How much exercise do I need to lose weight?

How much exercise do I need to lose weight?

Exercise 45-60 minutes a day to lose weight.

The recommended amount of aerobic exercise to lose weight and keep it off is:

  • 45-60 minutes of exercise a day
  • 5-7 days a week

Another way to state this recommendation is to burn 300 calories a day or 2,000 calories a week through exercise.

More than 2,700 members of the National Weight Control Registry lost an average of nearly 73 lbs with this amount of exercise. They burned almost 2,700 calories a week, or roughly 385 calories a day.

Gradually increase your exercise

It’s not realistic or safe to go from zero or little exercise to exercising 45-60 minutes a day, 5-7 days a week. Gradually increase your exercise to help prevent sore muscles, discomfort, injury, and burnout or other factors that could prevent you from continuing to exercise.

If you don’t have time to exercise 60 minutes at a time, break up your exercise into smaller segments.

ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 7th edition (2006)
ACSM Position Stand: Appropriate Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Gain for Adults
Phelan, Suzanne, HR Wyatt, JO Hill, and RR Wing. Are the Eating and Exercise Habits of Successful Weight Losers Changing? Obesity. 2006; 14;710-716.

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Stephanie Averkamp

About the Author was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...

Stephanie Averkamp

Our Approach: Short-term solutions (like dieting) are unrealistic and ineffective because at some point they end. As soon as a diet or program ends, so do the results. Permanent weight loss is a journey; it's not a race or competition and there is no finish line. Read more...