Surely you have heard on more than one occasion that 10,000 steps a day is the magic number you must walk to lose weight. But as we have, everything that glitters after that figure is not gold.
The main drawback of this idea is that it is the same figure for everyone, regardless of their age, their weight, the weight they want to lose or their eating habits. Although promoting physical exercise is an essential part of healthy habits, hardly one recommendation will serve everyone equally.
So, how can you know how many steps you need to walk each day to lose weight? We will try to help you to have at least an approximate idea.
The first: the importance of caloric deficit
The first thing you need to know if you want to lose weight is that you must create a caloric deficit, that is, you must burn more calories than you eat. In this way, your body will get those calories that you need and that you are not giving the accumulated fat in your body and ultimately that is what will make you lose weight.
So to lose weight you need to analyze both what you eat and your daily activity and determine if they are in balance. Keep in mind if you are a very active or rather sedentary person, if you usually eat very caloric foods frequently … If you eat more calories than you burn, your weight will most likely increase; if they are balanced, you will stay fixed on your weight, and if you eat less than you burn, it is when you will begin to lose weight.
To create the caloric deficit necessary to lose weight, you can do two things: eat fewer calories modifying your diet or burn more calories increasing your physical activity. Here we tell you how to calculate your caloric needs.
In fact, the ideal is that you do both at the same time, because both healthy eating and frequent physical activity are necessary not only to lose weight but to take care of your health in the medium and long term.
That said, let’s go to the number of steps
One way to increase your daily calorie burn may be by spending a little time a day walking . Several studies have shown that not only does the exercise we do to lose weight become thinner, but any other such as climbing the stairs instead of the elevator or house chores also have a positive effect.
Are 10,000 steps a good number? It depends. If you are a sedentary person who hardly practices physical activity, perhaps 10,000 steps are too many. Think that they suppose about 7 or 8 kilometers a day, a considerable distance if you barely move. On the other hand, if you are a very active person, maybe 10,000 steps will fall short.
Researchers at the Arizona State University have established activity levels according to the number of steps taken per day. According to their categories, people who take less than 5,000 steps a day are considered sedentary or inactive. Those who give between 5,000 and 7,499 have a less active lifestyle. Those who are somewhat active are those who give between 7,500 and 9,999 steps a day, and active people are the ones who take more than 10,000 steps a day.
How to calculate your level of activity and the steps you must take to date
If you have a pedometer , a physical activity bracelet or even a mobile phone with that function , devote a couple of weeks to calculate the average daily steps you take to know in what category of activity you are.
Once you have that number, you can set a goal for yourself. Think about 10,000 steps is the equivalent of doing an intense exercise for 30 minutes , which will burn between 2,000 and 3,000 more calories a week , which add to the caloric deficit that will help you lose weight. Remember that to lose approximately half a kilo of fat you have to burn about 3,500 calories.
From here, it is you who must analyze how many calories you eat, how many you burn and how much weight and at what rate you want to lose. If your intention is to lose 5 kilos, only walking 10,000 steps a week would take about 14 weeks to get it. This may seem like a long time, but keep in mind that you can always add more physical activity by adding steps, increasing speed or walking uphill, for example, increasing your caloric deficit and accelerating calorie burning.
In any case, remember that the most effective way to lose weight is to think in the medium and long term: set exercise objectives that you can maintain over time, so that the weight you lose will not return once you stop exercising, and try always include some physical activity in your routine, not only to lose weight but for the sake of your health.