Daily Steps, What's The Deal For Weight Loss?06.05.20
How many of you have a FitBit?
Samsung or Garmin?
I would imagine most of you have some kind of activity tracker. I mean, it’s 2020. Most accessories seem to have an ability to track your movement, training, or sleep!
Activity trackers and wearables are ever-present in today’s society. Emarketer states that as of the end of 2019, 22% (56.7 million) of all US adults had purchased some kind of wearable tech.
But here’s the real question.
How many of you know how to use them?
When you look at the results of your latest run, do you know what numbers on your screen actually mean?
Cool, you’ve burned 250 calories. But where does that fit into your weight loss goal?
In my experience, one form of activity that requires more attention than any other is your daily steps.
So, what’s the deal with steps and why is there so much emphasis on it in the quest for improved health?
Your typical day.
If you have a desk-bound day job, listen up. The following may well sum up your day to day life right now.
You wake up from your BED.
You head to your CAR and go to work.
You SIT at your desk for 8-10 hours.
You head back to your CAR and head home.
You SIT on the sofa and watch your evening television before heading up to BED for your nights sleep.
Can you see the trend here?
You see, being seated for almost the entire day has become an increasing health concern.
Reduced amounts of daily movement is also helping increase the obesity epidemic across the western world. can also. The health risk of being obese are countless, which I won’t go into here. However, pretty much every major health problem can be exacerbated by being overweight.
Less standing means fewer steps. It means burning less energy per day. This lack of energy consumption leaves us exposed to putting on that unwanted body fat.
Why? It all revolves around N.E.A.T.
How N.E.A.T are you?
Everything that we do uses energy.
That’s right. Every time we move, every time we think, eat and train, energy is consumed in the form of calories.
We all know about the main forms of calorie burners. Gym training, exercise classes, running, cycling, and sports.
But there’s another form of activity that you undertake more than any other.
Do you walk at any point in the day? That’s NEAT.
Do you spend time typing on your computer? That’s also NEAT.
Do you spend time mowing the lawn or generally fidgeting? That’s right. NEAT.
In simple terms, N.E.A.T (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) is a form of using your body’s energy. They are the calories we burn in everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise.
Remember the activity tracker and wearable tech I spoke about at the start of the post? They fundamentally allow you to track your NEAT.
Tracking your NEAT is where you can make amazing progress towards your weight loss goal because they let you more accurately track your calorie burn.
What do daily steps mean?
Typically, 1,000 steps will allow you to spend around 30-40 calories. Up your movement and you can see, this can add up to a significant amount of energy expenditure over a week.
Here is a basic visual to represent the difference in energy expenditure between 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 steps a day.
2-4,000 steps are typical for a sedentary office worker.
Kcal per day Kcals per week Kcals per month
2,000 60-80 420-560 1,800-2,400
5,000 150-200 1,050-1,400 4,500-6,000
10,000 300-400 2,100-2,800 9,000-12,000
Now, consider that 1 pound of fat contains around 3,500 kcals worth of energy.
You can see then from the table that by simply moving more, any potential for excess fat storage is kept to a minimum. In fact, it is more likely to help you lose weight*
*depending on your daily calorie intake
What should my step target be?
The team at Harvard University suggest that 7,500 steps is a good minimum step count for health. Yet, if using energy is the name of the game, 10,000+ steps should be a target.
10,000 is a great combination of both achievability and calorie expenditure.
To quantify it in time, 10,000 steps is around 1.5 hours of total movement per day.
This does not mean 90 minutes of continuous exercise. It can be broken down into any combination you like. This is the joy of NEAT. It can work entirely around your individual work and home life.
It could be in 15-minute stints across the day. Or utilising your lunch break to move for an hour. You could take the stairs instead of the lift or get off the bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way to work.
Do you know what else is great about NEAT? It is easy to implement every single day.
You see, any successful weight loss journey requires consistent effort over time. Many give up on their attempts due to confusion of overcomplication of diet and training. In reality, things should be planned as simply as possible.
For food, meal prep is your ultimate tool for health and convenience. It has a plethora of health benefits that can aid your weight loss progress.
For activity, start with hitting your daily step target consistently. This will build a solid foundation of fitness for any extra gym sessions, sports or exercise classes you choose to take.
More benefits of getting your move on
Moving more carries benefits beyond just aiding weight loss. In fact, by just putting one foot in front of the other, your whole outlook on health and life can change.
Yes, I said it. Walking can change your life.
After working closely with hundreds of clients over a decade and a half, moving more has provided the platform for some of the most incredible and dramatic weight loss results I’ve seen.
I have outlined a few of the other incredible benefits of getting your walking shoes on daily.
- Improved cardiovascular health,
- Increased bone and joint strength
- Improved social health through walking with family and friends
- The pure enjoyment of experiencing the beautiful landscapes that the UK has to offer.
I ask again. How NEAT are you?
The simplest things can often be overlooked when it comes to health and weight loss. Many often think that the more complex an exercise, diet, or program the better the results will be.
This is just not the case.
When it comes to changing your body, health and life, walking can (and should) be at the foundation of any program. It expends energy without breathlessness or excess sweating. It is extremely easy to monitor, and it allows you to achieve small goals regularly.
Over and above weight loss, maximising your NEAT has a number of other physical and psychological benefits.
From better joint health to mental outlook. Social to heart health.
Moving more will add nothing but improvements to your life.
If you are interested in tracking your steps and creating some accountability for your daily movement, an activity tracker will most certainly be your friend.
How NEAT can you be now?
Before you go! Being more active is incredibly important to maintain healthy weight loss, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Your nutrition is equally important. If you feel like you’re already moving a lot, but the weight isn’t shifting, have you considered that your diet may not be on point?
I’ve listed 9 reasons why UK meal prep delivery is worth it. Take a look it could provide the help you need.