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Walking or Cycling: Which Is Better for Belly Fat & Weight Loss?

Walking and biking are two major aerobic activities that help burn calories, lose weight, and shed fat as like belly fat. While fat is excellent for several body functions, such as thermoregulation, energy storage, and hormone regulation. But too much of it is a risk factor for several diseases. Besides, when this fat is in the wrong places, such as at the core, it becomes even worse for our health and self-esteem.

The most dangerous kind of fat is belly fat, which builds up in the abdomen and can wrap around internal organs. Research at UT Southwestern has shown that belly fat can lead to a number of health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and problems with the liver. It is also linked to certain cancers and the risk of dying suddenly.

Losing abdominal fat, also known as belly fat, is a common weight loss objective. In essence, walking and biking help lose overall fat, including belly fat, while helping with weight loss. Cycling is generally considered a more intense form of exercise than walking, which means you can burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. However, the rate at which either work differs, as biking helps lose fat quicker than walking. Note that it doesn’t mean that biking is better than walking!

In this article, we explore the debate between walking and biking, analyzing their impact on belly fat. specifically focusing on

  • What’s Behind Belly Fat?
  • Burning Belly Fat
  • Bicycling or Walking for Burning More Belly Fat?
  • Which is Best, Between Walking and Cycling?
  • Extra Tips for Reducing Belly Fat

What’s Behind Belly Fat?

What’s Behind Belly Fat?

There are two types of Belly fat,

  1. subcutaneous
  2. visceral fats.

Subcutaneous fat is just underneath the skin; this fat is stored throughout the body, including the abdomen, while visceral fat surrounds the internal organs. When visceral fat is too much around the intestines, stomach, liver, pancreas, and other organs in the belly area, it causes belly fat.

Belly fat is informally called stress fat because it is a result of chronic stress in most cases. In stressful conditions, one does not mind their food and beverage intake and ends up consuming too much-caffeinated beverages, alcohol, as well as junk food. However, it can also be baby fat, which a woman develops during pregnancy and remains after pregnancy. And interestingly, age also comes with belly fat, so you may start realizing increased belly fat as you grow older.

Regardless of the cause, too much fat around the waist or belly fat is a sign that you need to check on your fitness.

Burning Belly Fat

It’s impossible to target weight loss to a specific area. And any program claiming to do so- is a con.

According to a study, six weeks of abdominal-only exercise, had no discernible impact on waist size or the amount of fat in the abdominal region.

Usually, you have to work on your whole body fitness to burn belly fat effectively.

The only way to lose weight is to consume less than what you spend, ie calorie deficit. If your weight is within the normal range and you just want to reduce fat, then what you’re after is changing your body composition, which still starts with eating properly and eating well (macros!)… in combination, of course, with strength and cardio/HIIT training. There aren’t magic ways, unfortunately… no secrets. Just commitment and consistency!

In order to burn fat, you should expend more calories than you consume. For example, if you consume 2600 calories, you should manage to burn more than 2600 calories. Then, the body will start burning fat to sustain the required energy.

So when you ask which one burns more fat, Walking or Biking, you’re really asking which are between Walking or Biking burns more calories.

Calories Required to Burn Fat: As you may already have guessed at this point, burning fat is highly dependent on burning calories. Typically, the body burns calories once you start working or exercising as a first line of energy provision. However, when you exhaust the calorie stores, the body turns to fats for energy provision. 

On average, it is estimated that your body starts burning fat after 30 to 60 minutes of exercise. Also, burning up to 3500 calories is equated to burning a pound of body fat.

So, What Burns More Calories Walking or Biking?

So, What Burns More Calories Walking or Biking

The amount of calories you burn while working out depends on the intensity of the exercise, whether biking or walking. Consequently, the more intense the exercise, the more calories you burn. Actually, while cycling burns more calories at all levels compared to walking, turning the walk into a run will overturn tables. Furthermore, the weight of a person determines the number of calories they burn at different workout intensities.

The following table estimates how many calories a 68-kg (150-pound) individual would expend during a 60-minute cycling and walking session.

IntensityCycling (calories and speed)Walking (calories and speed)
Easy480 calories — 10 to 11.9 mph or (16–19.15 km/h)305 calories — 3.5 mph or (5.6 km/hr)
Moderate570 calories — 12 to 13.9 mph or (19.3–22.4 km/h)358 calories — 4.0 mph or (6.4 km/hr)
Fast715 calories — 14 to 15.9 mph or (22.5–25.6 km/h)500 calories — 4.5 miles per hour (7.2 km/hr)

Therefore, we can deduce that cycling definitely burns more calories at a time compared to walking.

Basically, both exercises target the lower body muscles, that is, the leg muscles. However, the exercise design can result in an increased calorie burn in the upper body, including the core. For example, carrying weights during a walk adds intensity to the upper body. Then, cycling while in a bent position requires the support of the core and the upper body, hence more calorie burn.

Which is Best for Burn Belly Fat, Between Walking and Cycling?

Well, both options are great for targeting belly fat as well as other aerobic health benefits. 

However, each has an advantage over the other;

If you want to lose belly fat fast and are in good health for cycling, cycling will work better for you than walking.

However, walking will be perfect for you if you have limited mobility due to an injury or an illness. Besides, walking is also great if you are on a budget because all you need are walking shoes, which are cheaper than a bike and cycling gear.

Also, note that walking and biking only help you with belly fat combined with a healthy diet. It doesn’t work if your exercise does not help create a calorie deficit.

Related: Running or Walking: Which Is Better for Belly Fat Loss?

Tips for Reducing Belly Fat

  • Exercise: The more you exercise, the more you burn calories, which translates to burning body fat. While exercise does not reduce belly fat instantly, it is one of the best ways to ensure that you finally get that small waist you desire.
  • Eat food rich in fiber: The fiber-rich food help with digestion and reduce instances of bloating. They are also great and helping feel full for longer, which reduces food intake, hence reducing calorie and fat intake.
  • Go for more proteins instead of carbs: Proteins are good for reducing fats around the waist. They boost metabolism and burn calories while helping you remain full longer. On the other hand, carbohydrates are notorious for increasing body fat, especially around the waist region.
  • Reduce your intake of sugar, sweetened drinks, and alcohol: Sugars, especially processed sugars, have an impact on increased belly fat. When it is too much, the liver turns it into fats, which build up around the waist, adding to belly fat. On the other hand, alcohol stops the body from burning fat by increasing the calories. Sugars and alcohol also cause you to feel hungry, leading to more food intake that adds to the body’s fats. Therefore, reducing the intake of sweeteners, sugar, and alcohol will help reduce belly fat.


So, cycling and walking will help with belly fat, as long as there is consistency. Have a preset number of hours of exercise every week, and incorporate a conscious dietary change. 

As your body changes for a leaner outlook from burning calories and body fat, your belly fat will also reduce. Consequently, your waistline should be smaller and your belly into a cuter desirable outlook.

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Written by

Jennifer Lewis