Does Walking Help You Lose Belly Fat?

Many people want to lose extra fat in their stomachs. Some exercise professionals make it seem like the only way to do this is to embark on an intense fitness journey, but is there a simpler way?

Fortunately, you don't need to lift heavy weights or run for miles to burn belly fat. Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise and can be just as effective at burning fat as many other types of physical activity. The only way to get rid of excess fat anywhere on your body is to burn more calories than you consume. According to Verywell Fit, "When it comes to weight loss, it doesn't matter what type of fuel you use. What matters is how many calories you burn as opposed to how many calories you take in."

If you want to lose belly fat, it really doesn't matter what kind of exercise you do. What is more important is how many calories you are burning during exercise. Walking at a 15-minute mile pace will burn between 175 and 189 calories every 30 minutes (via Livestrong). That means a brisk one-hour walk can burn almost 400 calories!

Your diet is even more important than exercise when it comes to burning fat

No matter how many calories you burn while exercising, you will not lose belly fat if you are not in a calorie deficit. Being in a calorie deficit means that on average, you are consuming fewer calories than your body needs to maintain your current weight (via Women's Health). Everyone's caloric needs are different and will depend on a variety of factors including age, sex, weight, physical activity, genetics, and health conditions. For the average adult, reducing your calorie intake by 500 calories per day should result in losing about one pound per week.

"The classic definition is based on the fact that one pound of fat contains 3,500 calories," Sonya Angelone, RD, told Women's Health. "If you eat 500 calories less than the amount you need to maintain your weight, you will lose one pound in a week."

Because physical activity burns calories, exercising can help you reach your ideal calorie deficit without cutting out as much food. For example, if you normally eat 2,500 calories per day and want to cut out 500 calories, you would need to eat 2,000 calories per day to maintain a calorie deficit without exercise. But if you walk for an hour a day and burn 350 calories while walking, you can eat 2,350 calories per day and still maintain a calorie deficit of 2,000 calories per day. Bottom line: walking can help you burn belly fat as long as it is combined with a healthy diet that puts you in a calorie deficit.