Our The Step Diet review takes a look at one of the simplest and most common sense approaches to weight loss around – eat a bit less and walk a bit more…does it work?
Developed by weight control experts and based on 25 years of research and accumulated evidence, then there’s a good chance that it does.
There’s nothing radical or controversial in The Step Diet, it simply distills the two core principles of successful weight loss – eat a bit less than you burn off and do some regular exercise.
It throws in some sound behavior change strategies and off you go!
Can weight loss really be this simple? Let’s take a look…
The Step Diet Review – How Does it Work…?
There’s no doubt about it, walking is the single most effective exercise for weight loss.
It’s what our bodies are designed to do – walk.
You’ll burn more calories in 30 minutes by jogging, but the proportion of fat that you’ll burn walking is greater.
Check out our page on walking for weight loss for more information.
The authors of The Step Diet have taken this principle and built a diet around it.
Based at the University of Colorado in the USA, the authors have designed a very simple program that pretty much anyone that can walk can follow.
There’s no diet as such, you eat 75% of what you’re currently eating and start walking.
You get a pedometer with the book and strap it to your waistband each day.
You start off walking 2,000 steps a day, which is around a mile.
You don’t have to do it in one go, as the 2,000 steps are accumulated throughout the day.
Shopping, walking from the car or bus to the office, cleaning the house…they all count.
Think about it, at 4 miles per hour 2,000 steps is equivalent to three 5-minute walks a day.
Not too difficult, is it?
The idea is to gradually build up to 10,000 steps a day, which is around five miles.
At 4 miles per hour, that’s around 75 minutes of walking a day.
Sounds a lot, but broken up over the course of the day, it’s very doable.
The authors offer a wealth of tips and strategies for building walking into your daily routine. It’s these small changes that really add up over the course of the day.
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking the kids to school instead of taking the car, getting off the bus or train a stop or two early…
The Step Diet is a 12-week program, so the increase in the number of steps you walk each day is gradual.
As the weeks go by you get fitter and shouldn’t find walking a bit further too challenging.
The diet side is simple – just eat 25% less than normal.
You’re advised to keep a food diary for a week before starting the diet.
Note down everything you eat as well as when you ate it and how you felt at the time.
Understanding the emotional and situational triggers for eating are important in tackling overeating.
No foods are banned, just eat less of them and try to eat a wider variety of foods. Particularly fresh fruit and veg, wholegrains and lean protein, like chicken and fish.
The Step Diet Review – Does it Work…?
Our Step Diet review would suggest that there’s plenty of evidence to indicate that it does work.
Studies cited in the book and carried out at the University of Colorado as well as other research at universities around the world, Loughborough and Exeter in the UK for example, have reported on the benefits of walking for weight loss.
Think about it. You burn 100 calories a mile walking.
Walk 10,000 steps a day, that’s 5 miles so you’ll burn 500 calories.
There’s 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, so 10,000 steps a day should result in a pound of fat lost a week.
If you eat 2,000 calories a day and then reduce that by 25%, that’s 500 calories a day less, which equates to another pound lost a week.
The researchers cite weight loss of 1-2lbs a week in trial participants, which makes sense to us.
The one niggle we found in our Step Diet review, though is the lack of prescription as far as the diet side is concerned.
You could walk your 10,000 steps a day, but still make poor food choices and struggle to lose weight.
One suggestion might be to follow a commercial weight loss program and build in the 12 week walking program.
That way, you should ensure that you don’t overeat and make the right food choices.
The Step Diet Review – The Bottom Line…
We like the approach set out in this plan and our Steps Diet review would conclude that it could be a very simple and effective way to lose weight.
The key is finding ways to build the walking into your daily routine by making small changes one at a time. That way you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
A 30 minute walk before or after lunch or after dinner, together with a few 5 or 10 minute walks spread throughout the rest of the day would do it.
Having used a pedometer myself in the past, it becomes addictive!
You’ll find yourself checking it regularly and walking at pretty much every opportunity to get the numbers up!
Combine the 12 week walking program with a sensible diet – you can find several to choose from at eDiets.com – and get moving!
Our Step Diet review verdict? Walk your way to weight loss – a winner!