Can you lose weight using a treadmill? For those who have never considered using treadmills for fat loss before, this is a crucial question. Many consider treadmills as practical physical activity equipment for toning, strengthening, and improving cardiovascular health, but what about shedding excess pounds?

Using a treadmill for weight loss is effective since workouts done on the unit burns calories and facilitates aerobic capacity. However, you have to be strategic with your treadmill workouts if you want to lose weight and reduce body fat.

You have to know how long you need to run and how often you need to do your workouts to achieve this specific fitness goal. Start reading for more information on how you can take advantage of treadmills for your weight loss plans.

How Does a Treadmill Burn Calories?

The treadmill has been used by many fitness buffs all over the world due to it being an efficient aerobic exercise unit. It works out the quads and hamstrings, calves, glutes, and more as users increase its incline, thus it’s great fitness equipment for users who want to improve, tone, or strengthen those parts.

But does using the treadmill help you lose weight? Yes, you can since aerobic exercises like running and walking burn calories efficiently. As mentioned previously, you have to be strategic to shed unwanted kilos. For instance, running or brisk walking at an incline helps treadmill users burn more calories since it facilitates the body to work harder.

Furthermore, apart from treadmill incline, some factors can affect the number of calories that you can burn when working out on a treadmill.

1. Workout Intensity

The intensity of your workout is measured through your pulse or heart rate. The harder the lungs and heart work, the more calories get burned. Maintaining the heart rate within the fat burning zone by doing high intensity interval training (HIIT workouts) can support weight loss.

2. Incline

Cardio exercise like walking or running on an incline burn more calories compared to performing those activities on a level surface or doing them downhill. Depending on the incline, you can burn an additional 3-5 calories per minute.

3. Speed

You will burn lots of calories if you tackle the same distance in a briefer period because of the higher intensity. Burning more calories for an extended period even after working out is also possible if you exercise at higher intensities.

4. Workout Efficiency

It is said that the more effortless your movement and the more skilled you are in your workouts, the fewer calories are burned over an accorded distance. Some speeds feel more inherent to the body – however, everybody is different in terms of fitness level thus this will differ from one person to another.

5. Weight

Bodyweight is an essential factor in determining the number of calories that you can burn during workouts. A person who has more muscle or heavier is more capable of burning more calories, even when they’re at rest.

For instance, as documented in peer reviewed studies like the Harvard Health Publishing, an individual that weighs 84 kg (185 lbs) burns lots more calories within 20 minutes using a treadmill at 8kph (5 mph) compared to an individual who weighs 56kg (124 lbs) at a similar speed.

6. Age

A person’s everyday caloric intake reduces as they grow older. Metabolism slows down as we age – this means that younger individuals are more capable of burning calories over a day, even when at rest or while working out.

7. Gender

Gender plays a crucial role in determining the number of calories you can burn during treadmill use. The difference in body composition between men and women is the reason why the two sexes burn calories at varying rates, according to a 2016 research published in Experimental Physiology. Men have more muscle than fat which means men burn a higher number of calories while at rest and during exercise compared to women.

8. Treadmill Calibration

There are treadmill units that provide a calorie calculator where users can input their weight and the equipment will find out the number of calories they will burn based on the incline and speed used. Remember that not all treadmills deliver precise data since they are not always calibrated the correct way, as indicated by Barnett et. al. (2015) in the BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation.

9. Handrail Use

If you use the treadmill’s handrails often, you will burn fewer calories since the unit carries some of the weight during your workout.

10. Motorised Treadmill

Motorised treadmills come with a moving belt and even surfaces, and these features decrease the level of calories burned compared to outdoor running and walking exercises. To improve calorie burn, the treadmill should have a 1-percent incline at the least.

How to Lose Weight Using a Treadmill?

The question ‘can you lose weight using a treadmill’ is easily answered through this handy list of tips. If you want to lose weight, you have to work harder, among other things. Check out these suggestions for a successful treadmill workout.

1. Incline Increase

Can you lose weight using a treadmill? We agree if you increase the treadmill’s incline. Running or walking on a raised surface improves caloric burn compared to aerobic exercise performed on even surfaces. An increased incline also helps in lower-body strength-building due to the higher resistance.

2. Adding HIIT

If you want to lose weight, doing HIIT is one of the most effective routines that you can do on a treadmill. One study conducted by Weweke et. al. (2017) discovered that this type of treadmill workout burns even more calories compared to longer workouts. Fitness enthusiasts doing HIIT also burn calories even after the workout.

3. Shift Directions

Multidirectional workouts can also be performed on a treadmill. Walking sideways or backward builds strength on the hips and it also compels you to work harder while finishing the entire routine.

4. Make It Regular

Fitness is a commitment so if you want to lose weight, you need to get into a regular treadmill routine. It’s not only about the intensity of your activity, it is also about actual, regular performance.

Try sticking to workouts at least thrice a week instead of 5, then once by the following week. To steer clear of workout boredom, why not listen to music or watch your favourite TV shows while doing your treadmill exercises?

5. Vary Your Routine

Do not perform the same exercises repeatedly to prevent workout boredom. Mixing up your exercises or going from beginner-friendly workouts to more intense ones will help motivate you to continue pursuing your weight-loss goals.

You can increase the incline, perform HIIT, do endurance work, whatever suits your fitness level. Exercise must encourage you to move more!

6. Eat The Right Food

Can you lose weight using a treadmill alone? While the treadmill is an extremely effective tool for weight loss, it helps to find a routine that helps you burn plenty of calories. But just because you are capable of burning loads of calories does not mean you can also continue noshing or snacking on rich, fatty foods. You have to eat right and maintain a clean, balanced diet. Lots of protein, healthy fats, less sugar, more veggies, and low-sugar fruit.

Hydration is also key in maintaining peak health, so always have a bottle of water next to you during your treadmill workouts.

Beginner-Friendly HIIT Workout

Supplementing your treadmill routine with intervals and strength training will do wonders for your caloric burn. It will deliver the afterburn effect, and will also help improve your VO2 max, also known as aerobic capacity.

Even beginners can perform HIIT! This sample routine of shorter bursts will make you work harder to make your fitness goal a reality.

The Steps

  1. Walk at a speed of 4.5 kph with a duration of 60 seconds.
  2. Run at a speed of 9 kph with a duration of 30 seconds.
  3. Walk again at 4.5 kph with a duration of 60 seconds.
  4. Run again at 9 kph with a duration of 45 seconds
  5. Walk at a speed of 4.5 kph with a duration of 60 seconds.
  6. Run at a speed of 9 kph with a duration of 60 seconds.

Go over the routine 3X and end it with a cooldown walk that lasts for 75 seconds for a finished workout lasting 17 minutes. Depending on your fitness level, you can also modify the speed and incline.


Caloric burn is influenced by several factors, but the question ‘can you lose weight using a treadmill’ is answered by simply performing intense aerobic routines that will force you to work harder. A regular workout regimen should also be observed if you want to achieve your fitness goal.

1. Can I see results by walking 20 minutes daily on a treadmill?

20 minutes is a good start for treadmill beginners but if you want to see results, you have to spend at least 300 minutes (40-43 minutes for each workout) per week on a treadmill if you want to shed pounds.

2. Can you get abs from running on a treadmill?

Abdominal muscles are not activated that much during treadmill use. If you do the workout with an incline or perform resistance-heavy exercises on the unit, the rectus abdominis and the external obliques are often activated, albeit minimally. You still need to do your crunches if you want to get toned abs.