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Step Diet: Count Steps, Not Calories

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WebMD Expert Review

The Step Diet: What It Is

If you are looking for a way to lose weight, keep it off forever and be healthier, then the Step Diet is for you. There's no counting of carbs, fat grams, or calories. This is not really a diet, but rather a compilation of simple ways to permanently change your eating and exercise patterns without a strict diet plan.

The entire Step Diet premise is simple: Walk 10,000 steps a day and trim your portions by a quarter and you will lose weight, simple as that. Move more, eat a little less.

The Step Diet, by James O. Hill, John C. Peters, Bonnie T. Jortberg, and Pamela Peeke, is a life-long program for both weight loss and weight maintenance. The easy-to-do plan helps dieters slowly increase their daily activity with the use of a pedometer that comes with the book. Simple rules, tips, and diet guidelines are provided with the plan to teach dieters how to trim calories and portion sizes and increase the number of steps they take. Making these lifestyle changes is the secret sauce to successful and permanent weight control.

James Hill, PhD, a well-respected obesity researcher, and co-founder of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) and America on the Move, understands the importance of physical activity.

"You don't need to run marathons to control your weight, just strap on a pedometer and lace up a pair of sneakers and put one foot in front of the other," says Hill. "We need to get people to be more active and by using the pedometer and making small dietary changes, we really can make a dent in the obesity of our nation."

If you're ready to make small adjustments in the way you eat, and if you want to start walking your way to weight loss, the Step Diet is the plan you've been looking for.

The Step Diet: What You Can Eat

The Step Diet lets you eat whatever you like, as long as you cut back your usual portion size by about 25%. Then balance your daily intake with plenty of steps, starting at 2,000 and working your way up to 10,000 per day.

Healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and healthy fats are strongly encouraged and there are no forbidden foods. If you want to splurge on a piece of cheesecake, simply compensate with the appropriate number of steps. 

Detailed charts for men and women calculate the number of steps needed to balance out the extra calories from your favorite foods. If you prefer other forms of exercise besides walking, there are charts showing the equivalent number of steps. For example, for women 150 steps can be traded for one minute of cycling.

Bottom line with the Step Diet, increase the number of steps you take throughout the day to increase energy expenditure and you will lose or maintain body weight.

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