Expert says 'sneakiest' weight loss method can help you burn 'more than 400 calories a day'

Two women walking outside in the sun
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A health influencer has shed light on the significant impact a daily walk can have on your weight loss journey.

We often hear that 10,000 steps per day is the magic number for maintaining fitness and health. However, John Schaefer, a coach based in California, has provided some clarity on this topic to his 905,000 TikTok followers (@johnschaeferhealth).

"By far one of the easiest ways to increase the rate at which you lose weight is to start walking more," he advised. "The goal is 10,000 steps a day - it's about four-and-a-half miles. It's not a hard target, but it gives you something to aim for."

"It is the sneakiest form of fat loss. If you hit 10,000 steps a day for 100 days that's a million steps. For an average person, you burn about 100 calories per mile walked... Not only does that help you on a daily basis, but it adds up to an incredible calorie burn over time."

John isn't alone in advocating for 10,000 steps a day. Interestingly, the idea actually stems from a highly successful marketing campaign launched ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. The Japanese character for '10,000' resembles a person walking, hence its selection for the project.

However, subsequent research has confirmed that 10,000 steps can significantly improve your health and aid weight loss - even if it's not as intense as a treadmill workout. A project led by the University of Southern Denmark also suggested that just 9,800 daily steps could drastically reduce your risk of dementia, after analysing data from 78,430 Brits.

The NHS reports that most Brits currently average around 3,000 to 4,000 steps every day, so walking a bit more is undoubtedly a good alternative for those who aren't fans of the gym. John added: "It's good for the mind, good for muscle soreness. Walk your dog, catch up on phone calls with a friend - it's a super easy way to make permanent fat loss a reality."

John's post quickly garnered a lot of comments on the platform, with many users claiming they'd also had success with the technique. One person commented: "I lost 12kg in three months with a calorie deficit and just walking, I agree! ", while another added: "Especially if you do a fasted walk! ".

The NHS also suggests that even a brisk 10-minute walk can make a significant difference if you're short on time. "Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier," its advice states.

"You do not have to walk for hours. A brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your 150 minutes of weekly exercise."