How Many Steps Do I Need a Day for Weight Loss?

Walking is one of the easiest ways to start fitting more activity into your day. But can it actually help you lose weight? Well, maybe, depending on how you do it. “If you do 10,000 steps a day and change nothing else, you may lose weight,” says Lawrence Cheskin, M.D., F.A.C.P., chair of nutrition and food studies at George Mason University, adjunct professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine, and coauthor of Weight Loss for Life: The Proven Plan for Success. “But weight loss is variable and dependent on many other factors such as activity level, portion sizes, and food choices.” 

In order to lose weight, you’ve got to do more than count steps. “Counting steps is useful because you can monitor yourself every day, but if the number of steps are your primary driver, you may not make the gains you expected,” says Anthony J. Wall, senior director, global business development for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and a certified personal trainer. “What’s effective is the frequency, intensity and duration of your activity. Focusing on steps is helpful for overall health, but it’s irrelevant if you’re slowly strolling around a museum all day.”

Excerpted from Prevention

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