10,000 Steps a Day – Is it Enough for Effective Weight Loss?

Reading Time: 3 minutesThere are a growing number of people who are undertaking walking as a means to lose weight. The fitness and health industry has keyed in on this and now there are a number of walking programs offered that all promise to show you how to walk to your ideal weight.

The most popular plans out there these days have participants walk at least 10,000 steps a day. This is often tracked using a pedometer or other kind of footstep tracking device and the popular notion is that doing this will allow the weight to simply melt away. But, are all those steps enough to make you thin?

As far as exercise goes walking is great. You can walk almost anywhere there is a hard surface, there is really is no age restriction, and you don’t have to be advanced in your level of fitness in order to do it. It is free to do and it is nice as you can fit it into your daily routine when you’re able. No need to try and get in all 10,000 steps in consecutive order. Simply walk throughout the day and step your way to weight loss success right? Well, not so fast.

Looking Into the Tales

There are an abundance of programs out there that promise walking these 10,000 steps will help you promote weight loss. Each has their own claim as to the number of pounds that can be lost, but this proves to be nothing more than their tale. When you look at the facts, none of them are being completely truthful when you get down to it.

Take a study that recently showed significant weight loss in people who walked 10,000 steps a day for 16 weeks. On average they were losing several pounds each week. It sounds great, but the real story showed different data all together.

The real story is that these same people in the study also changed the way in which they ate. Their daily caloric intake was decreased significantly and most in the study increased their daily steps each week.

So, by the end of the 16 weeks they were actually walking much further than 10,000 steps per day. So, of course they lost weight with the increase in activity and the combination of reduced calories. But what if they were to walk only the 10,000 steps each day?

This same study showed that individuals who only walked the prescribed 10,000 steps per day lost an average of around 1.25 pounds. That equates to only 5 pounds of total weight lost for an entire year if you never miss a walk. Not much motivation when you look at it that way.

You might wonder why this research was so misleading. It should come as no surprise to you to learn that this study was actually conducted by a company that promotes a 10,000 step a day program. So, it is in their best interest to conduct such misleading studies so they can claim their program is backed by scientific research, even if that research is incomplete.

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Forget Walking?

Walking itself is not a bad thing. In fact, it is a very good thing for your body internally. Along with getting fresh air you will also be working on your cardiovascular system which can help you ward off diseases.

But, walking alone does not make a complete health and fitness plan. If your goals are to feel better, rest better, and maybe stay at the same weight that you are currently at then walking 10,000 steps every day could do the trick.

However, if you are thinking that 10,000 steps per day will take you from large to lanky, you will be sorely disappointed and likely sit right back down well before you lose that 1.25 pounds in the first 16 weeks. While walking is fine, it is not a cure all for your weight.

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Combination Matters

As it is easily seen, only combining proper diet and exercise can lead to the kind of success that you might expect in a weight loss program. Just as you cannot expect to lose weight for the long-term on just diet alone, you also can’t expect to lose weight on just exercise alone.

If the only thing you change in your routine is adding 10,000 steps each day then it certainly won’t be a bad thing. However, it will not get you anywhere close to where you want to be with your weight or even where you need to be.

It all comes down to the proper combination. You have to do it all to have it all. So, in addition to counting your steps each day, you also have to count your calories. In other words, combine healthy eating and exercise to make your weight loss goals a reality. Anything else is just another tale told.