Weight Loss
Can 20,000 Steps a Day Help You Lose Weight?
Weight Loss

Can 20,000 Steps a Day Help You Lose Weight?

Written by Dennis Njoroge | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 14
6 min

Walking as a form of workout is getting more and more popular. Should you try it?

20,000 steps a day

Walking is our primary mode of transport. 

We move our bodies daily by walking without even thinking about it.

Walking as a weight loss program has become an increasingly popular method. Many of us picked up a step tracker during lockdown to ensure we got our daily step count in.

It’s recommended that the average American adult should walk 10,000 steps a day to maintain good health. As we’ve doubled the numbers, walking 20,000 steps a day becomes a new challenge.

How many calories you burn from long walks depends on factors such as walking speed, body weight, and frequency. 

While any amount of walking is good for you, this article reveals how 20,000 steps can boost your overall health, contribute to weight loss, and prove a great idea if you want to ramp up your physical activity. 

Can walking 20,000 steps a day help you stay healthy and lose weight?

Are 20,000 Steps a Day Good?

Of course! 20,000 steps are twice the number of steps that the CDC recommends for the average person to stay in shape.

While walking may not seem like the fast-track choice to lose weight, it can significantly improve your cardiovascular health while slimming you down.

It’s time to make walking your new best friend!

What Are the Health Benefits of Walking 20,000 Steps a Day?

Many! It’s not the most intensive physical activity, but it can considerably benefit your physical and mental health.

Here are some of the benefits to expect when you walk 20,000 steps as part of a daily routine.

#1 Weight loss

Walking is excellent for weight loss because it helps you burn calories.

Factors like age, height, current weight, and health status impact your walking ability. As every person is different, it’s hard to say precisely how much weight you can lose with walking. 

But the more you walk, and the faster you walk, the more calories you will burn.

Just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day can burn up to 150 more calories.

To get the most out of walking for weight loss, combine your new routine with a healthy diet consisting of food that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Cut out the junk food, and you’ll soon walk yourself into a new waist size.

#2 Spending time outdoors

Did you know that spending time in the fresh air can do wonders for your well-being?

Most people spend too much time cooked up indoors. Getting outside can lift your mood and positively impact your mental health.  

It can boost self-esteem, provide stress and anxiety relief, and give you more energy. A good walk can also help you sleep better, as exercise can increase the natural sleep hormones, like melatonin.

Get outside as much as possible and spend your free time walking, even if it’s a 10-minute stroll in the park during your lunch break.

#3 Challenge to yourself

You might not realize it, but walking can provide a real challenge.

Setting a daily goal of 20,000 steps is a physical and mental test. And testing yourself can help you feel sharper, more alert, and more present in your everyday life.

How you handle 20,000 daily steps depends on you. Your own experience may be different from that of your friends. You may find it easier or more difficult than expected.  

Try a health app or the Walking.Diet fitness plan if you’d prefer a companion to help you beat the challenge.

Walking.Diet is a customized health program that includes a walking routine, meal plan, and dozens of helpful educational guides from food and nutrition to walking shoes and other gear.  

As a subscription-based service, you can sign up for additional features (for an extra cost), like the Keto desserts cookbook, general health workouts, and private consultations with a nutritionist or trainer. 

If you’re not used to an active lifestyle, Walking.Diet is an excellent way to introduce yourself to the walking world. You can start with confidence from your very first day.

How Many Calories Do 20,000 Steps Burn? 

With 20,000 steps a day, you can potentially burn 600–800 calories. 

How many calories are burned from long walks of 20,000 steps depends on various factors. Your weight, stride length, and current fitness level impact your calorie burn.

Also, the route you take plays a role. You’re going to burn more calories if you walk on an incline, for instance, as your lungs and heart must work harder.

People burn approximately 30–40 calories from walking 1,000 steps on average. Given that calculation, a person can burn 300–400 calories from walking 10,000 steps. 

With consistent calorie burning from daily steps, it’s possible to see weight loss in as little as two weeks.

Remember, this is only an approximation. 

20,000 Steps to Miles

How many steps you cover in a mile is highly dependent on your height, legs, and stride length. 

Based on a person with an average 32-inch stride length (2.6 feet), taking 2,000 steps is the equivalent of walking 1 mile.

Using the same calculation, 20,000 steps equates to 10 miles.

How Long Does It Take to Walk 20,000 Steps? 

3–4 miles per hour is typical for most healthy adults. That means the average person can walk 20,000 steps in approximately 2.5 hours. 

If the route is complicated, you may need several hours to reach the 20,000 step mark.

Walking is time-consuming. But remember, you don’t have to complete your 20,000 daily steps in one go. Your step count adds up quickly throughout the day, from traveling to work to moving around the office. 

You can spread your steps out if you don’t have the free time to spend hours on long walks.

Tips on How to Increase the Number of Daily Steps 

Here are 4 top tips to help you reach your 20,000 steps a day.

#1 Walk to work

If possible, walking to work in the morning and returning home on foot is the ideal way to get more steps in. You’ll get your heart rate going, boost your energy levels, and save money on public transport and petrol.

If your commute is too far away, park the car further away to get your morning walk. Every little thing helps when trying to increase your daily steps. Breathing in the clean air is a great way to start your day!

#2 Use stairs instead of an elevator 

Even the simplest choices in everyday life can ramp up your steps for the day.

Always choose the stairs over taking the elevator or escalators. With regular stair climbing, you will reach 20,000 steps a day sooner. It’s also a great form of exercise, as it helps burn fat and build muscle in your legs. 

You might notice the difference in a matter of weeks.

#3 Wear comfortable shoes

If your feet aren’t comfortable on your walks, there’s a problem. 

It’s impossible to enjoy a walk if your feet are in pain, so you will wind up ending the walk early. If your uncomfortable shoes have caused injury, you may lose days waiting for your wounds to heal until you can start walking comfortably again. 

A good footwear investment is an investment in yourself. You can enjoy multiple walks pain-free!

#4 Schedule walking time

Schedule time throughout your week for walks to ensure you meet your step goal for the day. It will help you stick to routines and create good habits for life.

Remember, you don’t need to cram in a 3-hour break every day to complete 20,000 steps a day. Spread it over the day, perhaps in the morning and evening.

A Word From Our RD

Regardless of your fitness level, walking is one of the most effective exercises to get in shape and lose unwanted pounds.

According to the NHS, even a brisk 10-minute walk every day has numerous health benefits and quickly adds up to meet the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week.

If you’re new to walking, 20,000 steps a day can seem a lot. Build it up gradually by taking regular short walks and getting accustomed to various distances.

It’s best to discuss plans with a doctor if you want to use walking as a weight loss program. You may need to reduce your daily step goal until you build up your fitness level.

Remember, any number of steps is better than no steps. Make a conscious effort to move your body, eat healthily, and enjoy the physical and mental advantages of getting outside.


20,000 steps a day is a fun challenge to set yourself up to lose weight and improve your fitness and heart health. It’s an easy way to get your body moving without hitting the gym.

Combine your 20,000 steps with strength training and mindful eating, and you will quickly see results.

If you find walking boring or too little a challenge, get on board with Walking.Diet to gain motivation.

Written by
Dennis is a seasoned writer who focuses on writing health and wellness articles. His career goal is to educate people on how to reprogram their lives by breaking free from unhealthy eating habits and fostering new sustainable habits. Dennis tries to give easy-to-follow advice based on scientific research. He strongly believes that regardless of age, fitness level, a person can always learn something new and reach their health goals if they have a positive mindset.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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