How Much Walking Is Needed to Lose 1 KG?

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.28 - 2024 12:36 PM CET

How Much Walking Is Needed to Lose 1 KG?

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It's estimated that to lose 1 kg of body weight (fat), one needs to burn about 7,000 calories, a caloric deficit that can be achieved through physical activity, dietary changes (ideally both).

The amount of walking required to lose 1 kg depends on several factors, including:

  • Body weight (the most significant factor),

  • Walking intensity,

  • Individual metabolic efficiency.

To make a general calculation, starting from the premise that walking 1 km burns about 0.4-0.5 calories per kilogram of body weight.

Thus, a 70 kg person would burn approximately 28-35 calories per km (0.4 cal 70 kg and 0.5 cal 70 kg).

If 1 kg of body fat equals about 7,000 calories, here's how to calculate the necessary distance to burn that amount:

  • 7,000 / 28 = 250 km

  • 7,000 / 35 = 200 km

This means that a 70 kg person, without changing anything else in their lifestyle, would need to walk

  • between 200-250 km,

  • or about 250,000 – 312,500 steps (with individual differences, estimating about 1,250 steps/km)

  • or about 40-50 hours (at a moderate pace covering about 5 km/h).

Heavier individuals will require shorter distances and vice versa.

Variable Factors

  • Body Weight: The heavier the individual, the more calories burned per km walked, reducing the distance needed to lose 1 kg. Over time, as weight is lost, caloric consumption will decrease (partially offset by a slight increase in muscle mass, which has a higher basal metabolism).

  • Intensity: Walking faster or on uphill terrain increases caloric expenditure, further reducing the necessary distance.

  • Metabolic Efficiency: Variations in walking habit can affect how efficiently the body burns calories; those more accustomed burn fewer calories (the athletic gesture becomes more efficient).

General Considerations

As you can understand, in addition to walking to lose weight, it's absolutely necessary to follow a healthy, low-calorie diet for effective weight loss, but physical activity remains a fundamental component for both weight control and long-term cardiovascular prevention.

Here's how to approach a more active lifestyle if you're currently sedentary:

  • Aim for a brisk pace of at least 8-10,000 steps a day, every day.

  • Start gradually, increasing the number of steps per day little by little.

  • Find a walking buddy to make the activity more enjoyable.

  • Use stairs instead of elevators.

  • Take a walk during your lunch break.

  • Park your car a bit further and walk to your destination.

Walking is a simple and safe way to lose weight and improve your health, but remember:

  • Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

  • Listen to your body and do not push beyond your limits.

  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking.

  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after walking, especially in the summer months.