How Many Steps a Day Should I Take to Lose Weight?

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Physical activity is necessary if you want to live a longer, healthier life — and if you’re trying to lose weight, the health benefits of an activity as simple as walking are remarkable. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person weighing about 154 lbs and walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes a day, five times a week can burn a pound of body fat a month.

So, what does that translate to in steps? Well, just like your weight and your idea of a “moderate pace,” every person’s ideal daily step count for weight loss is a little different. 

In other words, there’s no magic number of daily steps that will help you shred pounds. But if you’re trying to promote wellness, get your heart rate up with some cardio and avoid chronic diseases like obesity and high blood pressure, there’s a range of steps that will help you get there.

Below, we’ve covered what science says about how many steps you’ll need to take to drop pounds and some tips for getting across the finish line.

How Many Steps Should I Take Per  Day?

First and foremost, you’re probably wondering if there’s a magic number of steps to take each day, and whether that number is in fact 10,000, like you might have heard. 

It’s important to understand that you’re not going to cheat death by hitting green on your pedometer app every day. A person’s risk of death due to disease is about far more than steps — it includes age, weight, genetics, sleep habits, stress and mental health factors, as well as other lifestyle metrics like diet, smoking, drinking and drug use. 

That said, we do have some interesting data. A 2022 meta-analysis that included data from multiple continents representing nearly 50,000 adults showed that the risk of “all-cause mortality” (a blanket term including everything from heart disease to choking on boba tea) decreases based on the number of steps you take.

The authors further found that your risk of all-cause mortality is reduced by the number of steps you take — with a caveat. You’ll see benefits for each step you take up to the 8,000 to 10,000 range for most adults under 60, and up to 6,000 to 8,000 steps for those over 60. After that, you don’t get additional benefits.

How Many Steps Should I Take a Day to Lose Weight?

Cheating death on the daily is one thing, but if you want to reduce your body weight, the math is a little different than counting a few thousand steps.

Knowing how many steps you take in minutes per week might paint a better picture of your weight loss needs than daily steps, at least according to a 2015 study. The results of that research found that an average of 150 minutes of walking per week stabilized a person’s weight, while 300 was the average number of minutes of walking needed to create significant weight loss, alongside changes to your diet. 

As for an actual step number, there isn’t any substantial research pointing to a specific range. As long as you’re getting to that 8,000ish range for lower mortality, chances are that you’re also getting the aerobic exercise needed for weight loss. 

Just make sure that along with your strides towards weight loss, you’re focusing on healthy eating, which will improve your chances of a calorie deficit and help your blood sugar control as well.

(Related:  Ozempic vs Metformin For Weight Loss)

Tips for Getting Enough Steps Per Day to Lose Weight

There’s no science-backed best practice for hitting your goals. Some people swear by fitness trackers, while others challenge themselves by trying to finish their steps at a brisk pace. You might find you succeed with the aid of a personal trainer or that you can accomplish everything you need to do with a 10-minute walk every couple of hours.

However, for beginners who haven’t figured out how to hit their step goal and those of us still trying to decide between trendy workouts and Fitbit® models, here are some suggestions to help get you moving in the right direction:

  • Track your steps. To make sure you’re getting your daily steps, you’ll need to count them. We suggest a pedometer or other fitness tracker so that you can focus on walking and not on counting. Most smartphones — and all iPhones — automatically track your steps, so if you have one, you can just carry it with you instead of buying something new.

  • Build in a daily walk. Whether it’s at sunrise, lunchtime or in-between meetings, you can burn body fat just by committing to a single daily walk and sticking to that commitment.

  • Take mini-walks. Not everyone has time in the day to crush 10,000 steps without interruption — and not everyone has the stamina. If you’re still improving your activity level or injuries or obesity keep you from putting too much strain on your body at one time, shorter periods of daily activity still offer the same benefits to your overall health.

  • Go the extra mile. Okay, it doesn’t have to be a literal mile, but remember that you’ll need to occasionally adjust your goal to your current fitness level to get all of the benefits of walking. That means increasing your step count, intensity of exercise or even the incline as you work towards your magic number and get fitter.

  • Walk and talk. Want to forget the energy expenditure you’ve got going on? Distract yourself with discussion. Having a brisk walking buddy or a trainer join you is a great way to burn calories together, but if you’re stuck solo, consider taking phone calls or even joining remote meetings while on the move.

(Related:  Can Sleep Affect Weight Loss?)

How Many Steps Should I Walk to Lose Weight? Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, there’s no magic number when it comes to steps taken and pounds dropped — if there was, you probably wouldn’t have visited a dozen other blogs just like this one trying to find a good answer. 

The truth is that every person has different needs. However, some general guidelines will help you convert your footfalls into burned calories:

  • The weight loss and health benefits of taking a lot of steps each day vary from person to person, so it’s hard to pin down a specific number of steps you should take to shed pounds.

  • That said, 150 to 300 minutes or more of walking a week, alongside a healthy diet, has been associated with weight loss outcomes in studies.

  • Generally, staying active, eating well and taking care of your health, sleep and stress are all important for maintaining a healthy weight.

  • If you’re trying to hit your step goals but struggle to do so regularly, tracking your steps, creating routines, finding company for the journey and pushing yourself to reach new goals are great ways to make the habit stick.

This article originally appeared on Forhers.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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25 Weight-Loss “Tricks” You Should Stop Immediately

25 Weight-Loss “Tricks” You Should Stop Immediately

When it comes to diet and nutrition, we all want to find “the answer” that will fix our alleged problems. As a result, we often latch onto crazy diet ideas that, in the moment, sound like the perfect solution. But these too-good-to-be-true “solutions” can hurt more than help us in our attempts to achieve weight loss and gain healthy habits.

Here are some of the most common diet myths exposed.

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The protein-pushing keto craze sure makes it seem like carbs should be avoided at all costs. But do grains deserve their bad reputation?

“People often say that carbs are fattening,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD. “But complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, are not ‘fattening’ foods.’”

In other words, avoid refined carbohydrates like white bread, rice and processed snacks, but keep those whole grains for a healthy balance.

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While diet sodas may be a better alternative than their full-sugar counterparts, medical studies are starting to show that the artificial sweeteners may actually cause us to eat more calories later in the day. If you want to keep the fizz and ditch the artificial sweetener, try flavored carbonated water instead.

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Like carbs, the type of fats we eat makes a difference. That, in combination with how many calories we eat each day, determines our body weight. Trans fats, typically found in many fried foods, can cause cardiovascular disease. However, saturated fats do not have the same effect and can, in fact, help keep us satisfied longer, leading to fewer calories consumed.

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Maybe you’ve only been eating the egg whites to avoid raising your cholesterol. Well, maybe you don’t have to anymore.

“Unless you are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease, eating the eggs AND yolks can actually help you,” says Darin Hulslander, CEO and owner of DNS Performance and Nutrition. “For one, yolks are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Egg yolks also elevate high-density lipoproteins, which are the ‘good’ proteins that can help remove plaque from the arteries.”

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If you count calories, you might think losing weight is as simple as staying under a certain number every day. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily true. You can eat 200 calories of lean protein or 200 calories of chocolate, but the body processes each differently. Depending on what you eat, your body can store or burn more calories. So, use those calories wisely!

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Reading headlines such as “red meat could lead to cancer” is frightening. And while some studies indicate there is an association with red meat consumption and cancer, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean it causes cancer. Eating red meat in moderation is not dangerous.

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The American Heart Association recommends that people consume less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium (salt) each day. Excessive sodium can lead to high blood pressure. However, this doesn’t mean we have to eat bland food. Use salt in moderation and, if you have high blood pressure, talk with your doctor on the best guidelines for your individual needs.

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Sure, peanut butter is a good source of protein and fat. However, you need to be careful about what kind you put in your pantry. Many national brands of peanut butter are filled with extra sugar, fats and preservatives that counteract any health benefits. Check the label and pick up a jar with as few ingredients as possible to get the healthiest version of this favorite snack.

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Calories can’t tell time. The time of day of when you eat only matters if you tend to overindulge at the end of the day and eat too many calories. If you happen to eat a late dinner or snack but stay within your normal calorie range for the day, it should all even out in the long run. However, many people mindlessly eat at night because they are bored or tired, and this is what leads to weight gain.

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This is the one case where all calories are pretty much alike. Multiple studies show that eating the same amount of calories in either a few larger meals or more frequent smaller ones have the same outcome on the body. In other words, this is a case where 1,000 calories in a day are the same, no matter how often you eat during the day.

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With labels like “Lean Cuisine” and “Healthy Choice,” it’s easy to think that pre-packaged frozen meals are not only convenient but also a better choice to help us in our diet goals. This isn’t always the case. Many of these pre-packaged meals contain too much sodium, which can lead to water retention and bloat. Also, many offer too few calories, which can lead to hunger later on in the day. Check the labels carefully and make sure you’re making the best choice.

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When looking to avoid processed carbohydrates, many people reach for wheat or multigrain bread over white. But be careful! Make sure you’re picking up 100% wheat or whole grain bread. Otherwise, you could be just be getting mostly white bread with a little wheat flour mixed in — or even just food coloring to make it look brown!

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This nutrition myth has been around forever, but it’s just not true for most people. Medical studies show that among extremely active people such as marathon runners and skiers, taking at least 200 milligrams of vitamin C every day can possibly cut the risk of getting a cold in half. But for most people, taking daily vitamin C did not seem to actually reduce the risk of getting a cold.

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Wouldn’t it be great if there were such a thing as a negative-calorie food? You know, the kind that burns more calories when we eat it than it has? Sadly, there is no such thing, even when it comes to something as healthy as a piece of celery.

“Regardless of the [calories] in the food, you’re always going to be able to get something out of it,” says Stephen Secor, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alabama.

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Organic is simply how ingredients are grown, usually pesticide-, herbicide- and insecticide-free. An organic label does not mean it’s healthier than non-organic foods. Even things like sugar, granola bars and boxed mashed potatoes can be organic. So, don’t rely on an organic label to tell you if something is automatically better for your diet.

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While cutting out gluten from your diet can help if you have celiac disease, it isn’t really a factor in weight loss.

“Unless you suffer from celiac disease, there’s not much scientific support to back the claim that eating gluten-free is healthier or a smart strategy for weight loss,” says Ashvini Mashru MA, RD, LDN. “Cutting gluten out of your diet most often leads to a reduction in overall calories, simply due to the sheer amount of grain-based foods that we eat on a regular basis.”

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Fewer calories consumed means weight loss, right? Not so fast!

“In fact, studies have proven it to be the opposite: skipping meals promotes weight gain,” says Cheryl Forberg, RD, nutritionist for “The Biggest Loser.” “When we skip a meal, by the time we eat, we’re so hungry we consume too much, too fast and choose the wrong foods.”

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Foods like asparagus and lemons are known as natural diuretics. And while these kinds of foods may not hurt when it comes to holding onto excess water, eating large amounts of them will not help get rid of belly bloat or weight.

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Your daily cup of coffee may give you a good dose of caffeine, which is a stimulant to your body. However, that caffeine jolt does not boost your metabolism enough to be a weight loss cure-all. Also, depending on what you add to your coffee (cream, flavorings, sugar), you could be adding extra calories to your day. So if you love a cup of joe, keep it basic and black, if possible.

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This is a short-term fix with many long-term problems. By severely cutting daily calories for extended periods of time, your entire metabolism can change to actually hold onto weight! Also, your body needs adequate nutrition to stay healthy. If you want to lose weight and keep it off forever, you need a modest calorie restriction plan that you simply continue and never stop.

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You cannot outrun a bad diet. It’s as simple as that. Exercise is great for our cardiovascular health and for building good muscle tone. And yes, it does help regulate our weight. But the amount of exercise you have to do to counteract a few extra slices of pizza isn’t sustainable or reasonable. So work in a healthy diet plan along with your regular workouts for optimal results.

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In a pinch, these convenience items are helpful in maintaining a healthy diet. But things like shakes and nutrition bars are not meant to be long-term replacements for healthy meals. Check the ingredients for artificial sweeteners if you buy these items. Your best bet: Make these at home and use them occasionally.

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Yes, some people should probably cut back on sugar in order to make their diet healthier. But naturally sweet foods such as fruits are sources of important vitamins and minerals. The sweets to avoid are those with added sugars and syrups.

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Good news! While fresh vegetables are always a healthy option, so are most frozen varieties. Over time, fresh vegetables can lose nutrients, while frozen ones can retain them longer. Make sure you pick up frozen vegetables without added sauces, cheese or sodium to keep them as close to fresh as possible.

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Can you imagine life without ice cream, cookies or cake? You don’t have to in order to follow a healthy eating plan. In fact, planning to have some of your favorite treats occasionally can ensure you don’t feel deprived and end up splurging later on.

This article originally appeared on TheDelite and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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