How To Lose Weight on the Treadmill?

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I am sure it happens to us all, especially after the holidays. We get on the scale and see an increase in pounds, or find our clothes are a little bit more snug than they were.

Whether it's just a few pounds or significantly more that you want to lose, your treadmill can be your best friend.

Let’s dive in and find out how to lose weight on a treadmill. By the way, click on the following link if you're overweight and want to know more about the top treadmills for heavy people.

The Fat Burning Basics

 To lose weight we need to expend more calories than we consume. Following a healthy calorie-controlled diet is a good starting point. Reducing your calorie intake from carbs and fats by 500 - 1000 calories per day can result in a weight loss of about 2 pounds a week. 

Adding exercise into the mix boosts your chances of weight loss and helps tone your body as the pounds fall off. So how many calories do you burn when you use your treadmill?

To give you an idea, moderate exercise such as walking at 3.5 mph for 30 mins for a 154-pound person burns 140 calories. If you increase the intensity and run at 5 mph for 30 minutes, the same person burns 295 calories. 

Another factor to consider is raising your heart rate. This has many health benefits and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure. When you exercise at a level which makes you perspire, and you find you cannot talk out loud without taking frequent pauses, you are exercising at a moderate to vigorous level.

Time to see how our treadmill can help us!

Walking on a treadmill to lose weight

A person weighing 155 pounds can burn 149 calories in half an hour walking on treadmill. The heavier the person, the higher the calorie burn. Adding inclines or speeding up your walking speed will also increase your calorie burn and your heart rate. 

Working on the understanding that burning 3500 calories per week leads to losing 1 pound of weight, this would equate to walking at this pace for 5 hours a week to lose half a pound. Reducing your calorie intake could boost this further.

So yes, you can lose weight by walking on a treadmill, but you won't burn a lot. It takes a lot of time to burn a few pounds. Therefore it's certainly not the ideal exercise to lose weight.

Does running on a treadmill help to lose weight (faster)?

Running at 6 mph for 30 mins increases the calorie burn for the same 155 lb person from 149 to 372 calories. So running on a treadmill more than doubles the amount of calories burned compared to walking!

Use the presets on your treadmill to challenge you more, or increase the incline or the speed, and more calories will be burned. 

Whether you are running or walking on your treadmill, monitoring your heart rate is a good idea. Running too long close to your maximum heart rate might tire you out quicker. 

It could be beneficial to work hard for 30 mins on a few days and lower the intensity and work for longer on others.

Interval Training

High intensity interval training (HIIT) has been trending in recent years. This type of exercise involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by rest periods. This type of training has been shown to burn fat and increase fitness levels

It’s a good option no matter what your level of fitness. Working at a higher intensity for short periods of time is achievable whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro.

There are no set rules for HIIT training. After a warm up to loosen and prepare your muscles, set your treadmill at a pace which increases your heart rate and makes you work harder.

You can run or walk faster for about 30 seconds, then cool down for 30 seconds by walking a more relaxed pace. These periods of intense exercise and rest can be varied; it’s up to you to choose the duration you can achieve. Keep this rotation going for about 10 minutes and boost your calorie burn.

Just make sure your periods of rest are equivalent to or longer than your periods of high intensity exercise. 

The following YouTube video shows you how to use HIIT on a treadmill,

The other advantage to using your treadmill for HIIT is that it works your body harder faster and you won’t need to exercise as long. One study found that exercising in this way for 30 minutes produced the same results as more moderate exercise for one hour. 

The same study indicates HIIT is an excellent way to burn belly fat and generally increase your overall health and fitness levels.

Two or three of your exercise sessions per week, performed in this way, will save you time and boost your calorie burn. So it's certainly the best way to burn calories on a treadmill for people who don't have a lot of time.

Tools to Track Your Calorie Burn and Heart Rate

 “Guesstimating” how many calories you've burned or how hard your heart is working can lead to error. Even the treadmill computer itself might show you an inaccurate amount of calories burned. There are treadmills and devices available which remove the guesswork and give you a more accurate idea. 

The more advanced treadmills have heart rate monitors and calorie counters. They also have the capability with their presets to program interval training if HIIT is your preferred treadmill training option. 

Even if your treadmill does not have a feature which checks your heart rate, there are personal devices available online, like a heart rate monitor.


We have established that weight loss is one of the benefits of using your treadmill. We have also given you some ideas how you can achieve this. 

How often and how hard you work is up to you and might depend on whether you are a newbie to exercise or someone who is already fit but has gained a few pounds.

The length of time you spend on your treadmill can be varied between prolonged walking or running sessions mixed in with fast paced HIIT. Either way, following a healthy calorie-controlled diet and using your treadmill to exercise will help you reach your weight loss goal as fast as possible. 

We have given you some ideas how to use a treadmill for weight loss, so it’s time to give them a try. Do you have any other treadmill tips or useful comments? Or if you have a question, we’d like to hear from you!

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