How Many Daily Steps You Need For Weight Loss

Tracking your daily steps is a good way to monitor your activity levels (with 10,000 steps being the typical goal). But how many daily steps do you need to lose weight? This post will share everything you need to know!

Tracking your daily steps is a good way to monitor whether you are moving around enough or not. Taking 10,000 steps is the typical goal. But how many daily steps do you need for weight loss? Let’s find out!

I’ve been on the step counting bandwagon for a while now—and I LOVE it. Because seeing your steps add up on your fitness tracker is both gratifying and motivating.

We can all use a little motivation now and then, right?

Being in the right mindset to be fit is key to feeling good! Healthy living is all about movement and exercise, eating well, sleeping enough, and taking the best care of you possible!

I think that counting your steps is a great way to give yourself a push towards any fitness goals you have. And it’s also a way to get you started on a weight loss journey if that’s your plan. 

To get a boost in the weight-loss direction, read about my personal journey of losing over 50 pounds (more than once!) here. And I’ve got a video about it here, too.

Several tools are available to get you moving. With the internet, technology, and all that, it’s easier than ever to make goals and crush them.

And that’s what we’re gonna do.

Ready to be inspired to move? Yes! This post will give you the drive to do just that. Let’s find out how taking more steps can lead you to weight loss!

Image of a person sitting on the ground in exercise gear, having a drink of water.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WALKING?

From helping the heart to improving you mood, once you learn how beneficial walking is, you’ll have no problem getting started! I’m all for walking and love to get out in nature whenever I can. 

It’s easy to do, doesn’t cost much other than a good pair of shoes, and has so many benefits! I like it when things are enjoyable and easy peasy.

Here’s the top benefits of walking:

1. Helps the heart: Walk 30 minutes a day and reduce the risk of heart disease. If you aren’t used to walking, start small and add distance every week.

2. Strengthens your leg muscles: Sure, this is expected but if you really want to add definition and muscle strength, incorporate hills and stairs once you get used to it.

3. Helps your mood: Any exercise that increases your blood circulation benefits the brain and reduces stress. So walk for that mood-lifting bonus!

4. Boosts your energy: Skip the caffeine and get moving. Walking is proven to be more effective than coffee for improving energy.

5. Aids immunity: Walking helps the immune system. A study done over cold and flu season showed that participants who exercised fared better against getting sick than those who were considered in the low activity range.

6. Reduces risk of disease: Walking is so good for you that it helps reduce the chance of developing illnesses like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Try 30 minutes a day, five times a week.

*A wearable tracker is a given so that you can see the steps you are putting in throughout the day. Knowledge and a goal are important, too.

Knowing things like how to increase your metabolism and how intermittent fasting can help with weight loss is helpful. And making a reasonable and achievable goal is key to success (read more about that here).

Close up image of a person on a weight scale looking down at their bare feet.

WHY ARE STEPS IMPORTANT TO WEIGHT LOSS?

Steps are important to weight loss in keeping with the old adage calories in, calories out. Basically, if you are sedentary, losing weight will be a lot harder.

Because, despite what some people say, just cutting down on your food intake doesn’t tick all the boxes. You’ve got to add in movement. Especially if you are a person who doesn’t like to follow an exercise routine.

Making a goal of 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day is awesome!

But if that seems daunting, don’t get discouraged. Any additional steps on top of what you usually do will help. Before you know it, the steps will be adding up and the pounds will come off.

I’ll ask you though, to not get too focused on it in the beginning. Just move more than you have been—the increased steps will fall into place, trust me!

HOW MANY STEPS ARE IN 1 MILE?

Approximately 2,000 steps make up a mile according to Harvard Public Health (and a few other sources I saw during my research).

Simply put, if you walk 4,000 steps a day, you are accomplishing 2 miles a day. 10,000 steps add up to 5 miles a day, and that’s quite an accomplishment!

My general outlook is to aim for 8,000 to 10,000 a day, but moving more than you do now is awesome. Get moving and set small goals for yourself, such as adding 500 more steps each day.

Add in a little cardio (run up a hill or jog a bit), eat healthily, and take some downtime, too. You can do it!

I found a great chart to give you an idea of how many miles there are in varying increments of steps.

StepsWalking (Shorter Stride)Brisk Walk or Jog (Moderate Stride)
1,0000.4 miles0.5 miles
2,0000.9 miles1.0 miles
3,0001.3 miles1.5 miles
4,0001.8 miles2.1 miles
5,0002.2 miles2.6 miles
6,0002.7 miles3.1 miles
7,0003.1 miles3.6 miles
8,0003.6 miles4.1 miles
9,0004.0 miles4.6 miles
10,0004.4 miles5.1 miles
15,0006.7 miles7.7 miles
20,0008.9 miles10.3 miles
25,00011.1 miles12.8 miles
Image of a person running along a beach with the sun setting behind them.

HOW MANY CALORIES DO I BURN WITH 8K STEPS?

There really isn’t a hard and fast rule for how many calories you burn when you walk 8,000 steps. Because every person is different, you have to take a few factors into consideration. 

  • Pace – how quickly do you move?
  • Terrain – are you on flat ground or are you climbing hills?

You’ve also got to factor in weight, body fat percentage, and age.

But in general, we can look at it this way. One pound of body fat is said to equal 3500 calories. That’s been a number that’s been around for a while.

Recent studies question that number because of factors like fat loss vs lean muscle loss and all that, but we’ll use 3500 for the purpose of this question! 

10,000 steps per day burn about 2000 to 3500 calories per week, giving you your 1 pound loss. 8,000 steps would be somewhere in between 1800 and 3000 calories.

It’s a wide variance, but that’s because you’ve got to take into account your present weight and the intensity of your steps.

You know…it’s really important to remember that 8,000 quality steps (briskly moving) will help you burn calories more than 8,000 slow steps will. It’s all about your metabolism!

Close up view of Lacey smiling outside on a walk.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF 10,000 STEPS PER DAY?

It’s pretty neat what 10,000 steps a day will do for you. Not only can the daily steps help you lose weight, but there are other benefits, too. 

A study published in 2016 concluded that participants who recorded 10,000 steps a day (5 times per week over 12 weeks) had lower anxiety, depression, anger, fatigue, confusion, and all-over mood distress.

These benefits are a big bonus along with the physical perks, my friends!

Close up image of a person walking their dog in a wooded area with fall leaves on the ground. Demonstrating how many steps to lose weight,

HOW DO I INCREASE MY DAILY STEPS TO LOSE WEIGHT?

Increasing your steps is easy to do. Just get in the mindset that you’ll walk more. For example…rather than place that laundry basket at the bottom of the stairs to take up later, do it right away.

You’ve just added in extra steps (and the stair-climbing is awesome, too!).

Additionally, you can also try the following:

  • Catch up with friends on a walk as opposed to over a coffee.
  • Instead of family movie night, opt for an afternoon family hike.
  • Cut the grass.
  • Watching the kids’ soccer game? Walk the perimeter of the field instead of hanging out in the stands.
  • Listen to an audiobook on your walk. Chances are, you’ll walk longer to get to the end of the chapter.
  • Take a dance class.
  • Walk the dog more often, or the neighbor’s dog if you don’t have one.
  • Hop on the treadmill when you watch the news.
  • If you don’t have time for a 30-minute walk, take three 10 minute walks around the block.
  • Always take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Have a call to make? Walk and talk.
  • An oldie but a goodie: park at the bottom of the parking lot, the farthest distance from the store.

The important thing is to make a goal for the number of steps that day and take every opportunity to get there. You’ll soon discover exactly how many steps it take to lose weight.

Combine the steps with a healthy eating plan and you are sure to feel terrific.

HOW DO I INCREASE MY CALORIE BURN WHILE WALKING?

Upping the intensity of your walk can help you burn calories. Remember, the pace and terrain of your walk make a difference, too.

  • Hills: Try adding a few hills into your route. If you are on the treadmill, raise the incline.
  • Intervals: If keeping up a brisk pace is tough, do intervals. Put extra effort in for a minute, and then walk a minute at your normal pace.
  • Length: On a day where it fits, take a longer walk than usual to increase your burn.
  • Extras: Take a hike and wear a backpack. Carry your water and a snack on your back. The extra weight will help you burn calories.
  • Jog: Try incorporating a jog into your walking routine. A good place to start is 30 seconds run, and a 2-minute walk.
Close up image of Lacey resting by a stream in a wooded area while on a walk.

HOW MANY STEPS DOES IT TAKE TO LOSE WEIGHT?

How many steps to lose weight depends on factors like your present weight, your typical activity level, your age, and how you eat.

2017 study stated that 15,000 steps a day reduce the risk of diseases like stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. This is because of lower waist circumference – which can be accomplished by more walking.

To many, 15,000 steps seem daunting. If you are sedentary, aim for 2,000 steps a day and work your way up. Take a look at the chart below for where you stand concerning steps.

According to a study through the NIH, this chart gives you a steps per day classification of your lifestyle level.

Steps Per DayLifestyle Classification
Less than 5000Sedentary
5000-7499Physically inactive
7500-9999Moderately active
About 10,000Physically active
More than 12,000Very active

Any amount of steps that put you in a more active bracket will help you to lose weight. The same study confirms my earlier comment that the more you move, the less chance you have of metabolic syndrome.

Demonstrating how many steps to lose weight, a close up view of an arm displaying an Apple watch showing the steps taken to be 8049 and the miles logged 3.90.

WHAT ARE THE BEST WAY TO TRACK STEPS?

There are a few key elements to step tracking. Get your heart rate moving by making sure that your daily step count has a few thousand steps in the moderate-intensity range.

Once you get used to walking, add in some strength training. Squats are easy to do and don’t take any equipment. Set a daily goal for your steps. When you have something to strive for, it gives motivation!

Lastly, make some diet changes and invest in a step tracker. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something to give you incentive to move even more as you watch the steps add up. I like my Apple Watch. It works perfectly for me.

I checked out a few sites for pedometers and found this listing:

  • Omron Alvita Optimized Pedometer: This step tracker can be clipped on a belt, worn on a lanyard, or slipped into your pocket. It even distinguishes between walking steps and aerobic steps.
  • 3D FitBud Simple Step Counter: This step counter goes to sleep when you are not active, saving battery life. It’s got a nice big display, too.
  • Fitbit Inspire: Lots of people wear this one 24/7 to even track sleep patterns. You can set up a reminder to tell you to move every hour, too.
  • OZO Fitness SC2 Digital Pedometer: Great functions with this tracker are a battery that lasts a year, a big display, and a 7-day log.
  • Apple Watch: I like my Apple Watch because you can enter data like your age, height, and weight for an estimate of calories burned and steps taken. The display is easy to read also.

Now that you are up to speed on how beneficial walking is (and how many steps it takes to lose weight), start moving and work toward a goal, increasing your steps as you go. You can only feel amazing as a result!

This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

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