Burn Calories Walking

How You Burn Calories Walking

Your weight and the distance you walk determine the energy calories burned while walking. Walking speed matters less than distance and weight. A rule of thumb is 100 calories per mile for a 180-pound person and 65 for a 120-pound person. Use this calculator or see the chart at the bottom of the page.

If you can achieve the speed of walking a mile in 13 minutes or less, you will burn more calories per mile. But for most beginning walkers, it is best to increase the distance before working on speed.

Burning Calories to Lose Weight

To lose weight, you need to increase your activity to burn more calories and/or eat fewer calories each day. Start with knowing how many calories your body burns per day just in maintaining your current weight.

Burning A Pound of Fat

A pound of fat equals 3500 calories. To lose 1 pound a week you will need to burn 3500 more calories than you eat that week. Losing one pound of fat a week is a sensible goal, but it requires a reduction of 500 calories per day. You can do this by increasing your calorie-burning activity or by eating fewer calories — or both. It is easier to achieve it with the combination of increased activity and eating less. Exercising enough each day to burn 300 to 400 calories is a good goal for the exercise portion of your weight loss plan.

Note About the Walking Calories Chart
See the walking calories chart at the bottom of this page. You might burn more calories per mile at very low speeds because you are basically stopping and starting with each step and your momentum isn’t helping to carry you along. Meanwhile, at very high walking speeds you are using more muscle groups with arm motion and with a racewalking stride. Those extra muscles burn up extra calories with each step. Running can burn more calories per mile as there is an up and down motion lifting your weight off the ground as well as moving it forward.

The chart of calories burned per mile is based on MET research – metabolic equivalents of various activities.

References: AINSWORTH BE, Haskell WL, Whitt MC, Irwin ML, Swartz AM, Strath SJ, O’Brien WL, Bassett DR Jr, Schmitz KH, Emplaincourt PO, Jacobs DR Jr, Leon AS. “Compendium of Physical Activities: An update of activity codes and MET intensities.” Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000;32 (Suppl):S498-S516.

Calories burned per mile by walking

Speed/Pounds 100 lb 120 lb 140 lb 160 lb 180 lb 200 lb 220 lb 250 lb 275 lb 300 lb
2.0mph 57 68 80 91 102 114 125 142 156 170
2.5mph 55 65 76 87 98 109 120 136 150 164
3.0mph 53 64 74 85 95 106 117 133 146 159
3.5mph 52 62 73 83 94 104 114 130 143 156
4.0mph 57 68 80 91 102 114 125 142 156 170
4.5mph 64 76 89 102 115 127 140 159 175 191
5.0mph 73 87 102 116 131 145 160 182 200 218
Walking Off Weight

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