Simple Fitness, Food and Health Hacks

Hey, I'm Julien. Each week I share a newsletter designed to make you fitter. It's short, smart and actionable16k read it, I'd love you to join too. It's free.

6 Simple Hacks to Lose more Weight on the Treadmill

 Written by 

Mauro Castillo

 Last updated on 

We may receive a commission from our affiliate links at no additional cost to you. See disclosures page.

There are many ways to lose weight with a treadmill, and we’ve compiled the best-proven strategies to help you lose weight while saving you time and energy.

This article will cover your nutrition, best fat-burning zone, and treadmill settings that will help burn those needed extra calories.

image 21 1 e1671488874626
  • Save

And, as a bonus, we included a treadmill workout, so you can start immediately!

But first, let’s begin with your nutrition.

Double Down On Your Nutrition

There is no weight loss without a proper nutrition guide, and getting into a calorie-deficit estate is priority number one.

However, this is not to say that you should be reckless and abruptly cut down your calories. There are healthy ways to achieve this.

First, you need to determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This metric measures how many calories your body burns without physical activity.

Secondly, aim for a 10-15% calorie cut down of your BMR. This will induce a sustainable and healthy weight-loss journey.

Then, increase your protein intake. Consuming at least 0.8 grams per kg of weight should be enough to control your appetite and build muscle mass.

The scientific evidence suggests that protein breakdown increases the metabolic rate, thus increasing calorie burn (1).

This is also important to retain muscle mass as you lose weight since you don’t want to get flaccid and weak. You want slim and toned.

Find Your Fat-Burning Zone

Five heart rate zones classify the effort and workout intensity in relation to your average heart rate per minute.

The most accurate way of determining your heart rate zones is through a VO2 max test, but since they tend to be expensive and little accessible, most people default to this formula: 

Max heart rate (MHR) = 220 – age

For example, if you’re 20 years old, your maximum heart rate should be 200 beats per minute (BPM).

This could be more precise, but it’s enough for the general population.

These would be the five heart rate zones for a 20-year-old (2).

Heart Rate Zone% IntensityBeats per minute (BPM)
Zone 1: Warm Up50-60%100-120
Zone 2: Fat Burn60-70%120-140
Zone 3: Aerobic Zone70-80%140-160
Zone 4: Anaerobic Zone 80-90%160-180
Zone 5: VO2 Max90-100%180-200

Find your fat-burning zone, and with the help of a heart rate monitor, aim for workouts that keep you in that zone for 30-45 minutes.

But don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and mix it up a little from time to time! Also, consult our dedicated article if you are wondering how long should you run.

Play With Incline Levels

One of the easiest ways to increase the treadmill intensity is to play with the incline levels. A simple 3% elevation will push your heart rate through the roof. 

Think of it like climbing a mountain or hiking on rocky terrain, but faster. This simple strategy can be a surprise for many people. 

A hill workout day can be done in 30 minutes or less independent of your fitness level. 

You can start your routine flat, and after slightly increasing the elevation, spend a few minutes there too, and soon you’ll be doing an incline workout.

image 23
  • Save

Some treadmills have pre-programmed hill workouts, saving you time and energy.

We only recommend being cautious with incline levels greater than 12 degrees since some studies suggest it could hurt your knees’ meniscus (3).

Although incline settings are considered safe for most people, it’s better to err on the side of safety.

Do HIIT Workouts

Are you looking to increase your energy expenditure? High-Intensity Interval Training might be the answer.

These heart-pumping cardio workouts will flirt with your maximum heart rate and burn more calories throughout the rest of the day. 

Best part? They usually stay below the 20 minutes mark. This makes them a fantastic option for people with busy schedules. 

High-intensity workouts have always been a part of a balanced exercise routine. 

There’s scientific evidence suggesting that HIIT increases insulin sensitivity in patients with obesity (4) which can help regulate glucose spikes, thus maintaining a steadier weight.

Today’s treadmills come with several pre-programmed speed interval workouts, removing the difficulty of programming them and simply enjoying them.

Add Weights

Sans titre 34 1
  • Save

Adding extra weight to your treadmill workout is another popular strategy to push your treadmill routine to the limits. 

Whether it be wrist or ankle weights, a weighted vest, or dumbbells, adding weight turns any session into an efficient weight-loss workout.

Why? Because it can turn a light cardio workout into a full-body intense workout in a heartbeat. 

With extra weights, you’ll get a mix of resistance training, with aerobic conditioning that will target your largest muscles, helping you burn more calories per hour.

It would be best if you were wary of your safety while running and using weights; it’s not something we remarkably endorse. 

However, combining extra weights with an incline setting will transform any session into an advanced workout.

Try This Treadmill Workout To Help You Lose Weight

Losing weight is all about nutrition, consistency, and patience. Success is secured if you can nail those three elements for a prolonged period.

We’re aware that today’s life is getting busier and busier, so we prepped this 10-minute calorie-burning workout to make things easier for you. 

Give it a try!

Time Speed (MPH)Incline (%)
0:00 – 1:003.510
2:00 – 3:0055
3:00 – 4:005.55
4:00 – 5:003.58
5:00 – 6:005.54
6:00 – 7:003.58
7:00 – 8:0064
8:00 – 9:003.55
9:00 – 10:006.50

If you have a heart-rate monitor, remember to aim for the Zone 2 range to maximize your calorie burning, and don’t forget to enjoy the process!

How Long Should You Treadmill To Lose Weight?

Losing weight depends on multiple factors that go beyond treadmill training.
However, if you double down on your nutrition and remain consistent, you can start seeing results within the first four weeks.

Is It Better To Run Or Walk On A Treadmill To Lose Weight?

It will depend on your fitness level. If you’ve been sedentary for too long, we’d recommend walking before running
But if you feel comfortable enough to run, then go for it. Running burns more calories per day compared to walking.

Why Am I Not Losing Weight On The Treadmill?

Before blaming the treadmill, ensure you’re on a calorie deficit and consistently hitting your calorie goal.
You’ll never lose weight if you constantly eat more calories than you burn.


I've been in the world of CrossFit since 2016. Started as a client, later became a coach, and eventually bought an affiliate with two friends from January 2020 to January 2022. In 2018 I won 1st place at a local competition in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. After I sold my shares in January 2022 I moved then to another city to run as the general manager of another affiliate STI CrossFit.

Share via
Copy link