Hiking For Weight Loss – Is It Good For Losing Weight? [2023]

Without a doubt, hiking is a full-body workout that can help you burn calories, tone your body and improve your cardiovascular health. Some people do hiking for weight loss and to burn belly fat because it is a fun activity and a good exercise for losing weight.

But is hiking good for losing weight?  The short answer is, YES! Hiking is a great physical activity that gets you moving and your heart rate up, and will help you burn calories and lose weight. And because hiking is a low-impact exercise, it is easy on your joints and muscles, making it a perfect choice for people of all fitness levels.

Read about the fastest way to lose weight for women.

hiking for weight loss

Hiking For Weight Loss

Hiking is an excellent way to burn fat and lose weight. It is a great cardio exercise that helps you burn so many calories to reduce body weight and make you feel active. Plus, going out in nature improves your mental health too.

A recent study found that hiking can help you burn more calories than normal walking and brisk walking. The study participants who hiked burned an average of 719 calories per hour, while the brisk walkers only burned 673 calories per hour.

is hiking good for losing weight

So if you are looking for a workout that will help you lose weight and burn belly fat, hiking is a great option. However, it’s important to note that not all hikes are created equal. The intensity of the hike will determine how many calories you burn. For instance, a strenuous hike will burn more calories than a leisurely stroll.

Wear a neoprene sauna suit while hiking, it will help you burn more calories and sweat a lot to eliminate excess water.


How Many Calories You Burn In Hiking?

The number of calories burned in hiking depends on a few factors, such as your body weight, the intensity of the hike, and the terrain. A rule of thumb is that you can burn about 100 calories per mile. So, if you hike for 30 minutes in mountains (about two miles), you can expect to burn around 200 calories.

According to CDC, a hiking session of 30 minutes can burn around 170 to 200 calories depending on the trail and intensity. That means an hour of intense hiking can burn 400 calories, and 2 hours will burn around 800 calories – that’s a good number!

how many calories burned in hiking

Your weight also affects the number of calories you burn while hiking. A person who weighs more will burn more calories than a person who weighs less.

And, the terrain you are hiking on also makes a difference. Hiking up a hill is going to be more strenuous than hiking on a flat surface. Therefore, you can expect to burn more calories hiking uphill than you would while hiking on a flat trail.

Speaking from the experience, hiking helped me lose pubic fat fast.


Hiking vs. Running:

Both hiking and running are great cardio workouts that can help you burn calories and lose weight, but is hiking better than running? No, running burns more calories than hiking, and faster. A person who weighs 155 pounds can burn approximately 390 calories in 30 minutes of running, while they would only burn about 200 calories in 30 minutes of intense hiking.

hiking vs running

Here’s a comparison table of hiking vs. running: (results gathered after 30-minute sessions):

WeightIntense Hiking – Up To 5% Gradient Running - Men
Speed: 5.5mph (8.85kph) to 7.5mph (12kph)
Running - Women
Speed: 5mph (8kph) to 7mph (11.3kph)
155 lbs. (70 kg) 195390346
181 lbs. (82 kg)236468420
195 lbs. (88.5 kg)255505446
210 lbs. (95.3 kg)278542473
231 lbs. (105 kg)310574505

From the above results, it is clear that running burns more calories than walking. However, people hike for hours, which can result in more calorie loss than a running session.


Hiking vs. Walking:

Walking and brisk walking are also good cardio workouts to lose weight. Brisk walking is a walk with a pace and technique. But is hiking better than walking to lose weight? Yes, hiking burns more calories than walking. A person who weighs 155 pounds can burn approximately 200 calories in 30 minutes of intense hiking, while they would only burn about 150 calories in 30 minutes of walking.

hiking vs walking

Here’s a comparison table of hiking vs. walking and brisk walking: (results gathered after 30-minute sessions):

WeightIntense Hiking – Up To 5% Gradient Moderate WalkingBrisk Walking
155 lbs. (70 kg) 195147170
181 lbs. (82 kg)236174205
195 lbs. (88.5 kg)255188222
210 lbs. (95.3 kg)278212240
231 lbs. (105 kg)310227263

Even though you walk while hiking, but that is done on steep trails and mountains – that’s why it burns more calories.


How To Hike To Weight Loss – Hiking Tips

Now that we know that hiking is good to burn fat and lose weight, let’s look at some tips on how to make the most of your hike if you are trying to lose weight:

is hiking good for weight loss

1. Start slowly: If you are not used to hiking, start with easier trails and work your way up to more strenuous hikes. This will help prevent injuries and allow your body to adjust to the workout. If you start off too intense, you may get discouraged and give up.

2. Set realistic goals: Don’t expect to lose weight overnight – give yourself time to see hiking before and after results. Hiking is a slow and steady way to lose weight and tone your body, it may take several months to years to achieve the desired weight.

3. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can make you feel fatigued, so it’s important to stay hydrated on your hike, especially in warm weather. Carry a water bottle with you and drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your hike.

4. Fuel up before your hike: Eat a light snack such as a piece of fruit, health smoothie, or trail mix about an hour before your hike. This will give you energy for the workout ahead.

5. Wear the right shoes and clothing: Wearing proper hiking shoes and clothing will make your hike more enjoyable and help you avoid injuries. Dress in layers so you can adjust as needed depending on the temperature. A weighted backpack on your shoulders increases the intensity of your hike and can help you burn more calories.

6. Take breaks as needed: If you need a break, take it! Hiking is a strenuous workout and it’s important to listen to your body, don’t push yourself to overdo it when your body calls for a break. Pause for a few minutes to rest if needed – you’ll be able to resume the hike when you are ready.

7. Take intervals of fast and slow pace: Moving at one-speed causes comfort and will not bring up your heart rate to the expected level. So, increase your pushing speed whenever you find a low gradient and try to boost your heartbeat. Vice versa, slowing down on the slope with a controlled movement will bring down the beat to recover, and get ready for the next push.

Hiking Tips for Weight Loss


What to Eat Before and After Hiking?

Hiking can be exhausting and you need to right food to boost your energy. And, if you are hiking to lose weight, you should choose carefully what to eat before and after hiking. The right type of food will not only give you the energy to stay more active and on track for longer, but also help to recover your muscles and avoid getting fatigued.

Eat light meals before going on a hike containing both protein and carbs for sustainable energy;

  • A bowl of wholegrain oatmeal and fruits containing fiber.
  • 2 slices of wholegrain toast with peanut butter.
  • A banana, berries and some nuts.
  • A parfait of unsweetened yogurt and granola.

does hiking burn belly fat


After hiking, your body will need a good amount of protein to recover muscles and restore tissue strength. Remember, avoid simple carbs and processed foods after any workout.

  • A piece of grilled chicken fillet or lean meat with whole wheat brown bread and salad.
  • 2 boiled eggs, 2 slices of whole wheat bread, avocado and tomato.
  • A turkey sandwich on toasted whole wheat bread with Caribbean salad.
  • Grilled fish with boiled chickpeas and cucumber.
  • A vegetarian wrap with fresh hummus and sweet potatoes (for vegetarians).

calories burned hiking


How To Lose Maximum Weight In Hiking?

Almost every overweight person wants to lose weight fast and obtain an attractive body shape, especially women. Hiking can help you shed some pounds quickly, but it must be done correctly and combined with some other lifestyle changes.

Read how to lose 50 pounds quickly and in a healthy way!

You need to hike intensely on up hills to lose weight fast. You should be pushing yourself to hike faster and further than you are comfortable with. It is important to note that this type of intense hiking is not for everyone and can lead to injuries if you are not careful.

hiking burns how many calories

In addition to the intense hike, the best way to lose weight is to combine hiking with a healthy diet. Eating healthy foods and being mindful of portion sizes will help you reach your weight loss goals even faster!


How Often Should You Hike For Weight Loss?

It is recommended that you hike three times per week to see weight loss results. This number is considered to be safe for most people and will help you reduce some pounds without putting your body at risk for injuries. Hiking every day will cause strains and fatigue, so avoid it.

You can also increase the frequency of your hikes as you become more comfortable with the activity and your fitness level improves. Just be sure to listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.

Also keep in mind that the best time to hike for weight loss is first thing in the morning. This is because your body will be burning more calories throughout the day as it tries to process the hike.

In addition, hiking in the morning gives you a great boost of energy that can boost your power throughout your day. It is important to note that

Note: Do not eat heavy carbs food before your hike, as this can lead to cramping and discomfort – just drink water or a weight loss smoothie.

does hiking help you lose belly fat


Final Words

Hiking is a great outdoor activity to lose weight because it burns more calories than walking and running (if done for a longer period than running). However, the weight loss will depend on your current weight, how often you hike, how intense the hikes are and whether or not you make other lifestyle changes such as eating healthy foods and reducing portion sizes.

To lose weight fast, hike at a variety of intensity levels to suit your needs. Be sure to hike three times per week and combine hiking with a weight loss diet (low carb, high protein) for the best results!


Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

How much should I hike to lose weight?

You should hike three times a week for about 2 to 4 miles to lose weight. You can also vary the intensity of your hikes to burn more calories and see weight loss results fast.


Will Hiking help me lose belly fat?

Yes, hiking can help you lose belly fat. Hiking is considered a great cardio workout that will help you burn belly fat and improve your health. In addition, hiking can help to tone your muscles and give you a more attractive body shape.


Can you lose weight hiking everyday?

Hiking every day is not recommended as it can lead to injuries. It is best to hike three times per week and vary the intensity of your hikes. You can also combine hiking with a healthy diet to lose weight even faster!


Is hiking or running better for weight loss?

Both hiking and running can help you lose weight. However, running will burn more calories than hiking because it is a more vigorous and high-intensity cardio exercise. A 155 pounds person can burn around 390 calories in 30 minutes of running, while he/she would only burn about 200 calories in 30 minutes of intense hiking.



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