The Secret Weapon for Fat Loss
It’s true that when people start on a plan to lose fat, walking can be a great help. And when people start, they are more motivated to get outside and move around. But is walking without counting steps enough? Why set a specific range for steps when dieting for fat loss? If fat loss is all about calorie deficit, then shouldn’t eating in calorie deficit be enough to lose fat? Let’s get into the details below.
In the context of losing fat, let us first be clear what walking with steps goal is not:
- High step counts aren’t suitable for everyone.
- It is not enough to walk the steps goal; calorie deficit is the key for fat loss.
- People working long hours in office jobs may find it difficult to walk as much.
- People who want to burn as many calories as possible in a short amount of time, walking with steps goal is not the efficient way.
So Why Walk?
For fat loss we need a calorie deficit. TDEE stands for total daily energy expenditure, which is the total energy that a person uses in a day. You can calculate your TDEE and read more about it here https://www.abhifit.com/tdee-calculator/ You’ll have to burn more calories than you eat if you want to lose weight. And vice versa. So, if you want to lose fat, then you should eat fewer calories than your TDEE.
Now, for example, if a person’s TDEE is 3500 calories for maintaining weight, and to lose weight the person creates a 600-calorie deficit each day, then the person will be consuming 2900 calories every day. The person experiences fat loss initially perhaps for some weeks, however, as time progresses, the fat loss slows down and after some months it totally levels off. Understand below why this happens.
Metabolic adaptation means the ability of our bodies to adjust its metabolism according to what we eat. Metabolic adaptation is, therefore, our body’s natural response to starvation, which in our society most often comes in the form of dieting. When we diet and lose weight then our energy requirements go down because we are experiencing metabolic adaptation.
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks and fidgeting.
Essentially, it’s unplanned activity that nonetheless contributes significantly to fat reduction. This movement burns calories, assisting you in achieving a calorie deficit.
The person’s body decreases NEAT levels.
In simple words, as “energy in” decreases our body adapts to keep us alive and functioning by decreasing the “energy out.” Thus, calorie deficit weight loss eventually slows down or even gets stuck at some weight.
The longer a person diets and the more weight the person loses, the more metabolic adaption occurs in the body. NEAT levels are decreasing with weight loss. It varies greatly from person to person. In some, it is barely noticeable, while in others, it is rather noticeable.
There is another issue. This is related to people having different levels of metabolic adaptation.
For example, let’s say two people take 8-week cuts. Both are at the same weight, body fat level and training goal. Both have the same TDEEs say 3000 and both start cuts on 2500 calories. One person finishes cut on 2400 calories, only dropping 100 calories over 8 weeks to get to goal. The other person finishes cut on 1900 calories which is 500 calories less than the first person. This is because their bodies are different and experience different levels of metabolic adaptation.
How Walking and Counting Steps Will Help?
Metabolic adaptation occurs when the body reduces movement that we have no control over. Because we move less and spend less energy, our TDEE decreases, and the original calories are no longer effective.
Walking and tracking the steps is a great way to ensure that the movement stays elevated even when body does not want it to.
Walking with a fixed number of steps as goal forces a person to get up and move and this helps in keeping the activity consistent. We cannot control NEAT levels lowering down, however, we can control our daily movement with walking and a goal of step counts.
The traditional 10,000-step-per-day program can be the difference between someone getting stuck at a certain weight during fat loss and someone who regularly loses fat over time.
To keep losing fat, make sure that not only calorie requirements are being met but also ensure that your everyday walking steps count is maintained and not decreasing.
If you’re stuck at a weight while trying to lose fat, then walking is a simple yet effective way to get out of it.
Read more about how to achieve fat loss and the power of 10k steps here https://www.abhifit.com/how-to-achieve-sustainable-weight-loss/
Read about the Science of Nutrient Timing for Fat Loss, Muscle Gain & Strength here https://www.abhifit.com/science-of-nutrient-timing-for-fat-loss-muscle-gain-strength/
Read my articles related to nutrition https://www.abhifit.com/category/nutrition/ through which you will get a wide variety of information to achieve your fat loss goals.
Please contact me to learn what I and my team AbhiFit can do for you through nutrition and personal training services. We train kids, teens, adults, elders, athletes and models in Dubai and online across the UAE and around the world. We help our clients achieve their fat loss, weight loss, muscle gain, strength gain, rehab, figure / physique transformation & healthy living goals.
Many female and male clients including kids, teens, adults and elderly people have greatly benefited from Abhinav’s strong experience as the best personal trainer and nutritionist in Dubai, UAE. You can see some of our client transformations here.
Email your Name and WhatsApp No. to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to receive a notification whenever we publish a new article.
Get Fit Now!
Abhinav Malhotra is an award-winning personal trainer, coach and sports nutritionist in Dubai, UAE. He also offers online services to clients around the world. A personal trainer par excellence, Abhi has worked with the world’s leading fitness chains, supplement brands and founded his own fitness academy in India. He has achieved successes for many clients from all backgrounds and has trained the Indian Army Rugby Team. He is the first International Kettlebell Sport athlete from India.