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Step Diet: Count Steps, Not Calories

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The Step Diet: How It Works continued...

Don't have 75 minutes? You don't have to do the steps all at once. By using a pedometer, you can accrue steps throughout the day and let it serve as a motivator to find ways to add more steps, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking your car in the corner of the lot. 

You can continue the Step Diet indefinitely, but the authors suggest just maintaining your initial weight lost on the plan before resuming the program again to lose additional weight. Why? Believe it or not, "losing weight is the easy part," says Hill, "the tough part is keeping the lost weight off forever." He explains that most weight loss occurs in the first 12 weeks, so it is a good time to get comfortable with your new weight and learn how to maintain it before going back on the program.

The Step Diet: What the Experts Say

What sets the Step Diet apart from other diet books is the emphasis on physical activity and the common sense approach of taking small steps to change eating behaviors. What could be easier than walking more and cutting 100 calories every day?

Susan Finn, former president of the American Dietetic Association and chairwoman of the American Council on Fitness and Nutrition, loves the Step Diet. "It is one of the easiest strategies for weight loss -- all you need is a pair of sneakers, a pedometer and some simple guidance on proper portions and healthy eating behaviors to be successful," she says.

Finn adds that "dieters feel empowered, because counting steps is something measurable that makes physical activity fun," a real bonus for anyone struggling to lose weight.

"The Step Diet cuts through all the clutter and scary science terms and makes losing weight or maintaining weight very doable for most everyone," Finn tells WebMD. The diet is very practical with good advice on how to trim calories. There are no gimmicks or restricted foods, and it allows all your favorites. The key? You just might need to add some extra steps to walk off the calories.

If more people simply cut back on portions and became more physically active, Finn thinks we wouldn't have an obesity problem in the United States.

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