February 19, 2020
Walking 10,000 steps per day is not enough to offset an excessive ingestion of calories, according to a study published in the Journal of Obesity.
Those in search of a slimmer waist, or just interested in maintaining their current weight, have long been advised by health experts to log at least 10,000 steps per day. Reaching that magic number daily is thought of as a real accomplishment for many people, and countless walkers utilize fitness trackers and smart watches to ensure they reach their goal day in and day out. Well, a new study is bringing the 10,000 step theory to a grinding halt. Researchers from Brigham Young University have concluded that no number of simple steps alone are going to prevent weight gain or induce weight loss.
A total of 120 freshman students at BYU were analyzed for this study. The research was conducted during the students’ first six months on campus, and their steps per day were tracked on a daily basis. Participating students walked either 10,000, 12,500 or 15,000 steps every day for six days a week. During the duration of the experiment (24 weeks) the students’ diets and body weights were also tracked.
The research team were especially interested to see if steadily increasing the amount of steps per day each student took would result in increasing weight loss. For instance, if students walking 12,500 steps per day would end up losing more weight than those walking 10,000 per day.
Surprisingly, the end results indicated that it didn’t matter whether the students walked 10,000 or even more than 15,000 steps per day. Many students still ended up gaining weight. For what it’s worth, it’s exceedingly common for college freshman to gain some weight during their first few months away from home, the phenomenon even has a nickname (the freshman 15).
Participating students gained an average of 3.5 pounds over the course of the observation period.
“Exercise alone is not always the most effective way to lose weight,” says lead author Bruce Bailey, professor of exercise science at BYU, in a release. “If you track steps, it might have a benefit in increasing physical activity, but our study showed it won’t translate into maintaining weight or preventing weight gain.”
Your body is efficient at not wasting calories because all throughout history, calories were very valuable. Nowadays calories are abundant and the problem doesn’t lie in making the most out of them but in avoiding them.
What this means is that these days, eating food takes very little time, and gives you a huge dose of calories to use.
The best option for losing weight is to control what you put in, rather than figuring out a way to expel it after the fact.
The way to do this is to eat food that actually leaves you satiated and provides you with everything you need, rather than to try to count calories. The desire to eat comes primarily from your body feeling that it doesn’t have enough nutrients, so if you eat food that is rich in calories but low in essential nutrients, you will become hungry again shortly thereafter.
The way that weight is lost is by controlling the intake of carbohydrates. Fat and protein do not lead to weight gain, but will leave you feeling more satiated than anything made of carbs.
The best strategy for people who are overweight is to focus on eating primarily meat and vegetables. And by vegetables, we do not mean starchy potatoes, but green vegetables and others with a high nutrient and low calorie count.
If you feel tired when cutting out carbs, that is because your body is being forced to process fat cells to use for energy. If you are a weak person and unable to do anything without carbs, you can simply limit them and lose weight slower.