Woman walking as weight loss plan

Walking for weight loss plan: how to enjoy those daily steps and feel good

10 min read


16 Nov 2022

Things you'll learn here

  1. The brain and body-boosting benefits of walking
  2. How many steps a day should you take to lose weight?
  3. Does walking help you lose weight?
  4. How many calories do you burn walking?
  5. How to introduce walking into your routine
  6. How to walk in a way that boosts weight loss
  7. A rough guide for your walking routine
  8. Ready to get walking for weight loss

It seems that more and more people are going to the gym these days. Social media is flooded with folk sweating it out on the rowing machine at 6 am—in a bid to get their days off to a flying start.

We’re not saying that going to the gym is a bad thing—but it’s not the only way to lose weight, feel good, and stay healthy.

When you’re on your weight loss journey, you hear all sorts of advice—and some of it is a waste of time. From fad diets and ‘miracle medicines’ to unrealistic core-busting workout routines, dull as dishwater juice cleanses, and beyond, shedding the pounds can feel like a minefield.

But, what if we told you there’s an accessible way to get moving in a way that will level up your weight loss efforts? Well, there is… 


Yes, walking regularly will help you stay fit, help you manage your stress levels, and help you lose weight consistently—without a gym membership in sight.

Read on to discover all you need to know about walking your way to weight loss.

The brain and body-boosting benefits of walking

Did you know? Studies show that Walking regularly will ease joint pain, boost your energy levels, and improve your immune system.

Walking is often overlooked as a way of weight loss as it seems “almost too easy.” But for the busy person juggling a million plates, it’s an ideal way to fall in love with exercise without disrupting the day’s busy schedule. 

Walking will also encourage you to get moving, which may spur you to try other, more intense exercises to accentuate your calorie burn

Here are some of the other brain and body-boosting benefits of walking for weight loss.

Complete convenience

One of the big bonuses of walking for weight loss is that you can do it straight from home with little preparation—and it’s safe to do even post-pregnancy. 

You can enjoy a brisk walk pretty much anywhere, and weaving extra steps into your day is easier than you think (more on that soon). The fact that you can keep it up means that walking will keep you fit and boost your overall health—for good.

Mental positivity

Even a quick 10-minute burst of walking will improve your cognitive clarity, make you more alert, and help you with your mental health.

Some of the world’s greatest thinkers swear by the power of walking. So, whether you get out in the fresh air for a few extra steps or you power along the pavement with your favorite tunes blasting in your ears—walking is one of the best ways to feel good when you’re trying to lose weight.

Better heart health

Yes, having a regular walking routine will improve your heart health and improve your cardio fitness levels over time.

That means you’ll become healthier in body and mind while burning extra calories and shedding the pounds—especially if you have a balanced diet, too. Bonus.

How many steps a day should you take to lose weight?

Walking sneakers

Many experts say that 10,000 is the magic number. But, aiming for 5,000 and working your way up will do the trick when you’re walking for weight loss.

Research from JAMA International Medicine suggests that even getting half of the recommended 10,000 steps per day has various health benefits, including more life in your days.

This may seem a stiff target to those new to the exercise but don’t worry. The plan is to build up slowly and gradually, starting with as little as 1000 steps daily.

Add 1,000 steps to your daily walk each week, but only if and when you feel you can achieve it. Keep going until you’ve reached the 10,000 recommended daily steps. You’ve got this.

Does walking help you lose weight?

Yes, having a regular walking routine alongside a healthy diet and balanced lifestyle, you will consistently lose weight.

Ultimately losing weight is about burning more than you consume—and putting one foot in front of the other is a great way to increase the calories you burn.

So long as you are managing the calories you put into your body, you’ll be able to use walking as an effective means of burning them off. Walking is a great way to burn calories when you’ve got a busy life.

Plus, as walking is a form of aerobic exercise, it will help you preserve any lean muscle you have while burning fat.

How many calories do you burn walking?

Burning calories

The number of calories you burn will depend on several factors, including how long you walk, how fast you walk, and what you weigh.

On average, it takes 20 mins to walk one mile, and will burn around 100 calories.

One way to calculate a more accurate calorie burn is based on body weight, which can be done by multiplying your body weight by 0.53.

For example, a person who weighs 140 pounds would follow this equation…

140 x 0.53 = 74.2

So, a 140-pound person burns 74.2 calories walking one mile. You can also use a free online calculator to get a rough guide on how much energy you’ll burn walking.

Read: Low-intensity workouts: Essential tips, ideas & benefits

How to introduce walking into your routine

Fitting in a walk during the day is easier than you think—but sometimes—you might have to get creative. 

Remember, there’s no rule that says you have to walk 10,000 steps in one go. Several short walks during the day will add up and burn just as many calories as one long walk over the same total distance.  Just find your groove, and the rest will follow.

Start by thinking about how you can fit in walks here and there in a way that fits into your lifestyle. 

  • Newbie mum? Why not take the baby for a walk in the park in the pram.
  • Need to go to the shops? Ditch the car and walk, or park a little further away and get your steps in. 
  • Meeting a friend for coffee? Why not incorporate your steps into your social life and meet up for a chat and walk. 
  • Commuting to work? Wall from the station to the office or get off the bus a few stops earlier.
  • Want a little company? Phone a friend, grab yourself a walking buddy, and enjoy a weekly walk or two while enjoying a lovely catch up.

Think of ways that you can add even a few more steps into your existing routine—and you’ll be surprised at how quickly they add up.

Group of walkers doing Parkrun

Get involved with Parkrun…

For those who have a bit of time at the weekend, the newly launched Parkwalk may answer your prayers for those looking to ‘dip their toe in the water’. It’s basically a big nationwide walking group.

At these fun-filled events, you can step at a brisk pace, do a little power walking or a slow plod and enjoy a little fresh air in like-minded company.

Here’s a little more about it…

The Parkrun has been a global phenomenon since launching 18 years ago and bringing a weekly 5K run to the masses. And now the Parkrun arranges walks for those who aren’t ready to add running to their repertoire. 

It’s a 5K walk every Saturday, and there are plenty of locations to choose from. Not only is it a fantastic way to meet like-minded individuals on the same journey as you, but you can even take the kids, your dog, or both. 

Who knows? You might end up progressing to jogging or running the event. If so, you can expect to burn an extra 30% of calories if you do so, 

Parkwalk is free. You can sign up here and find a local Parkwalk event near you.  

Related content: How many steps a day should I be doing?

How to walk in a way that boosts weight loss

Once you’ve got into the habit of walking (or at least moving around more often), there are lots of brilliant ways in which you can accentuate the calorie burn. 

1. Be ‘inclined’ and use hills

Walking uphill (even slightly) will increase your heart rate and activate more muscles in your body. The extra intensity will help to build strength, which will, in turn, make you feel able to walk further over a more extended period and increase your ability to burn those calories.

So, start by walking up a gentle incline for 30 minutes or more and then find steeper gradients gradually. Always increase by small amounts to reduce injury risk and to help your muscles recover more quickly.

2. Walk faster intervals

If you feel ready, try increasing your walking pace. You can slow down whenever you feel the need and speed up when you’re ready again. 

This will increase the distance you cover and boost your calorie burn. This is a similar tactic used by runners when speed training, and it works well for walkers. 

3. Use weights in your walking

Walkers hiking uphill

If time is of the essence, don’t panic. Invest in some hand weight vests or hand weights to carry while you walk. 

These will add resistance to your effort and will mean you can gain the same effect over a shorter distance. It will help to build muscle in your body, strengthening your metabolism. 

4. Add in extra exercises

While walking, now and then, stop to do a few squats, lunges or push-ups. This will increase your caloric output and build muscle. For every 5 minutes of walking, try to stop and do one minute of strength exercises.

Bonus tip: Get grooving and start power walking by putting our dedicated playlist in your earphones and cranking up the volume…

A rough guide for your walking routine

To help you reap all of the health benefits walking has to offer and help you on your journey, here’s a stepping plan that you can use as a rough guide. Time to lace up those walking shoes!

Week one to two: Getting started

  • Aim for at least three 15-minute walks per week.
  • Start with a brisk pace that gets your heart rate up slightly.
  • Choose convenient times, such as during your lunch break or after dinner.
  • Gradually increase your walking time as you feel more comfortable.

Week three to four: Building stamina

  • Increase your walking frequency to four times per week.
  • Extend your walks to 20 to 30 minutes each.
  • Focus on maintaining a steady pace throughout the duration of your walk.
  • Consider incorporating short walking intervals during your work breaks or in the morning before starting your day. 
  • Enjoy!

Week five to six: Notching it up

Group walking to lose weight
  • Aim for five walks per week, with at least one longer walk (40 to 60 minutes) included when you can.
  • Experiment with walking on different terrains, such as hills or trails, to challenge your muscles and improve endurance.
  • Weave intervals of brisk walking or power walking into your routine to increase intensity and boost calorie burn.
  • Try to fit in short walks whenever possible, even if it means taking multiple short breaks throughout the day.

Week seven to eight: Keeping it going

  • Continue with five walks per week, focusing on consistency.
  • Gradually increase the duration of your longer walks to 60 minutes or more.
  • Monitor your progress by tracking distance, time, and how you feel during and after your walks.
  • Listen to your body and adjust your pace or intensity as needed to avoid overexertion or injury. You can do this.

By using this walking plan as a guide and tweaking it to fit your life, you’ll be able to get into the groove and burn extra calories almost every day. And when you do that—you’ll keep winning on your weight loss journey.

Ready to get walking for weight loss

Walking is a great way to take your first steps into regular exercise. It’s also one of the best weight loss tips you’ll ever receive.

The most crucial factor is to get moving. Get those steps in and the more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to succeed. 

At PhenQ, we're all about community. So if you’d like to increase your daily step count and enjoy a little support while you’re doing it—join our Facebook group

Oh, and if you feel in the mood, share your progress with updates, videos, and pictures. Community will always carry you to the finish line. We’re with you every step of the way.