How Many Steps A Day To Lose Weight? A Guide From Experts In 2024

Christine VanDoren, Nutritionist
Chelsea Rae Bourgeois, MS, RDN, LD
Are you curious about how many steps a day to lose weight in 2024? Discover what your step goal will be this year to shed a few pounds.
how many steps a day to lose weight
Regular walking can help you lose weight. Photo: Shutterstock

As one of the simplest, most convenient exercises, walking delivers huge health perks with minimal equipment. You can rack up steps and burn calories almost anywhere and at any time — no gym required.

So, how many steps a day to lose weight?  

According to recent studies, to shed pounds and slim your waist, the magic number of steps falls around 10,000 steps daily.[1] 

This brisk walking pace helps create the crucial calorie deficit needed to lose belly fat, especially dangerous visceral belly fat. Meeting step goals can also lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar[2] as well. Tracking steps, hitting at least 7,000 daily, can be an excellent way to fire up your metabolism. 

Follow these fit tips to leverage walking for slimming your midsection and improving your overall health and well-being. With benefits from head to toe, walking provides one of the simplest paths to a healthier, happier you.

How Many Steps A Day To Lose Weight?

For the average person, 7,000 to 10,000 daily steps can help them lose weight. It is important to remember that everyone is different, and additional exercise and a healthy, calorie-deficit diet will help weight loss happen quicker.

How Many Steps Per Day To Lose Weight?

So, how many steps a day to lose weight? While step requirements vary[3] based on factors like age, current weight, and fitness level, most research indicates that 7,000 to 10,000 steps are how many steps to lose weight.

One study found that women who walked 12,500 steps per day lost weight and reduced belly fat[4] over seven weeks. Another study showed that overweight women who walked at least 7,000 steps per day had lower BMIs and body fat[5] than women who walked fewer.

For most inactive people, aiming for 7,000 to 8,000 steps daily will help create the calorie deficit needed to shed excess pounds, especially fat in the abdominal area. Adding extra steps whenever possible, like taking the stairs or parking farther away, can boost fat burning.

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Why Should We Count Steps?

Lack of physical activity is linked to chronic health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Counting steps ensures you get enough movement to prevent these problems. Meeting step goals[6] helps lower high blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and body weight for better health.

So, is there such a thing as a how many steps a day to lose weight calculator? While the answer can greatly vary based on many factors, trackers can help you with monitoring steps.

This data can also reveal health problems before they develop into chronic conditions, and counting steps with a fitness tracker is an easy way to monitor your activity. Here’s why a fitness tracker is useful:

  • Tracks your daily activity to motivate you to walk more.
  • Helps you meet walking goals and recommended daily steps.
  • Provides estimates for calories burned from walking and other movement.
  • Helps you identify low-activity days to adjust your routine.
  • Allows you to participate in walking challenges for extra motivation.
  • Aids in stimulating the body’s lymphatic system, which helps us detox.

How To Calculate Your Daily Steps?

If you have wondered, “How many steps should I walk a day to lose weight?” then you are not alone. A good starting goal is 7,000 to 8,000 steps daily for weight loss. To reach this target, try doing the following:

  1. Wear a pedometer or fitness tracker to count your current daily steps for a week.
  2. Calculate your average steps for the week.
  3. Increase your current daily average by 500 steps.
  4. Add 500 more steps each week until you reach 7,000 to 8,000 steps.

For example, if your current daily average is 3,000 steps, aim for 3,500 steps in the first week. The next week, it increases to 4,000, and so on. Going up by 500 steps weekly is generally a safe way to increase your activity without overdoing it.

Listen to your body and honor its recovery needs. If increasing by 500 steps each week seems too ambitious, add 250 to 300 steps instead. The key is consistent progress over time.

How Many Steps To Increase Fitness Level?

How much must you walk to lose weight and improve your health? To better your cardiovascular health and fitness, you want to aim for the following:

  • Moderate fitness: 7,000 to 9,000 steps daily
  • Good fitness: 10,000 to 12,500 steps daily
  • High fitness: Over 12,500 steps daily

Getting at least 10,000 steps a day can help boost fitness and endurance. Adding steps through faster walking, using the stairs, and doing other calorie-burning exercises is key.

Taking over 12,500 steps can do the following:

  • Increase heart and lung capacity.
  • Lower resting heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Improve circulation.
  • Strengthen bones and muscles.
  • Boost balance and coordination.

Historical research shows us that we should shoot for at least 10,000 daily steps[7] to reap cardiovascular and strength benefits. Mix up your walking routine with hills, intervals, and a weighted vest or backpack for maximum results.

Ways To Increase Your Steps Per Day

Take Regular Walking Breaks And Park Farther Away

Taking a quick five to ten-minute walking break every hour at work or while studying can quickly add steps. Short walks give your mind and body a break while contributing to your daily activity.

Schedule walking meetings rather than sit-downs when possible. Walk and talk one-on-one or as a group. Staying on your feet keeps energy and focus high.

Parking at the far end of lots and taking stairs also helps rack up extra walking time before and after events. When running short errands, intentionally park farther away to increase entry and exit steps. The extra walking often takes just a minute or two, but it can make a difference.

Explore A New Route

Changing up your usual walking route or exploring a new neighborhood adds interest while keeping you active. Varying the terrain and elevation also challenges different muscles.

If you typically walk in your neighborhood, check out a nearby park, hiking trail, or other area. Consider doing laps around somewhere new, like a museum, mall, or botanical garden, for scenic strolling.

Do Household Chores And Pace While On The Phone

Cleaning, gardening, washing dishes, and other chores count as activities. Opt for more physically demanding tasks like scrubbing floors and using a push mower to maximize step count.

Also, pacing back and forth while on calls or listening to podcasts can easily increase daily movement and energy expenditure. Aim for at least 1,000 steps during each phone or listening session.

If you have a tendency to sit while on the phone, set a reminder to get up every 10 to 15 minutes. Even brief one to two-minute pacing breaks can make a difference over time.

Tips To Stay Motivated Long-Term

Set Gradual Goals

Going from 3,000 steps to 10,000 overnight isn’t realistic. Set smaller milestones, like adding 500 steps weekly to stay on track and create doable expectations for yourself.

Remember that any progress is good, even if you fall short of a goal now and then. Strive to walk more this week than last week. Consistency over time is key. Weight-bearing exercise can help you enhance your walking experience as well.

Track Your Progress

Logging daily steps and seeing your weekly averages increase can help you stay motivated over time. Visible progress keeps you going.

Consider taking part in walking challenges on apps or social media for added accountability. Having others track your progress, too, can help you stick with it.

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Do Walking Challenges And Use Walking Rewards

Joining step challenges with friends or coworkers adds accountability and can make walking more fun. Friendly competition helps boost motivation.

However, make sure challenges remain positive. The focus should be on improving your own baseline rather than comparing yourself to others. Support each other in building activity habits.

Reward milestones could include things like hitting your daily step goal or making it through a week of consistent walking. Small treats can keep you motivated.

Pair walking rewards with other healthy behaviors for double benefits. For example, reach your steps, then enjoy your favorite fruit. Follow exercise with water, and don’t forget to couple the walking with a weight loss diet if dropping a few pounds is a goal you have.


Whether your goal is dropping pounds or boosting fitness, walking delivers. Aim for 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day to torch calories and trim your waist circumference. Going above 10,000 steps can maximize cardiovascular health and endurance.

Counting every footfall keeps you accountable as you increase your activity bit by bit. Consistency over time is crucial; don’t overdo it too quickly. Slow and steady activity gains prevent injury while building healthy movement habits.

Remember, more steps alone won’t lead to sustainable progress. Combine smart step goals with strength training to build metabolism-revving muscle. Don’t forget flexibility either — stretching keeps joints limber for walking. Fuel properly with whole, nutrient-dense foods to power active lifestyles. 

Lastly, manage stress effectively through relaxing practices like meditation, yoga, massage, and sleep. Reduce cortisol levels so exercise and healthy eating habits stick.

Small, consistent changes create big rewards. Research suggests additional walking could change your health — one step count at a time. 

But be patient and think long-term. Setbacks happen, so reset goals and get back on track. With the right multi-faceted approach and support from your healthcare professional, walking serves as a simple foundation for whole-body wellness. Let your daily steps pave the way to a stronger, slimmer, happier you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many steps a day to lose belly fat?

Shoot for at least 7,000 steps daily, along with strength workouts targeting the abs and core.

How many steps should you take for good health?

Experts recommend 10,000 steps per day for optimal physical and mental health benefits. Meeting this goal can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and body weight, but step counting can vary depending on multiple factors.

How many steps a week to lose weight?

How to lose weight? That’s easy — aim for at least 49,000 steps weekly. Spread out over seven days, it equates to about 7,000 steps per day. Stay consistent each week with your step count.

How many steps a day to lose 2 pounds a week?

To safely lose two pounds weekly, take at least 10,000 steps daily while reducing your daily calorie intake by 300 to 500 calories. Everyone’s body is different regarding weight loss, so consult your registered dietitian or other healthcare professional.


  1. Creasy, S.A., Lang, W., Tate, D.F., Davis, K.K. and Jakicic, J.M. (2018). Pattern of Daily Steps is Associated with Weight Loss: Secondary Analysis from the Step-Up Randomized Trial. Obesity, [online] 26(6), pp.977–984. doi:
  2. Hanson, S. and Jones, A. (2015). Is there evidence that walking groups have health benefits? A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, [online] 49(11), pp.710–715. doi:
  3. Kraus, W.E., Janz, K.F., Powell, K.E., Campbell, W.W., Jakicic, J.M., Troiano, R.P., Sprow, K., Torres, A. and Piercy, K.L. (2019). Daily Step Counts for Measuring Physical Activity Exposure and Its Relation to Health. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, [online] 51(6), pp.1206–1212. doi:
  4. Aleksandra Kroemeke, Izabela Zając-Gawlak, Dariusz Pośpiech, Aleš Gába, Miroslava Přidalová and Pelclová, J. (2014). Postmenopausal obesity: 12,500 steps per day as a remedy? Relationships between body composition and daily steps in postmenopausal women. Przeglad Menopauzalny, [online] 4, pp.227–232. doi:
  5. Paluch, A.E., Kelley Pettee Gabriel, Fulton, J.E., Lewis, C.E., Schreiner, P.J., Sternfeld, B., Sidney, S., Siddique, J., Whitaker, K.M. and Carnethon, M.R. (2021). Steps per Day and All-Cause Mortality in Middle-aged Adults in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study. JAMA network open, [online] 4(9), pp.e2124516–e2124516. doi:
  6. Bassett, D.R., Toth, L.P., LaMunion, S.R. and Crouter, S.E. (2016). Step Counting: A Review of Measurement Considerations and Health-Related Applications. Sports Medicine, [online] 47(7), pp.1303–1315. doi:
  7. Catrine Tudor-Locke, Craig, C.L., Brown, W.J., Clemes, S.A., Katrien De Cocker, Giles-Corti, B., Hatano, Y., Inoue, S., Marcela, S., Mutrie, N., Jean-Michel Oppert, Rowe, D., Schmidt, M.D., Schofield, G., Spence, J.C., Teixeira, P.J., Tully, M.A. and Blair, S.N. (2011). How many steps/day are enough? for adults. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, [online] 8(1), pp.79–79. doi:

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