Most people want to lose weight but never start their transformation journey because they have no idea how to go about their weight loss goal. On the flip side, some folks spend so much time thinking through choices that they end up with analysis paralysis.
In this article, we will take you through the psyche behind burning 400 calories daily, the results you can expect, the prerequisites you should know about, and the 12 most effective ways to achieve your new goal.
You must enter a calorie deficit to lose body weight. A calorie deficit includes burning more calories in a day than you consume.
But why 400 calories and not 300 or 500 calories?
We are glad you asked. A 400-calorie deficit hits the sweet spot. It is not as intimidating as cutting out 500 calories from your diet. Conversely, it is more effective at helping you improve your body composition than cutting 300 calories, which can be slow. Nonetheless, even the slightest calorie deficit is a good place to start for beginners trying to get rid of their spare tire.
Since shredding 400 calories isn’t an overly ambitious objective, most people can achieve this goal by making small adjustments to their daily routines. Plus, you don’t even need to hit a gym to burn 400 additional daily calories, which is often a bottleneck for folks with a packed schedule. You could burn 400 calories a day by mowing your loan or biking to work.
So, without any further ado, let’s get into the article.
If I burn 400 calories a day, how much weight will I lose in a month?
This is probably the first question that popped into your head after reading this article’s title. That said, it is an excellent question since burning an additional 400 calories daily requires serious effort, and knowing the final result can motivate you when you don’t feel like working out.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cutting your caloric intake by 500-1,000 calories a day can lead to a weight loss of 1-2 pounds weekly. Plus, staying in this range will keep your physique transformation journey gradual, steady, and sustainable. 
You must burn 3,500 calories weekly to lose a pound of body fat. Breaking this into a daily target gets you to cut 500 calories from your diet. Similarly, restricting 400 calories from your diet leads to a 2,800-calorie deficit, which will result in a weight loss of 0.8 pounds per week. Sticking to this regime can help you lose around 3.5 pounds in a month. 
Summary: A daily 400-calorie deficit will lead to a 2,800-calorie weekly deficit, helping you lose around 3.5 pounds monthly. However, your gender, age, training intensity, and activity levels can influence your results.
How Long Does It Take To Burn 400 Calories?
The 500-1,000 calorie deficit mentioned above can be achieved by cutting calories from your diet and adding exercise to your daily regimen.
Depending on the type of physical exercise and intensity, you can burn 400 calories between 25 to 60 minutes of continuous work. An exerciser can burn calories more quickly during high-intensity circuit cardiovascular training compared to low-intensity bodybuilding-style resistance training workouts.
That said, no two people will lose the same amount of weight using the same techniques. Your weight loss results will depend on your age, height, weight, gender, activity levels, muscle mass, body fat percentage, and genetics. Meaning your training partner might lose more weight than you following the same techniques.
Men usually lose weight faster than women. Higher estrogen levels lead to greater fat storage among women. Men also tend to have greater muscle mass density, which improves their metabolic rate and spikes their fat loss progress.
Folks that engage in regular exercise usually lose weight faster than sedentary people. Furthermore, advanced exercisers will shed weight and body fat faster than newbie trainers.
Summary: As with the amount of weight you can lose in a month with a 400-calorie deficit, your genetics, age, gender, weight, training intensity, and experience will affect the time it will take to burn 400 calories in a day. However, you can torch 400 calories within 25 to 60 minutes of continuous work.
Prerequisites For Burning an Additional 400 Calories Daily
Knowing about the following things can make your weight loss journey easier:
Know Your BMR
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body needs to accomplish its most basic (basal) life-sustaining functions, such as breathing, circulation, and cell production. For example, if your BMR is 2,000 calories, it means that your body burns 2,000 calories to sustain itself.
Your BMR depends on your age, height, gender, activity levels, genetics, and target body weight. We will not consider your BMR calories for the sake of this article. You must burn the additional 400 calories through physical activities. Need help to figure out your BMR? Check out our convenient online calculator to find out.
Use Cardio Machines With Monitors For Precise Calorie Tracking
If you hit the gym to achieve a calorie deficit, you should use machines with monitors to track your progress. Spending hours on a machine without a monitor or other method to track your calorie expenditure can leave you confused about your progress. Thankfully, most cardio equipment in the gym, such as the treadmill, elliptical, bike, Stairmaster, and rower, come with a calorie tracker.
That said, the number of calories a 200-pound male burns from running a mile in 10 minutes will be different from the calories a 140-pound lady burns who logs in the same distance. However, a cardio machine will return the same result for both users.
Furthermore, some low-quality machines tend to have uncalibrated monitors, which can give you skewed results. Inaccurate machines can lead you down the incorrect path, which brings us to our next point.
Wear a Fitness Tracker
Although the in-built calorie trackers are great, they are usually inaccurate. A study conducted by Sam Houston State University found that elliptical machines spike the number of calories burned by up to 100 calories for each 30 min of exercise at moderate intensity. 
Using a fitness tracker such as an Apple Watch, Fitbit, or a chest strap can better gauge the calories you burn during a particular physical activity or throughout the day. Plus, since these apps require you to input your age, height, and weight, they also give you a fairly accurate reading of the distance you cover while running.
Remember, when using these trackers, you should look at ‘active calories.’ Active calories are the ones you burn through all kinds of movement, from taking the stairs at work to playing with the kids to cleaning out the garage. You should start a workout on your tracker before engaging in physical activity to get more accurate results.
Use Calorie Burning Calculators
Folks that don’t have access to a wearable calorie tracker but want an accurate calorie-burning estimation can use our calorie-burning calculators to measure their fat-loss progress. You can use these calculators to plan your exercise or daily routine to ensure you burn 400 calories a day.
These calorie-burning calculators can also be used to double-check the data from your wearable calorie trackers or the numbers on the machine. A conservative approach to your calorie-burning progress best ensures you are meeting your objectives.
12 Ways To Burn 400 Calories
Given below are 12 effective ways to burn 400 calories in a single day:
This is arguably one of the easiest and most convenient ways to burn an additional 400 calories daily. Folks that find intensive physical exercise intimidating should focus on walking more throughout the day to burn an extra 400 calories.
An average 140-pound person will burn 400 calories by walking 10,000 steps a day. Depending on your stride length and walking speed, walking ten thousand steps equates to about eight kilometers, or an hour and 40 minutes walking.
Remember, most of us cannot walk 10,000 steps in a single session. You must break down these steps into 6-8 smaller parts to complete the desired steps. You can schedule a longer 3,000-4,000 step walking session earlier in the day to get a head start.
Going on hikes on weekends is another fun activity that can help you get in the desired 10,000 steps on your rest day. Take your friends or family along with you on your walks, as it can allow you to spend some quality time with them.
Check Out: Calories Burned Walking Calculator: Find Calorie Burn from Walking?
Get Comfortable Doing Your Chores
You must gamify your daily routine if you want to burn an additional 400 calories without hitting the gym. Wash your dishes, mow your lawn, wash your car, scrub your bathroom floor, or do anything that keeps you moving. Time yourself doing these tasks and try to set a new record every time.
It will take an average 170-pound individual around 60 minutes to burn 400 calories mowing his lawn using a power mower. However, the same results can be achieved in under 50 minutes using a hand mower.
Mowing the lawn is an underrated low-impact cardio activity that will help you achieve your calorie deficit goal without stressing your joints.
Check Out: How Many Calories Does Mowing the Lawn Burn?
Play a Sport
Most of us quit playing sports after graduating from school or college. However, this is one of the biggest reasons many people gain weight.
Most sports require intense physical effort, which can help keep you in shape. Plus, playing a team sport can make you feel like a part of a community, which can make you stick to the sport for the long term.
Choose sports that involve a lot of running for optimal calorie-burning effects. For example, an average 180-pound individual can burn 400 calories in 35 minutes playing football.
Check Out: Calories Burned Playing Football Calculator
Did you think we forgot running? No, we didn’t.
Most people have a love-hate relationship with running. However, you are more likely to get hooked on running after you get over the initial hump.
It takes an average 180-pound male around 50 minutes to burn 400 calories while running. He can cover a mile during this period.
If you are not a frequent runner, we recommend starting with shorter runs, like a 100-minute easy jog. Increase the distance slightly after every 4-5 days until you can finish the mile at a comfortable pace.
You could also choose between running outdoors or on a treadmill based on your comfort level. Notably, running outdoors is more challenging than running on a motorized belt.
Check Out: Calories Burned Running Calculator
If your primary goal is to lose body weight, we recommend doing cardio-based high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. These will get your heart racing and will get you to your 400-calorie goal quickly.
HIIT cardio workouts generally involve a 5-10 exercise circuit that has to be repeated 2-5 times. On average, a HIIT cardio workout can help you burn 400 calories in a 25-30 minute session.
You could use HIIT protocols, such as Tabata, AMRAP, ladder, and EMOMs, to increase your training intensity. Ensure that you do not compromise your exercise form while trying to push the intensity, as it can increase your risk of injury.
Check Out: The Best HIIT Ab Workout: Get Ripped Abs in Record Time
Cycling is the perfect middle ground between walking and running. It is not as easy as walking or as intimidating as running, and it gets the job done.
An average 175-pound individual can burn 400 calories biking within 35 minutes. You can get it done much faster if you push the pace.
A bike is easy to incorporate into your daily routine. You could bike to work or run some small errands. Furthermore, most cities have biking clubs that go out for a ride on the weekends. Joining such a club can make biking more fun and adventurous.
Check Out: Calories Burned Biking Calculator
Swimming is an incredibly effective way to burn calories, especially in the summer when running or cycling outdoors can be challenging.
A 150-pound person will burn roughly 400 calories during an hour-long swim at a moderate pace. Plus, swimming can help in muscle toning and heart and lungs-conditioning.
Swimming is a very low-impact exercise that is perfect for overweight or obese folks. It is much safer on your joints than jogging or running. Put everything you have got into a few laps, and you’ll be gasping by the end of your workout.
The freestyle stroke has the potential to burn the most calories, as it allows you to cover the most distance in the shortest time. However, you should constantly switch between strokes to keep things interesting and challenging.
Check Out: Calories Burned Swimming Calculator
Jump rope is one of those exercises that looks super easy but will have you begging for mercy by the time you are done with it. Beginners should initially focus on mastering the rope swing and hand-eye-rope coordination. Advanced rope jumpers can challenge themselves with high-skill movements such as double unders and crossovers.
A 170-pound individual can burn around 400 calories in 25 minutes if he jumps between 100 to 120 times within a minute. This makes the jump rope one of the most effective calorie-burning activities on this list.
You could choose between jumping rope for time or setting a rep target for yourself. Choose your jump rope wisely, as it can make a world of difference.
Check Out: Calories Burned Jumping Rope Calculator
Depending on who you are, dancing can be the most intimidating or comfortable exercise on this list. Most dancing styles are highly demanding and can help burn a lot of calories in a short period.
Dancing can improve your heart and lung health, increase muscular strength, endurance, and motor and aerobic fitness, improve muscle tone and strength, help with weight management, build stronger bones, and enhance your coordination, agility, and flexibility. Furthermore, dancing is an art form used for centuries to express feelings, emotions, and stories.
Salsa dancing can help you burn about 400 calories per hour.
Check Out: Calories Burned Dancing Calculator
Although most people consider yoga a relaxed exercise routine that requires sitting on an exercise mat with closed eyes, it is much more than that. Many yoga poses will send your heart rate through the roof and challenge every muscle, bone, and ligament in your body.
You should opt for Vinyasa yoga if your goal is to burn calories, as it is one of the most intensive forms of yoga. It can help you burn an average of 400 to 500 calories per hour.
Remember, you must perfect your poses to get the most benefit from yoga. We recommend joining a yoga class to learn the basics until you form a solid base and can do it on your own at home.
Check Out: Yoga Calories Burned Calculator
CrossFit involves constantly varied high-intensity functional movement, which can be broken up into three elements: weightlifting, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning. It makes CrossFit a highly-intensive exercise form, which can help burn a lot of calories in a short period.
Since the CrossFit workouts are so varied, it is difficult to put a number to the calories you can burn during one of the workouts. However, it is not uncommon for an athlete to burn up to 400 calories during a 20-30 minute CrossFit workout.
Check Out: How Many Calories Does CrossFit Burn?
Bodybuilding-style resistance training isn’t given its due credit when it comes to burning calories. However, a bodybuilder can burn 400 calories within an hour during a free-weight training session.
You must maintain a high training intensity to burn 400 calories in 60 minutes. Resting more than 120 seconds between sets will lower your intensity and hamper your training performance. Remember, compound exercises burn more calories than isolation and machine movements.
Check Out: Calories Burned Resistance Training
Is burning 400 calories a day safe?
Yes. Torching 400 additional calories daily is safe. Furthermore, it is below the CDC guidelines, which recommend limiting your calorie restriction to 1,000 calories a day. Burning 400 calories daily can help you lose 0.8 pounds weekly.
Can I burn 400 calories a day without exercising?
Yes. You could burn 400 (or more) calories daily without hitting the gym or even going near your running shoes. An average 140-pound (63.5-kilogram) person will burn 400 calories on average by walking 10,000 steps a day. If you cannot walk 10,000 steps daily, you could instead do all your chores yourself to enter a calorie deficit. Doing one hour of chores burns around 400 calories.
What are some fun activities that can help me reach the 400-calorie burning goal?
Contrary to what most people think, burning calories doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, choosing a boring activity is a sure-shot way of dropping off your fitness routine. You burn calories by engaging in any physical activity; hence you should pick something you can stick to for the long term or at least until you achieve your weight loss goal. Use our calorie-burning calculators to determine how many calories you can burn during your favorite activity within a specific period.
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- Fat vs. Muscle Weight
- Weight Management 101: How to Calculate Macros
Burning 400 calories a day isn’t as difficult as most people make it out to be. Most folks can achieve this goal by following a 45-minute HIIT workout. People that do not exercise can still achieve the 400-calorie goal by adjusting their schedule to add an outdoor run, walking 10,000 steps, or doing daily chores like mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, and doing the dishes.
You must, however, remember to maintain a calorie deficit if your goal is to lose weight. Burning 400 calories and eating 500 calories over your maintenance calories will get you nowhere.
You could switch between the 12 calorie-burning methods mentioned in this article to keep your daily regimen interesting. We recommend using a wearable tracker like an Apple watch or a chest strap to get accurate results. So what are you waiting for? Put on your shoes and let that fat melt off. Best of luck!
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Losing Weight. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html
- Wishnofsky M. CALCULATION OF DIETS. JAMA. 1957;163(5):384–385. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970400056024
- Glave, A. & Didier, Jennifer & Oden, Gary & Wagner, Matthew. (2018). Caloric Expenditure Estimation Differences between an Elliptical Machine and Indirect Calorimetry. Exercise Medicine. 2. 10.26644/em.2018.008.
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