Hiking to Burn Fat and Calories

There are two things about hiking to burn fat and calories that can also contribute to weight loss.

One, of course, is you are out in the countryside somewhere walking – maybe on uneven trails, maybe climbing hills, maybe it’s just a sightseeing stroll (but still better than lying on the sofa watching TV), maybe it is a fifteen mile day hike with a twenty-five hundred foot elevation change to some pass just for the spectacular view.

And the other is that you are nowhere near your refrigerator.

You always want to stay well hydrated while hiking, of course – it’s easy to not carry enough water because you don’t want to carry too much weight on your hike. But that is not a good idea. And you also want to have enough healthy snacks to keep your energy up. But you are not likely to carry foods that won’t travel well hiking (I’ve never seen someone eating ice cream on the trail).

On those long trailer camping trips my wife and I used to take – to the national parks in the western U.S. and Canada – mostly for hiking, we always came home lighter than we left – and in better shape. You can burn a lot of calories in a moderate to strenuous day hike – and it is hard while on the trail to eat as many calories. The perfect weight loss program: Calories burned > Calories consumed.

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Hiking can become much more than an exercise you do in order to lose weight it can become an obsession, or at the very least, a treasured activity. Hiking three times a week will help you lose weight depending on the length of your hikes, the terrain and your diet.

All three are important parts of the likelihood of you losing weight. Many different variables affect how much weight you will lose by hiking on a regular basis. Your diet, your current weight and the terrain where you hike can all affect your results.

One thing is for certain, however; if you eat the appropriate number of calories for your height, age and gender while hiking on a regular basis, you’ll start to see your extra pounds disappear.

Hiking burns considerably more calories than walking, and if you previously stuck to walks around the neighborhood for exercise, you are likely to see a pronounced increase in weight loss.

A 185-pound person who hikes for two hours can burn 1,064 calories. If the same person spends two hours walking on flat terrain, she will burn approximately 712 calories. Over the course of a week, if you hike for a total of six hours, you will lose almost 1/2 pound more than the walker.

Thirty-year-old Marylyn Connors from Newark, New Jersey, walked gingerly into the Ute Mountaineer Outdoor store in Aspen, Colorado. She had an expression of distress on her faintly sunburned face. Immediately she approached the retail counter stating, “I need to talk to someone in the hiking department.”

Behind the counter was the store’s hiking expert, known locally as “Dennis from the Ute.”  Dennis replied, “What can I do for you, Ma’am?”

Connors described how she had just been on a four-hour hike on the Continental Divide that put her about as far from a “Rocky Mountain High” as she could imagine. Her feet were bruised, ankles swollen, knees ached and her back had developed a sharp pain in the lower vertebrae.  On top of all that, she was hobbling around with quarter-sized blisters on the backs of her heels and now her vacation, in which she had been expecting to hike for days in the high country of Colorado, had suddenly become a walking nightmare. She came into the outdoor store looking for advice to get through the rest of the week without suffering more pain out on the trail; otherwise she would catch the next flight back to Newark.

According to Dennis from the Ute, Connor’s story is typical for many would-be trail hikers on vacation. “Some people come here looking for a workout. You can burn from 350 to 500 calories per hour hiking in the great outdoors. That’s true, but many people expect trail hiking to be just like the treadmill or stair climber they have been working out on back at home. But it’s a lot different.”

Loose soil, undulating terrain, variable walking surfaces and improper clothing choices can throw a monkey wrench into your workout. Yes, hiking trails can give you a great, pain-free, calorie-crunching workout, with the added bonus of fresh mountain air and amazing scenery – but if you don’t take a few precautions, you can find yourself miserable after only a few miles on the trail.

Hiking to Burn Fat and Calories

Dennis suggests three things a first-time hiker can do to avoid the pitfalls of pain for those who are more familiar with cardio machines than calluses: select the proper footwear, use trekking poles, and wear the proper clothing.


Hello friends, I am “Stacy Ryder” and i'm a former makeup artist. I like to write essays and articles about beauty, fashion, fitness and entertainment. You will love to read my articles regularly.

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