One of the most common questions I get asked is ‘Will 10,000 steps help me lose weight?’ 10000 steps and weight loss
If you are currently stepping, say 4,000 steps a day and you gradually increase your activity and steps and lower your intake of calories – you will lose weight, weight loss will be slow, but its still weight-loss! 10,000 steps is a great goal if you want to become or stay healthy.

To lose weight you need to build your daily step count to at least 15,000 steps a day for 4-6 days of the week, with at least 4,000 -5,000 steps per day being of higher intensity dedicated walking ie your heart rate reaching at least *70% of your maximum heart rate.

Why use a pedometer for weight loss?

On the road to weight loss – the only way we measure our results is either by the scales (Yuk! I hate scales) , by a tape measure or how our clothes feel on. But we have no real feedback in-between these results. Please meet  your new walking buddy and personal trainer – the Pedometer! A pedometer  will be with you every step of the way  (just like a good walking buddy)  ;) Now you have an amazing tool that can measure your daily activity, no more guessing and it gives instant feedback (your very own personal trainer)!
A good pedometer will keep track of exactly how active you are during your normal daily routine and you will soon find many opportunities to increase that step count and burn more calories!

Tips on using 10,000 steps for weight loss (newbies to 10,000 steps)

  • To achieve healthy, permanent weight loss – consistency, patience and time are the three vital keys.
  • The real secret is don’t over do it in the beginning, most of us approach exercise or diets like a bull in a china shop, all Gung-Ho for the first couple of weeks and then disaster strikes…
  • You must give your body and mind time for the adjustment and set realistic weekly step goals.

Start with purchasing a good quality pedometer such as a G-Sensor or Omron Hj113 pocket pedometer - build up to 10,000 steps by introducing dedicated walking  ie it maybe 5 minutes, 3 days a week in the first week, 10 minutes in the second week and so on. By the time you reach 10,000 steps you could be walking up to 30 minutes a day and when you reach 15,000 steps you could be walking 45 mins! The weight will be dropping off! Imagine how good and proud you will feel!

Please don’t be scared or overwhelmed by the numbers!  If you can only do 100 more steps then yesterdays step count – then you are making an improvement – 100 more steps is better then no steps! By the end of 7 days you would have added 700 steps to your daily total!

When you are starting out on the 10,000 step program don’t compare yourself with others – set daily step goals that feel right for you!

Good luck and have fun!

*If you would like to know more about Heart Rate training zones for weight loss please visit our Fitness tools section in the website and go to the Heart Rate Training Zone calculator.

Please always check with your medical practitioner before embarking on any exercise program.

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Kate Crosby is a passionate walker and co-founder of Walk with Attitude & Pedometers Australia. When Kate's not out testing new pedometers/activity trackers, she is leading the Walk with Attitude team to create innovative walking challenges for individuals and workplaces. Kate firmly believes walking with a "little Attitude" can change your life.

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