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How Long to See Results From Exercising and Weight Loss?

By Kim Nunley ; Updated July 18, 2017

Exercising is an important component to a successful weight-loss program. Losing weight permanently requires discipline and patience. Small goals should be the focus. With healthy eating and participation in consistent exercise, you can lose about 1/2 to 1 lb. of body fat every week. Your personal results will depend on a few additional factors.

Losing Weight

In order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume over a set period of time. You lose about a pound of body fat every time you create a 3,500-calorie deficit. Therefore, exercising regularly facilitates weight loss because it increases the number of calories you burn each day and thus contributes to the creation of the caloric deficit needed to lose weight.


How quickly you will see a weight-loss result from exercising depends on a couple of factors, including the frequency of your workouts and the amount of calories you burn during your workouts. The American Council on Exercise recommends that you exercise 30 to 60 minutes most days per week in order to burn enough calories to lose weight. There are aerobic activities that burn more calories per minute than others. According to Harvard Health Publications, you can most efficiently burn calories by swimming, bicycling and running.

Rate of Weight Loss

Although you must burn 3,500 more calories than you consume to lose a single pound of body fat, this caloric deficit must be created over time. The American Council on Exercise suggests trying to create a 250- to 500-calorie deficit per day, which would equate to 1/2 to 1 lb. of body fat loss per week. Use an online caloric calculator and adjust your workout type and duration as needed to ensure you burn 250 to 500 calories per day. According to Harvard Health Publications, a 155-lb. person burns about 465 calories per 30 minutes of running at 7.5 mph.

Additional Considerations

It’s essential to recognize the impact that your calorie intake has on your weight-loss results. You can quickly cancel out the calories you burn during your consistent exercise sessions by eating high-calorie meals. The caloric deficit needed to see weight-loss results is also dependent on your calorie intake. Use an online calorie calculator to estimate how many calories you burn per day. This value is dependent on your current body weight and how active you are throughout the day. Once you have that estimate, adjust your calorie intake so that you’re eating an appropriate number of calories to support your weight-loss goals.

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