Oh no! Even 10,000 steps a day aren’t enough for weight loss, says study

Updated on: 17 February 2020, 10:34 am IST

Damn you science for making our weight loss effort a total waste. Yes ladies, science has just proved that even if you take 10,000 to 15,000 steps a day still you can’t avoid weight gain.

PTI
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steps for weight loss
Oopsie! Sorry to say but just walking alone can’t prevent weight gain. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

Feeling proud to see a happy smiley on your fit gear or app on completion of 10K steps for the day? Sorry to say ladies but still that weight loss is not going to happen for you. Yes, it’s sad but true.    

Well, according to a study, published in the Journal of Obesity, no amount of walking can prevent weight gain by itself. Shucks man! Also, the study says that the widely practiced standard of pacing 10,000 steps a day to lose weight is not going to be solely effective which means you need to go an extra mile by eating healthy and have to do some more physical exercise.

Even 15K steps a day are not good enough for weight loss
Researchers, including those from Brigham Young University in the US, studied 120 college freshmen over their first six months of college as they participated in a step-counting experiment.

The participants walked either 10,000, 12,500, or 15,000 steps a day, six days a week for 24 weeks, while the scientists tracked the amount of calories the freshmen consumed and their weight.

The scientists examined if exceeding the recommended count of 10,000 steps per day would minimise weight and fat gain in the college students, the study noted.

Weight loss is just a walk away or is it? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Even after walking so much students gained weight instead of losing
According to the study, the students gained weight even if they walked more than 15,000 steps. Students in the study gained on average about 1.5 kilos over the study period, the researchers said.

A one to four kilos average weight gain is commonly observed during the first academic year of college, according to earlier studies, they said.

“Exercise alone is not always the most effective way to lose weight,” said study lead author Bruce Bailey, professor of exercise science at BYU.

Bailey added:

If you track steps, it might have a benefit in increasing physical activity, but our study showed it won’t translate into maintaining weight or preventing weight gain.

As part of the study, the participants wore pedometers 24 hours a day for the six-week study window.

On average, the students walked approximately 9,600 steps per day prior to the study.

By the end of the study, those in the 10,000-step group averaged 11,066 steps, those in the 12,500-step group averaged 13,638 steps, and participants in the 15,000-step group averaged 14,557 steps a day, the scientists said.

Also, read: Meet Nupur Lalvani, a type-1 diabetic all set to walk a 100 kilometres in 2 days this month

Although weight was not affected by the increased steps, there was a positive impact on physical activity patterns, which “may have other emotional and health benefits,” the researchers said in a statement.

They also found that sedentary time was drastically reduced in both the 12,500- and 15,000-step groups.

In the 15,000-step group, sedentary time decreased by as much as 77 minutes a day, they said.

“The biggest benefit of step recommendations is getting people out of a sedentary lifestyle. Even though it won’t prevent weight gain on its own, more steps are always better for you,” Bailey said. 

So, you need to pull up your socks ladies as just depending on walking is not going to help. Complement your walk with a healthy diet and by incorporating some good habits to make weight loss happen. 

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