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Is Walking Or Running Better For Fat Loss?

By Rachael Attard, Updated Apr 11, 2019
is running or walking better for fat loss?

Let’s get straight to the point – which is better for fat loss?

If you were to run for 30 minutes, you would burn more calories than you would power walking for 30 minutes. But for walking and running are both important for optimum fat loss. Here’s why.

The answer is: BOTH!

how to get a flat stomach mesomorph


1) It burns lots of calories
2) It increases your cardiovascular fitness which also increases your anaerobic threshold. This means that you can exercise longer and at a higher intensity in the “fat burning” zone and as a result, burn more fat.


1) It burns FAT. Because it is a lower intensity exercise, your body uses glucose and fat to produce energy. Your body uses other energy sources (such as glycogen and creatine phosphate) to produce energy during higher intensity exercise.
2) It is less intense on your body and your joints so you can do this exercise for longer periods of time and more frequently.

how to stick to a workout program cardio walk

One of my previous blog posts goes into detail about why low to moderate intensity cardio is actually very important for fat loss. Read more about it here.

Everyone is different and depending on your body type, certain types of cardio may benefit you differently. I have a free Body Type Quiz that you can solve to find out your body type.

I also have free workout and nutrition guidelines for each of the three main body types. In the guidelines I highlight the types of cardio you should be doing and how often. You can read up on the free guidelines here:


These types of workouts are also the basis for my 3 Steps To Lean Legs Program, which contain workout and nutrition programs for each body type. Read more about my 3 Steps To Lean Legs Program here.

Picture of Rachael

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

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37 comments on “Is Walking Or Running Better For Fat Loss?”

    Daniella says:

    Hi Rachel. I am about week three into your video program for Endomorphs and although I don’t see many visible changes, I do feel the difference, especially in my booty. I am starting to cut back my running, like many of your articles suggest only 2ish days a week rather than 4-5, and incorporate more power walking in. I was wondering what your thoughts are on rucking (walking with a weighted backpack) and walking with a weighted vest for added effort. Do they have the same effect as running on bulky thighs?
    Thank you for this program. I am super excited to see where it takes since I have always had chunky legs, and then extra chunky legs when I work out.

      Tijana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely <3
      Rachael always advises walking as much as possible, so aim at least 5 times a week for 45-60 minutes and as for running, no more than 2 times a week on the days when you are not doing the exercises. Also, please keep in mind that some endomorphs can bulk up from running so pay close attention to your legs and if you see some unwanted changes, substitute the running for more walking - and as for added weight, I wouldn't hun, your body's weight is enough and it is more important you be able to move quickly than carry something heavy.
      I hope this helps! xx

    Linh says:

    Hi Rachael! I’m very new to workout. If I start walking to have thinner leg, what speed should I start with and how long per walking session is appropriate? I have a treadmill at home xx

      Tijana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely <3
      Please aim at 6-7 km/h (3.7-4.3 mph) for at least 5 times a week - start with 45 minutes and slowly raise the time to 60 minutes. And please don't forget that you shouldn't walk on an incline - only a flat surface! :)
      Tina xx

    Elle Suyarat says:

    I tried power walk but the fastest I can do is 4.8 kmph! If I want it faster, it’ll be running.
    However I think I’m fairly fit because I do HIIT twice a week, and I always walk to go places. Is it because I’m only 160 cm?

      Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      Your walking speed is great, you don’t need to increase it. The speed will also depend on your height (the length of your legs), but just keep walking at a medium fast pace and try to maintain your fat burning heart rate (60-70% of your maximum heart rate). All the best! xx


    Fiona says:

    Hey! I have a question. I have no treadmill at home and sometimes I can not go to gym. There is some videos to walk at home. What do you think about them? Do they work? Or just waste of time?

      Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      Of course you can walk outdoors as well! I’m not familiar with walking at home videos, so I can’t comment. We always recommend walking as much as possible and moving throughout the day (e.g. walking to the shop or from work also counts)! xx


    Jenny says:

    Thank you! :) xxxx

    Jenny says:

    Hi Rachael,
    I’ve just started your programme – thanks for creating all this! I was going crazy with my trainer telling me it was “genetically impossible” for my female quads to grow big… ! Anyway, at my gym there’s a Woodway Curve manual treadmill, which I like to use because you power the whole movement yourself (the machine belt doesn’t move on its own at all) so it’s more similar to walking outside. It certainly tires me out faster. However, would the slight curve make this like incline walking, providing a quad-building effect. It doesn’t feel the same but I’m not sure! Any advice really appreciated.
    Thanks again for all your work and I will defs send you my b&a pictures!

      Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,

      I understand your problem, I’ve been there too!
      This treadmill looks awesom. It shouldn’t make your legs bulky, it’s not the same as incline walking/running :) xx

      Love, Lean Legs Club support

    Aria says:

    What if i don’t have a flat surface for walking on? i live on a huge hill and there are almost no flat areas to walk on.

      Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Aria, that’s a tough one! My best suggestion would be to walk on a treadmill xx

    Jen rogers says:

    What exceresies should I do at the gym to make my thighs thinner so I have a thigh gap and what shall I do at the gym to lose weight too?

      Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Jen, I think I just replied to this via your email :) But to answer the questions:

      1) To get slimmer legs and a thigh gap, you need to be doing both walking and running (on a flat surface).

      2) To lose weight you need to focus on your diet as the most important thing. And then do high intensity circuits. Here is an example of the type of circuits you should do here and here xx

        Jennifer says:

        How many times a week should I do the HIIT Abs and how many times a week should I do the HIIT full body? Also do I add in the walking everyday as well?

          Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

          If you’re the ectomorph or mesomorph body type, you could do a full body HIIT session twice a week. I wouldn’t recommend HIIT to endomorph body types because it can make them bulky.

          They could still do HIIT just for abs once a week if they have a lot of belly fat to lose.
          Of course, power walking is one of the best workouts for slimming down your legs so the more you can walk, the better! :) xx


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