How Many Miles A Day To Lose Weight? Here’s The Answer 2024

how many miles a day to lose weight
Every Mile Counts Toward Weight Loss. Photo: Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock

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Embarking on a weight loss journey? Understandably, you’re eager, perhaps a touch apprehensive, and brimming with questions. You may be wondering, how many miles a day to lose weight? Envision lacing up your running shoes and confidently taking on the path ahead.

By combining the right workouts, nutrition, and rest, you can tailor your journey to fit your unique needs. Remember, every mile you run, walk, or jog pushes you one step closer to your goals.

How Many Miles A Day To Lose Weight?

To lose weight, one should aim to run or walk a certain number of miles daily, tailored to their unique needs and metabolism. On average, running 1 mile burns about 100 calories. So, running or walking 5 miles daily could contribute to a calorie deficit leading to weight loss of about one pound per week. Individual results vary based on factors like age, weight, and consistency. Pairing this routine with a healthy diet and other fitness strategies can optimize weight loss outcomes.

How Many Miles Do You Need To Walk A Day for Weight Loss?

how many miles a day to lose weight
Pursuing Weight Loss, One Mile at a Time. Photo: Nina Buday/Shutterstock

Weight loss can often feel like a mathematical maze, but let’s simplify things a bit. On average, you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose one pound of body weight.[1] With this in mind, how many miles should you walk daily to lose weight and achieve this? How much running or how much walking to lose weight is not just a question of distance but also your intensity, consistency, and metabolic rate. Let’s break it down further to help you craft your optimal routine:

The Basics Of Weight Loss And Miles

The answer to how much exercise is needed to effectively lose weight isn’t a one-size-fits-all. On average, running 1 mile burns about 100 calories. If you aim to lose one pound per week — equivalent to a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day — you’d need to run about 5 miles daily. However, remember that factors such as age, weight, and metabolism also play roles in determining how many miles to walk a day to lose weight.

Understand Your Body’s Metabolic Rate

Not everyone burns calories at the same rate. Your age, gender, and genes are pivotal in determining your basal metabolic rate, BMR,[2] or the rate at which you burn calories at rest. Someone packing more muscles will burn more calories, even while lounging, compared to someone with a higher fat ratio. The easiest way to calculate BMR is to use an online calculator. A general rule of thumb is to use anywhere from 30-35 kcal/kg.[3] The lower range would be for females at rest (for breathing, digestion, circulation), and the higher range would be for males.

The Hamwi formula for determining[4] ideal body weight for women is IBW in pounds  = 100+5 x (height inches-60 inches), and for men, IBW = 106+6 x (height-60 inches). To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by 2.2. So, the ideal body weight for a 5’2” woman would be 100 + 5 x (62-60)= 100 + 10 = 110, and 110/2.2 kg =50 kg x 30 kcal/kg =1,500 calories are needed per day for basic metabolism of a woman who is 5’2” with an IBW of 110 lbs.

Walking Vs. Running

Walking 4 miles a day[5] can be just as effective as running, especially for beginners. While running might burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, walking, especially brisk walking, can also contribute significantly to weight loss. A consistent walking routine — you don’t need to run 10 miles a day — can yield results over time.

Consistency Is Key

It’s not just about hitting a certain number of miles once or twice a week but establishing a routine. Whether walking or running 3 miles a day, the most important factor in your success is sticking to your new routine.

Factor In Diet And Lifestyle

Weight loss is a complex process involving exercise, diet, and lifestyle.[6] Even if you’re walking or running adequate miles, neglecting a balanced diet or not getting adequate rest can hinder progress. Remember to pair your exercise routine with a nutritious diet and proper hydration.

Track And Adjust

Invest in tools that can help you track your progress. This could be as simple as a basic pedometer or a more advanced fitness tracker. Some devices even come with a how many miles a day to lose weight calculator, making it easier for you to set and meet your goals.[7]

Remember, every person’s journey is unique. Tailor your routine to your needs, goals, and capabilities.

How Many Calories Can You Burn Running A Mile?

When you set foot on the pavement, track, or treadmill, it’s not just about the distance but the energy your body uses up. On average, you could burn 100 calories for every mile you run[8] at a slow pace. Your weight, pace, running efficiency and terrain can impact the calorie-burning process.

Moreover, as you continuously challenge yourself, your body becomes more efficient at running. This means that you might notice fewer calories burned for the same distance over time. The key? Mix up your routine, add some interval training or cross-training exercises, and always keep your body guessing. This way, you can maximize the benefits[9] and inch closer to your weight loss goals.

Tips To Successfully Lose Weight With Running

how many miles a day to lose weight
Running Smartly: Key Steps to Weight Loss Success. Photo: NDAB Creativity/Shutterstock

Embarking on a weight loss journey through running is both exhilarating and challenging. Your approach and preparation play crucial roles in determining the results. Here are some tried-and-true tips to help ensure your efforts are both effective and sustainable:

Get Started

Beginning your routine is often the most challenging part. Set manageable goals for yourself. If you’re new to running or walking, begin with walking, gradually transition to a light jog, and then run. 

Consistency Is Key

The frequency of your runs can be as vital as the distance covered. Whether your goal revolves around walking 4 miles a day or running 3 miles, maintaining a steady routine is essential. Consistency not only helps in establishing a habit but also keeps your metabolism churning, optimizing calorie burn.[10]

Equipment Matters

The foundation of a good run starts at your feet. Investing in a pair of quality running shoes can be a game-changer. The right fit and comfort can enhance your performance, reduce the risk of injuries, and make those miles more enjoyable.

Listen To Your Body

Your body is the best barometer of your limits. Hydration is essential, so you should drink water at regular intervals during your walk or run. Pushing too hard, too soon, might lead to injuries.

Stay Motivated

One of the challenges with consistent running is keeping the spirit alive. A local running group or a partner can be an excellent source of encouragement. Alternatively, leverage technology to help you stay motivated. Apps can help track your milestones and progress, adding a layer of motivation.

Other Ways To Lose Weight Effectively

Running is a fantastic weight-loss ally, but it is just one tool in your fitness toolbox. Mixing up your strategy supercharges your weight-loss journey. Here are some other efficient methods to complement your journey:

Incorporate Strength Training

Combining your cardio routine with strength exercises can amplify your results. Not only do these exercises tone your muscles, but they also enhance your metabolic rate.[11] Thus, your body continues to burn calories[12] even during periods of inactivity, making the fusion of running and resistance workouts a potent strategy for weight loss.

Mind Your Diet

Your food choices have a direct impact on your weight loss journey. Emphasizing nutrient-rich foods, monitoring caloric intake, and limiting empty-calorie items like soda and chips is paramount. Moreover, the addition of safe weight loss supplements can further optimize your nutrition. 

Count Your Steps

Setting a goal for a specific number of steps a day is more than a motivating metric. Tracking your steps daily can push you toward consistent activity.

Understand Your Body’s Needs

Recognizing how many calories you burn on a daily basis, using the Mifflin-St Jeor equation, allows for more strategic planning. With this knowledge, you can tailor both your diet and exercise regimen.[13]

Explore Supplements

At times, an added boost might be necessary for your body. Fat burner supplements can supplement your efforts in reducing body fat, giving your body every possible advantage in your weight loss journey.


Running or walking several miles daily can be a transformative approach to weight loss. However, when it comes to the question about how many miles a day I should walk to lose weight, it is more about consistency, understanding your unique metabolic needs, and listening to your body.

With every mile, you’re losing weight and paving the way for a healthier you. Incorporating diverse strategies can help with your weight loss journey. For more guidance, always turn to trusted resources on how to lose weight safely and sustainably.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many miles a week to lose weight?

It largely depends on individual metabolism, dietary habits, and exercise intensity. On average, walking or running 20–30 miles a week combined with a balanced diet with a calorie deficit can result in noticeable weight loss.

Is walking 3 miles a day enough to lose weight?

Walking 3 miles daily can make a noticeable difference in your weight loss journey. If you consistently walk this distance, you could see a gradual weight loss of about 1 pound a week, especially when paired with a low-calorie diet.

Can you lose belly fat by walking?

Yes, walking can help shed belly fat, especially when combined with a calorie-controlled diet. It’s an effective, low-impact exercise that boosts metabolism and burns calories.

+ 13 Sources

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  1. Cox, C. (2017). Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance. Diabetes Spectrum, [online] 30(3), pp.157–160. doi:
  2. Ju Young Kim (2021). Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance. Journal of obesity & metabolic syndrome, [online] 30(1), pp.20–31. doi:
  3. (2023). Human energy requirements. [online] Available at:
  4. Peterson, C.M., Thomas, D.M., Blackburn, G.L. and Heymsfield, S.B. (2016). Universal equation for estimating ideal body weight and body weight at any BMI. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, [online] 103(5), pp.1197–1203. doi:
  5. Volek, J.S., VanHeest, J.L. and Forsythe, C.E. (2005). Diet and Exercise for Weight Loss. Sports Medicine, [online] 35(1), pp.1–9. doi:
  6. Müller, M.J., J Enderlé and Bosy‐Westphal, A. (2016). Changes in Energy Expenditure with Weight Gain and Weight Loss in Humans. Current Obesity Reports, [online] 5(4), pp.413–423. doi:
  7. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. (2022). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: Nutrient timing. [online] Available at:
  8. Steeves, J.A., Thompson, D.L. and Bassett, D.R. (2012). Energy Cost of Stepping in Place while Watching Television Commercials. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, [online] 44(2), pp.330–335. doi:
  9. Muhammed Mustafa Atakan, Li, Y., Şükran Nazan Koşar, Hüseyin Hüsrev Turnagöl and Yan, X. (2021). Evidence-Based Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training on Exercise Capacity and Health: A Review with Historical Perspective. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, [online] 18(13), pp.7201–7201. doi:
  10. Cox, C. (2017). Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance. Diabetes Spectrum, [online] 30(3), pp.157–160. doi:
  11. McPherron, A.C., Guo, T., Bond, N.D. and Оксана Гаврилова (2013). Increasing muscle mass to improve metabolism. Adipocyte, [online] 2(2), pp.92–98. doi:
  12. McPherron, A.C., Guo, T., Bond, N.D. and Оксана Гаврилова (2013). Increasing muscle mass to improve metabolism. Adipocyte, [online] 2(2), pp.92–98. doi:
  13. Cox, C. (2017). Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance. Diabetes Spectrum, [online] 30(3), pp.157–160. doi:


My Bachelor’s is in Psychology, and I have been a professional writer for over 17 years. I’ve been married for 15 years and have four amazing kids. We reside in Punta Gorda, Florida. I am passionate… See More