Treadmill walking does burn calories, but the slimming benefits may take a bit.
Walking on a treadmill has the potential to slim your body, but it depends on a few factors. It's difficult to lower your body fat with walking alone, but with discipline and dedication, you can see noticeable changes over time. In addition to regular treadmill walking workouts, your eating and drinking habits are important to reaching body-slimming success.
In order to slim, or lower your body fat, you've got to make adjustments to your daily routine so you're consistently burning more calories than you consume. This is why walking is beneficial to a fat-loss program. It increases the number of calories you burn that day, thus contributing to the creation of the caloric deficit that's necessary for fat loss. You need a deficit of 3,500 calories in order to lose a single pound, and because of the limited number of calories walking burns per minute, it can take some time to create this deficit and see noticeable changes.
The number of calories you'll burn during your treadmill walks depends on your current body weight, the pace at which you walk and how long you walk. The more you weigh, the harder your body has to work to propel you forward, which means you'll burn more calories. As you'd expect, the faster and longer your treadmill walks, the more calories you'll burn. According to MayoClinic.com, a person who weighs 160 pounds will burn about 204 calories in a 60-minute walk when the treadmill is set to 2 mph, but will burn about 314 calories during that time if the treadmill is set to 3.5 mph. A person who weighs 200 pounds will burn about 255 calories in a 60-minute walk at 2 mph and about 391 calories if he picks up the pace to 3.5 mph.
If you're looking for more immediate and significant slimming benefits, walking may not be the most effective exercise. But, if you're OK with the benefits coming gradually, you'll be happy with what your walking workouts will offer. For example, that person who weighs 160 pounds and walks at 2 mph, thus burning about 204 calories in an hour, will need to complete about 17 treadmill workouts to create a 3,500-calorie deficit and thus lose a pound of fat. If she were to schedule five 60-minute treadmill walking workouts per week, it would take about three and a half weeks to lose that pound.
Increasing Your Chances of Success
To increase the effectiveness of your treadmill walking workouts, try to fit them in as often as you can. The more often you walk on the treadmill, the more calories you'll burn throughout the week. In addition, try picking up the pace for short periods. For example, if you normally walk at 2 mph, try bumping up the pace to 3 mph for a 60-second period every five minutes. You can also increase the incline on the treadmill, which will make your legs work harder and thus cause you to burn more calories. The most important adjustment you can make to your habits, however, is to limit your daily calorie intake by decreasing your meal portion sizes and selecting nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods. Whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables will keep you properly fueled and yet keep your daily calorie intake low, thus supporting the creation of a caloric deficit.