increasing the time you walk is the obvious next step, however, keep in mind that more is not always better and that there has not been shown an increase in the effectiveness of a 60-minute walk (or longer) over a 30-minute walk. So it might be better to just increase the difficulty by adding an uphill walk or even walking up the stairs instead of just adding more time.

Adding weight to your daily walk with a backpack is an effective way to make them more demanding. This is called rucking and is a form of Low-Intensity Steady State cardiovascular activity (LISS) and has several benefits for fat loss, strength-building and overall health.


Since walking is something fairly easy to add to our daily routine it is really worth noting the numerous other benefits to health associated with frequent walking:


The journey to a healthy life and losing weight doesn’t need to be a hard one and can definitely start with a single step. Here’s the summary of our best tips for walking and moving more to support your weight loss goals:

  • Start where you are with whatever you can do now: No need to go for long training sessions. If all you can do today is walk for 20 minutes that is more than enough to start.

  • Try to make it a habit: 10 minutes walk every day are better than just one or two-hour-long walks only once a week.

  • Combine it with proper nutrition and healthy habits: as we have seen in several studies, exercise alone, and definitely walking alone, won’t achieve your goals. Proper nutrition in a caloric deficit combined with physical activity is the way to go.

  • Once it gets easy, make it more challenging. You can take longer walks, walk up a hill or maybe even add some weight to your backpack, that is called rucking and is actually extremely beneficial to weight loss and overall health.

  • Move a lot: the more you move during the day and accumulate that NEAT the best results you’ll have in your weight loss journey. Here are some examples:

    • Ditch the elevator and use the stairs

    • Walk to places that are not too far, like the grocery store.

    • Park further from your work and walk there.

    • Have short breaks when sitting for long periods of time and just move around and stretch

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