As you go over your weight loss regimen needs, you will likely find that many people, websites, and perhaps even some doctors recommend a calorie- and/or macronutrient-controlled diet and 10,000 steps per day. However, you may be surprised that this second piece of advice isn’t based on any scientific evidence at all. In fact, a recent study has shown that that number is completely inadequate for overcoming body mass struggles. This isn’t too surprising since the 10k number became popular after having been randomly selected as an example in an interview. It wasn’t based on any evidence. It was just a for-instance.
What Does Research Say About Weight Loss Regimen Needs for Daily Steps?
A recent Brigham Young University study showed that walking 10,000 to 15,000 steps per day wasn’t adequate to stop 120 freshman students from gaining weight. The researchers followed the participants for 24 weeks. The participants were put into groups in which they were instructed to walk either 10,000, 12,500, or 15,000 steps per day. They needed to continue the daily steps for six days per week.
By the end of the study, the researchers determined that keeping up that many steps – often considered the ideal goal for weight control – was entirely inadequate for weight loss regimen needs. In fact, on average, the students who participated in this study gained 3.5 pounds throughout the period of the study.
The researchers cited previous studies that showed that freshman year college students will commonly gain between 2 and 9 pounds within that first school year. This is why they selected that particular group of subjects. Therefore, they concluded that in terms of what a healthy weight loss regimen needs, a good step count isn’t enough.
10k Steps Isn’t Enough, but It Helps
Still, just because the steps aren’t all your weight loss regimen needs, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t contribute. The researchers were quick to point out that while this exercise wasn’t the solution to combating weight gain, it did provide the study participants with benefits.
For instance, the students who took more steps didn’t stop all the weight gain from occurring. Still, they experienced other important advantages. For instance, they saw a reduction in mortality risks. This was the case across the board among the participants whose activity levels rose compared to their typical lifestyles, The researchers measured both physical and emotional benefits among those participants.
This is important as it demonstrates that while 10k per day doesn’t complete all a person’s weight loss regimen needs, it can play a role in supporting those that do. With better motivation and feeling better physically, it can be easier to make other healthy lifestyle changes such as those affecting diet, sleep, and stress control.