Pedometers have gained a lot of popularity in the last few years as a tool to help you with weight loss and as for increasing your daily activity. In this article I want to give you my view on them and how I think they can be useful in a fat loss program.
If you aren’t familiar with the terminology, the Pedometer is a small device often fastened to your belt area that basically counts the amount of steps you take on any given day. There are millions of different types and brands with added calorie counters, mp3-players, insulin pumps (ok, maybe not) or what have you. But the basic function is the same: counting steps as a way to quantify daily activity.
Some people just want to increase their day to day activity level, and do not look at the walking as fat burning exercise or as a tool for increasing calorie expenditure but just want to make sure they move more. This often applies to people with desk jobs who do not move much during the day. The pedometer can be a great tool for this purpose.
This however is not the way people usually use them.
How Joe Uses The Pedometer
Average Joe makes a new year’s resolution and wants to lose a ton of weight so they start the average weight loss program existing of two components: starving and increasing their walking to say 10’000 steps/day.
This is stupid for a million reasons but in this post I want to focus on the pedometer and why this is not the way to use it.
How YOU Can Use It…
Last week I talked about how dieting down will unconsciously reduce the total movement from day to day basis (NEAT decreases as we get leaner). If you need to recap you can read last weeks’ article
Reading that you should understand when pedometers come in play and how you can really use them optimally in a fat loss program.
In the end of the diet THAT’s when movement and aerobic activity needs to be added, not as a tool for burning fat but as a strategy to maintain that new weight and manage to keep the activity up despite a new level of body fat, and decreased spontaneous movements during the day.
That movement can be quantified with a pedometer in a great way.
My fat loss clients are often surprised that I don’t put them on an aggressive amount of cardio in the beginning of the diet. Most people think that walking will increase their calorie expenditure a lot.
Brad Pilon and Craig Ballantyne explains why that is in a brilliant video here Here.
And you can find any summary online showing how much calorie expenditure is achieved with cardio alone. The figures are not impressive.
That’s why I wait until the finishing stages of a fat loss to introduce my clients to cardio because aerobic activity alone is worthless in increasing calorie expenditure enough to be an effective fat loss tool BUT it is of great value when trying to maintain that new weight while slowly increasing daily caloric intake again.
Wait with adding cardio to your fat loss journey until you fat loss slows down. Then you increase your aerobic activity and buy a pedometer so you can quantify the amount of movement done on a daily basis. When you reach your goal weight, keep activity constant (or even increase it) to reduce the risk of regaining your lost weight and you are ready for a new, lean and healthy future.
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