How many steps should you do every day to lose fat and transform your body? Try and hit this number daily if possible.
Walking is not only an effective way to lose weight but is also highly underrated in its fat-burning capabilities. Its simplicity and versatility make it a convenient form of physical activity that can be incorporated into any lifestyle. By implementing a few simple tips, you can easily increase your step count even within the comfort of your own home.
While some individuals downplay the significance of cardio in weight loss, it would be unfair to dismiss it entirely. Mike Diamonds, a seasoned expert in weight management, recognizes the pros and cons of losing and gaining weight on a yearly basis, and he doesn’t discount the importance of cardio.
Walking, although often overlooked as a form of cardio, is indeed a valuable exercise. Just because you don’t break a sweat while walking doesn’t mean it lacks benefits—it can greatly contribute to weight loss.
Many individuals associate cardio with activities like running, cycling, or swimming, assuming that high intensity and heavy breathing are essential components. However, walking defies those parameters and allows you to engage in casual conversation while reaping the benefits.
Walking falls under the category of low-intensity steady-state exercise, which means you can sustain it for extended periods without significant difficulty. On the other hand, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves intense bursts of cardiovascular activity.
The key advantage of walking, when it comes to fat loss, lies in the fact that while it may not burn a substantial number of calories, the calories it does burn predominantly come from fat cells.
The information below was extracted from Jeremy Ethier’s expertise. He is a kinesiologist and fitness trainer, co-founder of Built With Science. His YouTube channel has over 4 million subscribers and he delivers clear information with sound background research.
How Many Steps Should You Take to Lose Fat?
To determine how many steps you should take a day for weight loss, it’s essential to consider various factors, such as your diet and current activity level.
The general consensus suggests aiming for 10,000 steps a day as a good target for weight loss. However, the ideal number of steps to burn fat is subjective and depends on individual circumstances. For instance, if you weigh around 180 pounds, walking at a moderate pace can burn approximately 60 calories per 1,000 steps.
If you currently maintain your weight with an average step count of 6,000 steps a day, adding an extra 1,000 steps would increase your calorie expenditure by around 60 calories. Considering there are roughly 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, making the subtle change from 6,000 to 8,000 steps a day could theoretically result in burning an extra pound of fat per month. Doubling your step count to 10,000 steps a day might enable you to burn an additional 2 pounds of fat per month.
Conversely, reducing your daily step count from an active level to a sedentary level can have adverse effects. Lean, active individuals who transition to a sedentary lifestyle of fewer than 5,000 steps a day end up burning approximately 700 calories less per day. This change often leads to significant weight gain, primarily in the form of fat. This demonstrates the significant impact that daily step count has on body composition. Therefore, monitoring and managing your step count become crucial not only for kickstarting and accelerating fat loss but also for maintaining the lost weight in the long term.
To summarize the key points, it is recommended to set a realistic daily step goal if you are currently not very active and struggling to lose weight. This goal should create a calorie deficit while ensuring that you don’t compensate by overeating. Aiming for at least 8,000 or even 10,000 steps a day is advisable, as it increases daily calorie expenditure and helps active individuals better control their appetite and food intake due to physiological changes that occur with increased activity.
Although achieving 10,000 or even 8,000 steps a day may seem challenging, especially if you spend most of your time at home or in an office setting, it can be made easier by incorporating it into existing habits. For example, making it a habit to go for a 10-minute walk after each meal can add an average of 3,500 steps to your daily count. By implementing such strategies, the seemingly daunting goal of reaching 10,000 steps becomes more feasible and attainable.
While walking can contribute to weight loss, it’s important to note that for optimal results, it should be complemented with a solid nutrition plan and regular weight training. These additional steps serve as a valuable supplement to your overall fitness routine but should be combined with other key elements to accelerate progress and establish a strong foundation for long-term success.
See Ethier’s video for a full explanation of how many steps you should take every day to lose body fat.
You can incorporate walking into your training routine either informally or formally. Informal walking can be done outdoors, while formal walking involves using a treadmill at the gym. Begin with 8,000 steps and progressively increase by 2,000 steps each week. If your goal is to achieve body fat below 10%, you may even aim for as many as 20,000 steps per day.
Walking is a simple yet powerful physical activity that can provide numerous benefits to your overall health and well-being. Here are some of the benefits of walking:
- Improves cardiovascular health: Walking regularly can help improve your heart health by lowering your risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
- Helps with weight management: Walking is a low-impact exercise that can help burn calories and assist with weight loss or maintenance.
- Boosts mood and mental health: Walking can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by releasing endorphins (feel-good hormones) and improving blood flow to the brain.
- Improves bone and joint health: Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that can help strengthen bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, as well as improve joint mobility and flexibility.
- Increases energy and stamina: Walking can help boost your energy levels and improve your overall fitness and stamina, making daily activities easier to manage.
- Lowers the risk of chronic diseases: Regular walking can help lower the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and arthritis.
- Promotes better sleep: Walking can help regulate your sleep cycle, allowing you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
- Improves digestion and gut health: Walking can aid in digestion by stimulating the muscles in your abdomen and reducing constipation.
Overall, walking is a simple yet effective way to improve your health and well-being. Even a small amount of daily walking can provide significant benefits, so consider incorporating this activity into your daily routine.
The amount of walking recommended per day varies depending on your age, fitness level, and overall health. However, the general guideline for adults is to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, per week. This equates to approximately 30 minutes of walking per day, five days a week.
If you are unable to commit to 30 minutes of walking in one go, you can break it down into smaller chunks throughout the day. For example, you could aim for three 10-minute walks or two 15-minute walks. The key is to find a routine that works for you and fits into your daily schedule.
It’s important to note that these recommendations are just a general guideline, and it’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any underlying health conditions. Your healthcare provider can give you personalized advice on how much and what type of physical activity is safe and appropriate for you.
Weight loss plateaus occur when a person’s weight loss progress slows down or stalls despite their continued efforts to lose weight. There are several reasons why this can happen:
- Metabolic adaptation: When you lose weight, your body adapts to the lower calorie intake and can start burning fewer calories at rest. This means that as you lose weight, your body requires fewer calories to maintain your new weight, which can cause your weight loss progress to slow down.
- Changes in physical activity: If you’ve been doing the same type and amount of exercise for a while, your body may become used to it and not burn as many calories as before. Additionally, you may experience fatigue or injury, which can cause you to decrease your physical activity level.
- Calorie intake: As you lose weight, you need fewer calories to maintain your weight. If you don’t adjust your calorie intake accordingly, you may start to consume too many calories, which can slow down or stall your weight loss progress.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as fluctuations in insulin levels, can affect weight loss progress. For example, insulin resistance can make it more difficult to lose weight, especially around the midsection.
- Psychological factors: Stress, lack of sleep, and other psychological factors can affect weight loss progress. Stress can increase levels of cortisol, which can promote fat storage, while lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism.
To overcome weight loss plateaus, it’s important to reassess your diet, exercise routine, and lifestyle habits to identify areas where you can make adjustments. This can include increasing physical activity, adjusting calorie intake, and managing stress and sleep. Additionally, consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can provide personalized recommendations to help you reach your weight loss goals.