How to Burn 400 Calories a Day (10 Examples)

How to burn 400 calories a day (10 examples)

Burning an extra 400 calories a day can help enhance your body composition goals if you’re trying to lose weight.

Fortunately, there are many ways to burn 400 calories, some of which don’t even require you to work out in the gym if you don’t want to.

So how do you burn 400 calories a day? You can burn 400 calories a day through activities like running, swimming, riding a bike, and using an elliptical machine. Playing a sport like basketball or soccer or other ways you can burn 400 calories. You can also burn 400 calories by doing non-exercise activities like cleaning or gardening.

For this article, I’m going to assume that you’re interested in burning more calories because you’re trying to lose weight. I’ll discuss how long it takes to burn 400 calories, the most accurate ways to track your calorie burn, and how much weight you can expect to lose by burning 400 calories a day.

I’ll also provide various ways to burn 400 calories with and without exercise.

If you’re looking to get started right away, check out the Fitbod app. It can create strength training and circuit training routines that can help you get stronger, improve your physique, and burn calories. Download Fitbod today and try your workouts for free. 

How Long Does It Take to Burn 400 Calories?

burn 400 calories

It can take anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes or more to burn 400 calories. However, it depends on the type of activity you do, how hard you’re working, how much you weigh, your body fat percentage, gender, age, and training experience.

For example, a female who’s 5’2” and weighs 105lbs will burn fewer calories than a male who’s 6’2 and weighs 220lbs, even if they did the same workout at the same intensity for the same duration.

This is because larger individuals have more mass to move around and expend more energy. And males, in general, will burn more calories during exercise because they have more muscle mass. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, meaning it helps you burn more calories during exercise (and at rest).

Similarly, someone who’s new to exercise will burn more calories in a shorter time than someone who’s been working out for years. Newer exercisers’ bodies haven’t adapted to physical activity yet and aren’t as efficient at using energy. 

Your exercise intensity will also determine how long it takes you to burn 400 calories. It will take you much longer to burn 400 calories if you walk at a leisurely pace than it would if you run at a pace of 8 miles per hour.

Another important factor to consider is age. As we get older, we lose muscle mass. This means our bodies won’t be as efficient at burning calories, so it will take longer to burn hundreds of calories. And as we become more fragile, we may not be able to continue doing high-impact activities that burn more calories in a shorter time.

Related Article: Burning 1000 Calories: 7 Ways To Do It + How Long It Takes

Need a workout program? Try Fitbod for Free.

How Much Weight Can You Lose Burning 400 Calories a Day?

You need to burn 3,500 calories per week (500 calories per day) to lose one pound. If you burned an extra 400 calories per day, that would equal 2,800 calories per week. This means you could, in theory, lose 0.8 lbs per week by burning 400 calories every day.

However, exercise alone won’t help you lose weight, even if you’re burning a lot of calories. You need to be in a calorie deficit for that, which means you need to eat fewer calories than you burn throughout the whole day (including through non-exercise activities).

Your rate of weight loss also depends on many of the same factors as how many calories you burn – age, gender, workout intensity, type of activity, and body weight/body fat percentage.

For example, an overweight person with a higher body fat percentage can lose weight more quickly. The more fat you have, the easier it will be to lose, especially in the beginning stages of a diet and exercise regimen.

On the other hand, not having a lot of muscle mass may potentially make your weight loss journey more challenging. As I mentioned earlier, more muscle mass burns more calories. If you don’t have a lot of muscle mass, your total daily expenditure won’t be as high, which will impact how quickly you can lose weight.

For this same reason, it tends to take women longer than men to lose weight. Men also don’t have to worry about hormonal changes from the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause, which can affect women’s weight.

Key Takeaway: Burning 400 calories a day can help you lose around 0.8 lbs per week. However, you may lose more or less than this depending on things like your starting body weight, body fat percentage, your gender, and how old you are. Being in a calorie deficit is also the most important element of any successful weight loss journey.

Related Article: How Much Weight Can You Lose In 60 Days (The Healthy Way)

Using Machines and Wearables to Track Calories Burned

Before getting into the different ways you can burn 400 calories, it’s important to understand how accurate your method of calculating the number of calories you burn may or may not be. How you measure your calorie burn can impact your weight loss results.

Most cardio machines you’d find in a gym, like treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes, include metrics for calories burned in their data displays. The number is estimated using formulas based on information you input at the start of your workout, which can include your age and weight.

The machines’ formulas also take your pace, estimated heart rate, and resistance or incline into consideration when determining this number. However, studies show that cardio machines can overestimate your calories burned by up to 100 calories for every 30 minutes of exercise.

The same is true of wearables like Fitbit watches. A study published in the European Journal of Sport Science showed that wearable technology can overestimate the number of calories burned by close to 30%.

If you’re just using a cardio machine or a wearable as an estimate to gauge how hard you worked, it’s not a big deal. But this can pose some problems if you want to “eat back” the calories you burned.

For example, if your Fitbit says you burned 400 calories during exercise, you may have only burned 280. But if you eat an extra 400 calories, you could exceed your daily calorie limit by 120. Those extra calories could prevent you from losing weight or delay how long it takes to reach your goals.

If you want to get an accurate measure of how many calories you’re burning, your best bet is to wear a heart rate monitor with a chest strap. They are more accurate at measuring your heart rate, which can therefore give you a more realistic calorie burn figure.

7 Ways to Burn 400 Calories Through Exercise

1. Running


Running is arguably the first activity people think of when they want to burn more calories, and for good reason. It’s one of the most effective exercises when it comes to burning calories.

On average, you can burn 11-17 calories per minute running. This means it would take you around 25-35 minutes to burn 400 calories.

If you’re a heavier individual or fast runner, your calorie burn will be at the higher end of that range. If you’re smaller and leaner or run slowly (like an 11:30 mile), your calorie burn will be at the lower end of that range.

2. High-Intensity Interval Training

high-intensity interval training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is another effective way to burn calories in a short time.

HIIT workouts require you to alternative between short bouts of hard exercise and brief rest periods. They tend to be shorter than steady-state cardio workouts, in which you maintain a consistent pace throughout the entire workout, because because you can’t sustain high-intensity activities for extended periods.

For this reason, it’s not recommended to do HIIT every day.

However, HIIT workouts can burn 400 calories in less than 30 minutes if you’re truly pushing yourself during your active periods.

Related Article: 10 Types Of Cardio Workouts For Fat Loss (That Actually Work)

3. Cycling


You can burn about 7 calories per minute if you cycle at 10-12 mph or 15 calories per minute cycling at 14-16 mph.

As such, it would take anywhere from 25-55 minutes to burn 400 calories by riding a bike, depending on how fast you pedal.

4. Rowing


Rowing is an excellent low-impact activity that can burn a lot of calories. You can burn 400 calories in about 35-45 minutes if you row at a moderate pace (around 24-30 strokes per minute).

Rowing is also a total-body exercise that works your legs, back, shoulders, biceps, and core. It’s an excellent activity if you want to work most of the large muscle groups in your body at the same time.

Related Article: 6 Best Cardio Machines To Tone Legs (Plus, Sample Workout)

5. Swimming


Like rowing, swimming is a full-body, low-impact activity that doesn’t require a lot of time to burn hundreds of calories.

It can take as little as 45 minutes to burn 400 calories by swimming freestyle at a slow to moderate pace (about 1 minute for every 50 meters).

6. Elliptical Machine

elliptical machine

The elliptical is another excellent option for burning calories, but it will take longer to burn 400 calories than other forms of exercise. If you move at a moderate pace and use a challenging resistance, you can burn 400 calories in just under an hour.

Even though you need to be on the elliptical for a long time to burn hundreds of calories, it’s an ideal choice if you can’t engage in higher-impact exercises like running or HIIT.

7. Lift Weights

lift weights

Most people don’t consider lifting weights an activity that can burn a lot of calories. But on average, a person who weighs 185lbs burns about 220 calories for every 30 minutes of strength training. This means it would take just under an hour to burn 400 calories by lifting weights.

Of course, this also depends on how heavy you’re lifting and how many exercises you do per muscle group. You won’t burn 400 calories by just doing 3 sets of 10 bicep curls and then calling it a day.

But let’s say you’re doing leg day at the gym. If you’re challenging yourself with heavy weights and doing several compound and isolation exercises that target large muscle groups (like the quads and glutes), you can easily burn close to 400 calories in about an hour.

Not sure how to get started with a strength training routine? Check out the Fitbod app. It will create a customized routine based on your experience level, training preferences, available equipment, and available time. As you log your workouts and get stronger, the app will continually update to provide personalized recommendations for you. Try Fitbod today and try your workouts for free!

Other Ways To Burn 400 Calories

While exercise is important for overall health and longevity, it’s necessary to take rest days from the gym so your body can recover. It’s also good for your mental well-being because finding other ways to move your body can help keep you motivated.

On days when you want to give your body a rest from physical activity of any kind, you can still burn 400 calories by getting in more movement and doing basic everyday tasks.

1. Increase Your Daily Step Count

You can burn extra calories each day simply by getting more steps in throughout the day and avoiding being sedentary.

Taking longer walks when you have to go to the bathroom at work, getting up every hour to pace around your house, or taking a post-dinner walk with your family can all help increase the number of calories you burn each day. 

There are also several health benefits to getting at least 7,000 steps per day, as studies have shown that increasing your daily step count can lower your risk of early death.

However, if you want to burn an extra 400 calories from walking, you’ll need to aim for at least 10,000 steps per day.

2. Do Your Own Chores

Most of us don’t like cleaning and doing yard work, but doing these tasks yourself can help you burn calories. 

Vacuuming, for example, can burn up to 166 calories in 30 minutes. If you combine that with other chores like hand-washing dishes and cleaning your kitchen, which can burn up to 300 calories in 30 minutes, you can burn 400 calories in an hour just by doing a little tidying up.

3. Play a Sport

Participating in group sports or joining a pick-up game with your friends is an excellent way to exercise without it feeling like exercise. You’ll also burn more calories than you would if you were sitting on the couch.

It doesn’t take long to burn calories playing sports like basketball or soccer, which are fast-paced and involve a lot of running. You can burn 400 calories in less than an hour participating in either sport.

Even golfing, which many consider a low-key sport, can burn 400 calories in less than an hour. Walking from hole to hole instead of driving a cart and carrying your own clubs can help increase your calorie expenditure.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Exercise Does It Take to Burn 400 Calories?

It takes 35 to 45 minutes or more to burn 400 calories, but it depends on the exercise, your body weight, and how hard you work. For example, it can take 30 minutes for a 160lb person to burn 400 calories running at a pace of 6 mph. But it can take 45 minutes for them to burn 400 calories cycling at a pace of 10 mph.

Is It Enough to Burn 400 Calories a Day?

Burning 400 calories a day can be enough to lose weight. You need to burn 3,500 calories a week (500 calories/day) to lose one pound. Even though you only burn 2,800 calories a week by burning 400 calories/day, you can lose 0.XXlbs per week. However, being in a calorie deficit is the most important part of weight loss.

How Can I Burn 400 Calories in One Day?

You can burn 400 calories in a day by doing cardio exercises like riding a bike, running, swimming, or rowing. Lifting weights for about an hour can also help you burn 400 calories. You can also burn 400 calories in a day by getting at least 7,000 steps per day, cleaning your house, or playing sports with your friends.

Looking for a workout program? Try using the Fitbod App, which will design your program based on your logged training data and goals. The workouts will adapt automatically to your levels of recovery and rate of progress. With over 600 movements and exercises videos, you can be sure to perform the movements correctly for optimal results. Take the guesswork out of your workouts. Try Fitbod for free.

Final Thoughts

It’s not too difficult to burn 400 calories a day by engaging in exercises like running, swimming, bicycling, and HIIT. If you want to burn an extra 400 calories without working out, you can clean your house, do yard work, and make it a point to get more steps throughout your day.

It’s important to remember that being in a calorie deficit is the most important factor when it comes to weight loss. If you burn 400 calories through exercise but eat in a calorie surplus, you can still gain weight.

It’s also important to take the calorie burn metrics from wearables and cardio machines with a grain of salt. The metrics are okay to use as estimates, but they do not accurately measure how many calories you burn. For the most accurate results, consider getting a heart rate monitor with a chest strap.

About The Author

Amanda Dvorak

Amanda Dvorak is a freelance writer and powerlifting enthusiast. Amanda played softball for 12 years and discovered her passion for fitness when she was in college. It wasn’t until she started CrossFit in 2015 that she became interested in powerlifting and realized how much she loves lifting heavy weights. In addition to powerlifting, Amanda also enjoys running and cycling.