How To Lose Weight On A Treadmill: Essential Tips

Author: Ihor Shymechko (26 years of Oly Lifting & Training experience)

If you ever visit your local gym, you will notice people standing in queues waiting minutes for the treadmill. The treadmill has become one of the most popular tools not only for fitness but weight loss as well. 

However, if you were wondering how to lose weight on a treadmill, we have you covered!

Losing weight is easier said than done. Through some meticulous research and experimentation, we have found the best way to lose weight on a treadmill. 

In this article, you will find out how using a treadmill to lose weight can save you time and provide you with more comfort.

How To Lose Weight On A Treadmill? Much like running and walking, using a treadmill to lose weight reduces the need for visiting an expensive gym. To start losing weight, you should run or walk for at least 40 minutes 3-4 times a week. You should also revise your diet to create a calorie deficit, otherwise, your journey to weight loss will not be short.

how to lose weight on a treadmill

Getting Started With Your Weight Loss Journey On A Treadmill

Many people love to procrastinate when it comes to their workout aspirations. We always want to start sometime in the future, but to get the ball rolling; you should start as soon as possible. Whilst the treadmill alone won't help you lose weight and calorie control is the most essential part, we will explore the added benefit of using a treadmill and how to get started.

Consulting With A Healthcare Professional

Whether it is running on treadmill to lose weight or starting a new weight training routine, consultation with a healthcare professional is vital.

According to a BBC report from 2015, 24,000 people in the United States were admitted to hospitals in the year previous. Many of these were treadmill-related injuries. In the case of deaths, only 30 were reported between 2000 and 2012, with many of these being caused due to heart attacks.

Visiting your medical doctor will allow the specialist to see whether you are at risk of any injuries and if you are capable of performing a workout routine on the treadmill. Things like your heart and other aspects will be checked, and your doctor might suggest a specific routine or the best treadmill settings for weight loss in your unique case.

female athlete in pink top running left on a treadmill

How to Select The Right Treadmill: 4 Criteria to Consider

When buying a new treadmill, it is not as easy as just walking into the first store and buying one. Not all treadmills are created equally and many of them have a variety of features to keep in mind. Let’s explore the most important of them.

  • Treadmill Motor Capacity: The first thing to consider is the motor in the treadmill. These often start at around 1 HP (Horsepower) in the top models but can go as high as 5 HP for commercial variants. Depending on your needs and whether you are using it for walking or high-intensity workouts, the optimal power output will vary. A treadmill motor that produces between 1.5 and 3.5 HP should work for most home workouts.
  • Belt Size: The belt size refers to the actual belt used when measured in length and width. Many belts used for running are 60 x 20 inches, whereas small ones can be in the range of 17 x 45 inches. For larger users, a treadmill belt of 22 x 60+ inches would often be best.
  • Weight Capacity: Treadmills vary in terms of durability and weight capacity. However, a good rule of thumb is to find a treadmill with a weight capacity that is about 50 pounds heavier than your body weight.
  • Console: Finally, you should consider the console and its various features. Whilst some treadmills offer you an air vent, the more important feature is the functionality. You should check for the incline feature and which built-in programs the treadmill offers.

The Best Treadmill We Would Recommend


The Proform City L6 Folding treadmill is one of the top options we would recommend. Not only does it come with a foldable design, but the compact size doesn’t take up too much space in your home. The unit features a 1.6 HP motor and can reach 8 MPH. It even syncs to the iFit app, keeping all your data and progress stored.

athlete in white shirt and pink shorts running on PROFORM CITY L6 treadmill at home in front of a blue sofa

photo by @finspor

Thanks to a durable design, you not only have a 250-pound weight capacity, but it includes a 10-year frame warranty. The large 18 x 47-inch treadbelt would make it comfortable for users with longer strides, especially if you are over 6-feet.

Safety Precautions And Warm-Up Exercises

Whenever you use a treadmill or perform any workout, you will need to include things like warm-up routines. Your warm-up routine can consist of a few stretch exercises to get the blood flowing. 

However, you can also set the treadmill at a slow pace and walk for 5 to 10 minutes before starting.

It is also important to make sure the treadmill is set up correctly and you don’t have any loose components. We recommend thoroughly following the instructions or calling for expert assistance if you cannot set it up.

Choosing The Correct Training Plan

You can find numerous treadmill workout routines online. 

However, having a professional assist you will be much more effective. A professional trainer will take all your measurements and limitations. They will construct a valuable workout plan, which is tailored to your specific needs.

athlete in pink top running on a treadmill at home

4 Effective Workout Routines On Treadmill For Losing Weight

Many of you are wondering if a treadmill is good for losing weight and the answer to this question is yes. A 2015 study testing the use of Equipment for Clever Exercise against supervised treadmill walking proved that participants did show significant improvements in abdominal obesity when using a treadmill. 

However, you also need to understand which type of workouts you can perform for the best results.

1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-Intensity Interval Training is a unique way of training that involves alternating the intensity of the workout for a few minutes before resting. During a 2017 study, it was found that HIIT is one of the best ways to reduce body fat.

For a HIIT workout, you will work hard for a few minutes before resting. Essentially, the workout involves alternating between high-intensity bursts and resting. Here’s how you can perform it:

  • Set the treadmill at a walking pace for about 2-5 minutes
  • Next, you can run at the maximum permitted speed for 30 to 60 seconds
  • Once complete, drop it down to walk at a brisk pace for 30-60 seconds
  • Repeat the process for at least 3-4 times

You can change the speeds to whichever speed you feel most comfortable with.

athlete in pink top running right on a treadmill

2. Moderate-Intensity Walking

Moderate-intensity walking is a bit more straightforward. The idea is to adjust your treadmill routine for weight loss to accommodate your physiological capabilities. For this, you should warm up for a few minutes before you set the speed to a brisk pace. The idea is to reach the fat-burning zone for your heart rate. A study done in 2009 found that the optimal heart rate for this fat-burning zone is between 67.6 and 80.1%.

3. Hill Workout

If you want to make the best out of your treadmill routine and burn more calories in less time, you should consider the hill workout plan. This plan involves activating the incline on the treadmill. Essentially, it is an incline treadmill workout for fat loss.

You can choose to go up and down hills or you can choose the steady climb, which involves consistently climbing up a single hill. Once again, you should try to keep your heart rate between 67 and 80% of your maximum heart rate.

4. Distance Workout

Finally, you might want to consider the distance workout. For this workout, you will have a set distance that you are aiming for. If the distance is short, you should keep your heart rate in the designated "fat-burning zone".

female athlete in pink top running on a treadmill in a gym

3 Tips On Maximizing Fat Burning On A Treadmill

The treadmill by itself can only give you so much. However, using a treadmill to lose weight involves additional things. The following tips will help you maximize your fat-burning on the treadmill:

1. Calorie Controlled Diet

No matter how hard you train on the treadmill, a bad diet will prevent you from losing weight. It is important to figure out what your maintenance calories are and try to consume fewer calories than your maintenance.

2. Switch Up Your Routine

If you have been following the same routine for a few weeks and you find your results slowing down, you might want to switch up your workout routine. Alternating between different routines might allow you to break through plateaus and get out of a rut.

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Push Yourself

Once you become comfortable with the treadmill, your fitness will also improve. It is important that when your fitness improves, you push yourself harder. As your body becomes accustomed to one specific routine,your workouts can become easier, whilst sustaining your current results. We would recommend increasing the speed, distance, and incline every two weeks to push yourself to a different level.

Tracking Progress And Staying Motivated

Staying motivated once the novelty wears off can be tricky. Once you get into a rhythm, it can often become boring. However, using applications like iFit is a great way to track your data and progress. It enables you to see what you have achieved and you can push yourself to improve.

Additionally, you can set records for yourself and try to beat these records. However, one of the best ways to stay motivated is to have a like-minded training partner that spurs you on when you don’t feel like working out.

athlete in pink top running left on a treadmill in a gym


Is Treadmill Good For Losing Belly Fat?

Whilst you cannot directly pinpoint where you are losing fat, the treadmill is an effective tool for losing weight. As you start losing weight all over your body, you will lose belly fat as well.

How Long Should You Walk On A Treadmill To Lose Weight?

The time you spend on the treadmill is not a defined number. Depending on your workout, you could burn a lot of calories if you perform HIIT for 30 minutes. However, someone doing distance running might not burn the same number of calories when using a treadmill.

Is 30 Minutes A Day On A Treadmill Enough To Lose Weight?

30 minutes can be more than enough if you perform the right workout and follow the right nutrition plan. The time you spend on the treadmill will greatly depend on the effort and workout plan you are following.


The treadmill is one of the oldest training tools you can find. Thanks to its portable and unique design, it offers plenty of use for those training at home. We would love to know how much weight you have lost on the treadmill, and which workout routine offers you the best way to lose weight on a treadmill.

Also read:


  • How dangerous are treadmills? // BBC:
  • Efficacy of moderate-intensity walking // NCBI:
  • High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss // NCBI:
  • Quantifying differences in the "Fat burning" zone and the Aerobic zone // NCBI:
  • Quantifying differences in the “Fat Burning” zone and the Aerobic Zone // LWW:
  • Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance // NCBI:

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Coach, PRO Olympic Weightlifter

Experience: 26 years

Best Results: Snatch - 208 kg,

C&J - 240 kg

My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.

I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.

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This article was written by our qualified author and proofread by expert with proven experience. When writing the article we use our expertise and data from open sources with strong reputation, scientific or medical based. The list of references is provided at the end of the article.

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