Walking 10-12,000 steps a day does wonders for weight loss – if you take one thing from your Tweak Diet into the rest of the year, make it this
You may have head that walking is good exercise and if you want to lose weight – whatever other workouts you’re doing – walking more is essential. Even if you hate working out and refuse to do anything else, walking around 10-12,000 steps a day will help you drop pounds.
Here’s how it works. For an average nine stone woman, walking briskly (about four miles an hour) for half an hour a day burns about 140 calories and equals about 4500 steps – I measured this using my Nike Fuelband.
Do that twice a day and you burn 280 calories and walk about 9000 steps. As most average Brits ‘incidentally’ (that’s in their everyday lives) take about 2,500-3000 steps, you’ve then clocked up around 12,000 steps a day and burned about 350 calories daily. This is the amount pundits say you need to burn to lose weight.
If you did ONLY this each day for ten days you would burn 3500 calories which is the number of calories it takes to lose one pound. This would equate to three pounds lost in a month and 36 lost in a year.
True, we’re talking about an hour’s walking everyday but there is so much evidence that this will lead to weight loss it’s worth doing.
For example, experts love telling us that 90 per cent of people who go on diets regain the weight in a year. But research in the States by the National Weight Control Registry found that for the 10 per cent dieters who kept off anything from 30-300 pounds for five years or more walking for an hour a day was the single most common thing they did in 90 per cent of cases. I know!
As far as where the magic number came from, it’s been doing the rounds for years. It was told to me by a leading obesity researcher in 2004 who did gastric band surgery on the obese. He actually said that 10,000 steps were great for weight control and that for those with large amounts to lose, up to 15,000 steps were required.
Personally when I clock up 12,000 steps a day the weight falls off me and I have my own personal theory as to why. If I exercise too hard by doing spin classes or long runs in the mornings I find that my appetite goes through the roof and undoes all the good my workout did because I eat too much, pure and simple.
Plus, my body goes into survival mode because super-tough workouts generate stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin. An abundance of these make the body think it needs to store fat to help it fight a threat. That’s a primal response. Walking on the other hand is a natural movement that relaxes the body while burning calories at the same time. Both are essentials for weight loss.
You can of course use the rough guide we have above or use a body monitor to make it more accurate – here’s our review of the best
Got a favourite diet tweak you wouldn’t be without? Tell us in the comments
JUST JOINED THE HEALTHISTA JANUARY TWEAK DIET? here are some guidelines to get you started
What is the Tweak diet? Designed for anyone who doesn’t want to go on a big starv-y diet during January, we deliver you one new small change to make to your diet or lifestyle on each day in January. You continue each change throughout the month and come February, be on your way to weight loss and new healthy habits you can keep all year. You in?
2. Continue with each of your small changes throughout the month and come end January, you will have built up a heap of new healthy habits and will be well on your way to losing weight and feeling better.
3. If you fall off the wagon just get back on asap If you don’t manage to keep up all your small changes every day, don’t worry. Just get back on the next day or even better, at the next meal.
4. Measure once at the start and once at the end. That’s all Take your waist, hip and bust measurements at the start and end of your tweak-a-thin journey.
5. Send us selfies of your tweak-a-thin journey Post them to Healthista on Twitter, Facebook and in the comments below. At the end of January we’ll publish them and you’ll be in with a chance of winning a Healthista exclusive pamper hamper handpicked by yours truly.
6. Do what you can Obviously you don’t have to do every single tweak we suggest. Even just one will make a difference as we’ve handpicked each change to be small but powerful. The more you do though, the better your results.
More posts in Healthista’s January Daily Tweak Diet