How Many Steps Does It Take to Lose a Pound? (Our Answer)
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Have you started a walking habit in order to lose weight?
The truth is walking can be a great long-term solution to shedding weight, but it's not an overnight solution. So even if you're getting thousands of steps per day, you might wonder:
“How many steps does it take to lose a pound?”
In this article, we will briefly answer this question and then provide some actionable advice, so you can get the best results from your regular walks.
Let's get to it…
What You Will Learn
How Many Steps to Lose a Pound?
Let's start with a quick answer to your question and then I'll do a bit of math to provide more context:
You will need to walk 70,000 steps in order to lose one pound of weight.
Now let's break down the numbers:
- You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound.
- On average, a person burns 100 calories for every 2,000 steps.
- This means you'll burn 500 calories for every 10,000 steps.
- 3,500 calories / 500 calories = 7 walks of 10,000 steps apiece.
- 7 walks * 10,000 steps = 70,000 steps.
- 1 week = 1 pound
Obviously, this isn't an exact science. There are many contributing factors that will increase or decrease the total number of calories burned on your walks. This includes:
- Walking speed
- Environment (i.e. walking on hills, beach, uneven terrain.)
But as a general of thumb, you can expect to lose one pound for every 70,000 steps.
70,000 Steps for One Pound…WTF?!?
Yes, I'll admit that 70,000 steps sounds like a lot of walking in order to shed a single pound.
Perhaps you might think that it's not worth the effort.
But think of it this way, if you challenge yourself to get an average of 10,000 steps per day, that's one pound per week — just from walking.
If you do the math, that's:
- 4 pounds in a month
- 12 pounds in three months
- 24 pounds in six months
On average, a 170-pound male will burn 500 calories in a 10,000 step workout. This number increases when a person speeds up their pace, or due to uphill treks.
This number could also go down for lighter males, women or anyone who maintains a slow pace. If you stick to this goal of 10,000 steps a day, it adds up to burning about 3,500 extra calories a week.
In total, you will lose one pound a week with numbers like these. One pound a week is not a large amount of weight loss, but it is a steady, realistic and achievable goal.
Again, these aren't exact numbers because our bodies respond differently to this habit. But if you commit yourself to “getting your daily steps,” then you'll build a habit that can help you slowly shed those pounds.
Furthermore, if you are someone that does not have a lot of time for a full workout, but feel the need to get back in shape, then walking can be the solution for you.
Going on a diet is generally a more temporary solution, as it often results in a rebound effect. As it was said before, 10,000 steps a day is a great way to start making a sustainable lifestyle change.
And remember, this is just weight you'd lose from walking. If you combine this habit with others like planning healthy meals, controlling your portions, and replacing junk food with healthy snacks, then you can supercharge your walking efforts and lose a couple of pounds per week.
How Do I Lose Weight While Walking?
Now let's take things one step further with a little more math.
To lose weight through walking you’d need to create a “step goal” based on how much you’d like to shed:
Current Weight – Target Weight =
# of Pounds to Lose
# of Pounds to Lose = # of Weeks
So let's do some quick math again:
- 180 pounds – 160 pounds = 20 pounds to lose
- 20 pounds = 20 weeks
20 weeks seems like a long way away, but think of how confident you will feel once you reach your goal.
Even if you have to wait a few weeks longer than you'd like, you will still get the results that you have worked extremely hard for. Just think, you can lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks just by walking 10,000 steps per day. (You can track your steps and other fitness goals with the help of these weight loss apps.)
Most people would not even consider doing this type of routine, because the majority of people trying to lose weight, or get into a healthier lifestyle, want results fast. (Learn how to turn your walk into a cardio workout in in this post.)
These people usually turn to fad diets that lead to failure, because of the simple fact that these types of diets are too high maintenance and unrealistic.
Walking those extra thousand steps a day can seem like a challenge, but when you think about it, walking is a regular part of our day. It is something that we do without even thinking about it.
Walking every day, even for just a few blocks, can become a great routine. You could take the dog out with you, or your significant other, and make it a special bonding time for the two of you.
Final Thoughts on Steps to Lose Weight
In general, walking is one of the best health habits you can build. Not only does it help you lose weight, it also has a wide-range of benefits like giving you extra Vitamin D from the sun, stronger leg muscles and that daily rush of endorphins.
Getting your blood flowing will give you that extra boost of energy and will also help you sleep better at night. These days it is very hard to find a workout routine that fits your schedule and your preferences, but walking 10,000 steps a day is something that everyone can do each day.
And if you'd like to learn more, then I recommend checking out these walking-related articles:
Good luck and enjoy your next walk!