Brad Linder, owner of Get You In Shape and www.GetYouInShape.com recently was asked by ABC’s Channel 8 and Janet St. James to help with a segment they were doing about a popular book and weight loss program. The Step Diet is as simple program that anyone can start. It helps people start slowly on their way to long term weight loss results. It was recently ranked one of America’s healthiest diets – behind an in-patient diet treatment center – and ahead of Weight Watchers.
The Step Diet, by James O. Hill, John C. Peters, and Bonnie T. Jortberg, , is a 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.
The answer to long-term weight control is understanding energy balance. Calories eaten minus calories burned is the basic mathematical formula for energy balance and weight control. The Step Diet, based on scientific studies and research from the Nation Weight Control Registry (NWCR), shows dieters simple ways to trim calories and how to burn more calories to achieve weight loss through a negative energy balance.
Why does it work? The Step Diet is all about making small, consistent changes that over time add up and help you stick to the changes. There are two simple changes that you will need to do. The first start is to be more physically active and the other is to eat 25% less each day.
The first change is being more physically active. Unlike most diets on the market that only focus on what you can and cannot eat, The Step Diet does not start with a diet plan. The first start is to be more physically active and the book recommends an exercise that everyone can do, WALK. You will need a pedometer (it comes with the book if you buy the book) that you will stick on your belt, pants, or shorts. To get started, use the pedometer to assess the usual number of steps you take daily and average that for a week before starting. The first week you start you will walk a minimum of 2,000 steps a day (a 15-minute walk). Each week, add 500 steps until you reach the goal of 10,000 steps (approximately 5 miles or 75 minutes) per day. This makes you slowly get in that habit instead of starting out on program that you have to walk 10,000 steps a day, you start slow and only add about 5 minutes a day each week. Before long, you will be walking over 10, 000 steps a day.
I know what you are thinking, “How can I find time to was 60-75 minutes a day?” You don’t have to do the steps all at once. You can accrue steps throughout the day by using your pedometer 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.
The second small change that The Step Diet recommends is eating 25% less each day. You will only need 7 days of writing down all the foods you eat every day to get an idea of what you eating on an average day. You will then start eating 25 %. No counting calories, not counting carbs, and you don’t have to worry about what you eat when you start. This again will make it easy for you to stick to the plan because you are cutting the foods out but just limiting the amount you are eating.
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 eat something you know is unhealthy for you, you just walk or exercise more.
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.
The segment I did on ABC’s Channel 8 and Janet St. James explaining what The Step Diet book was and why I thought it worked was a great experience. Channel 8 came to one of our fitness boot camps in Coppell, TX and filmed a part of the workout when we do cardio at the participants own fitness leve. For many that is walking when they get started. After a few weeks they slowly make changes as they improve. The science behind the book and the why it is one of the best weight loss programs around are reason why I believe in it. It is packed with useful advice and tidbits of information to help curtail bad weight-gaining habits and find ways to walk more.
I would defiantly recommend this book for anyone looking to get started on a program. Get You In Shape’s programs are very similar to the step diet. We start each and every client of ours out exactly where they are at. For many that is just walking more and slowly getting into resistance training. I believe adding the resistance training in is important.