How Much Weight is Safe to Lose on a Treadmill in a Week?


In a healthy manner, you shouldn’t push to lose more than 2 pounds a week. Is it possible to lose more than 2 pounds in a week? Yes, but there are more risks than benefits if you don’t monitor your actions carefully.

Note that we are not physicians or health practitioners - the content in this article is not intended to be health advice so always seek the advice of your physician first and foremost!

The amount of weight loss is directly contributed by the amount of time you work out, the intensity of your workouts, and the calories you put back in throughout the day and the calories you use during the workout.

Do Some Crunching Before Getting Started

What I mean is, let’s look at the math and really consider what it takes to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Crunching the numbers will help you understand what you need to do to lose weight on the treadmill weekly.

Consistency is Key

Be consistent with how much you put into your body vs. how much energy you expel. Let’s break it down, shall we?

On average, 1 lb of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. So you will need to burn at least 3,500 MORE calories than you consume each week.

3,500 calories per week break down to 500 calories burned daily (3,500/7). This means you will need to be on your treadmill for an hour each day to burn a minimum of 500 calories. Use this handy calculator to determine how much treadmill time you’ll need.

You also need to ensure you are burning more calories than you consume daily. The average calorie consumption for a healthy lifestyle varies with gender, age, and activity level, but most overeat and under-exercise.

You need to be consistent with how many calories go in and how many you burn each day. Tracking is a great way to put these numbers into perspective.

Quick recap:

  • Aim to lose 1-2 pounds max a week to do it safely
  • 1 pound of fat = 3,500 calories burned
  • On average, you want to burn 500 calories a day
  • 1 hour on a treadmill could burn 300 calories at a walking pace or 500 calories running

I could throw numbers at you all day long, but I’ll keep it simple with what I’ve already provided. Understanding where your starting point is now, what you need to track (calories in and out), and how much time you need to spend on the belt is the best way to determine how much weight you can lose.

Of course, there are other factors you can use to help burn those calories faster…

Additional Factors to Burning Calories Faster

If you are drawn to running, spending an hour on the treadmill every day might not seem like a big deal, but some of us don’t have an hour at a time to spend or just get bored too fast (Me…It’s me with the boredom). So I quickly made a list of ways to burn my calories off faster.

Use the Incline Button

I LOVE this button. I can go slower on the treadmill if I adjust the gradient.

When it comes to putting 60 minutes on the clock and staying in one place for that long, I automatically think of ways to make my time go faster, so why not spend less time and work harder to get the job done?

You can switch it up, use the gradient as a negative, and decline the belt. Adjusting the gradient up and down also has the added bonus of working your leg and glute muscles differently, and we all know that muscle burns more calories than fat, so why not!

Add Weights

You can grab a pair of dumbbells or strap on some ankle weights to work your body harder. The treadmill won’t know the difference, so you’ll need a watch or heart rate monitor to get an accurate number, but adding any kind of resistance will force your body to work harder and thus burn more calories.

Do Speed Intervals

I’m a huge fan of high intensity interval training, and you can incorporate that into a treadmill workout by playing with the speed buttons. Start with a brisk walk after warming up, run for a few minutes, walk, run…you get the idea. By changing your speeds, your body must adjust the force and energy used to keep you moving.

Break down your Sessions

If you can’t bring yourself to run the belt for 60 minutes at a time, break it down. Walk in the morning and again at night for 30 minutes, or get in a quick run during your lunch break. You might find that shorter intervals throughout your day make it easier to burn even more than 500 calories during a workout. Then you’re losing even more pounds per week.

Just be sure you are safe about whatever decision you make. The risks never outweigh the progress when it comes to your health.

Risks of Losing Too Much Too Fast

As with anything we do regarding our bodies, there are risks. Everyone wants to do things fast and furious, but too many times in health, that leads to more problems than solutions.

  • Cutting calories in the right place is one way people tend to take shortcuts, and it can lead to health issues instead of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Muscle loss- Losing weight doesn’t always mean you are losing fat. You could lose muscle instead of fat if you don’t take the proper steps for healthy weight loss.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies- Losing weight too fast has adverse side effects like fatigue, depression, hair loss, slower metabolism, weak immune systems, and other health concerns if it isn’t done correctly.

Losing weight on a treadmill every week can lead to amazing health benefits, but only if done correctly and with healthy eating habits. 1-2 pounds a week is plenty to see results and keep you motivated to keep going. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a weight loss goal.

Be patient, eat healthy, and burn those 500 calories a day.


Hey, I'm Michael Jones and I support this blog with a group of authors consisting of Personal Trainers, Physiotherapist and sellers of fitness equipment.

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