Want to burn fat, lose weight and transform your body without doing intense cardio or following a fat diet? Trainer Libby Babet explains why hitting 12,000 steps a day is the answer to long-term weight loss success.
We all know walking is the holy grail of exercise and weight loss. After all, it’s effective and free, and proven to improve and maintain your overall health.
For years the public health message has been to hit 10,000 steps per day, however this whole concept was purely just a marketing scheme. In fact, if you really want to stay on top of your fitness and lose weight, it turns out you’ll need to ramp up your daily step count to 12,000.
According to founder of The Upbeat Bondi and former Biggest Loser trainer Libby Babet, 12k steps per day is the key to changing the shape of your body.
“The biggest point I see transformation is around that 12,000 plus mark,” Babet told Healthy-ish podcast host Alison Izzo on episode ‘Throw out everything you think you know about walking’.
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Babet, who has helped train hundreds of people over almost a dozen years of working as a trainer, calls the 12k mark her “golden standard”.
“It takes a little bit of effort to push towards that so you kind of have to be up and moving and thinking about taking the stairs and walking to your lunch, and all that jazz.”
She explains that walking 12k steps a day is more effective than pushing yourself to the limits at the gym every single day.
“There are a lot of really advanced exercisers out there who are working out for hours and hours per week doing really effective, really great workouts, and yet they’re still not seeing all the results they want to see in terms of either their body shape or how they’re feeling or their energy levels.
“And the number one thing I’ll often do with those people, particularly women who can really overdo high intensity exercise, is I’ll pair back to say, you know what book in three or four little exercises a week and take the others off the table and just hit those steps per day.”
Babet continues: “Literally, if all you’re doing is hitting around that 12k steps per day and you’re getting 5-10 minutes of workouts of strength stuff at home every day or second day, you’re going to see better results than if you’re smashing it at the gym all week and barely moving in between.”
Moreover, she explains walking is the best fat burning exercises because it’s “low impact cardio where you’re not getting your heart rate up too high”, which in turn “targets stored fat”.
“It’s one of those things that’s so accessible but truly, it’s so underrated. It’s so underrated in terms of body shape, body performance, energetic performance, even helping you sleep better, mental health – it is probably the number one thing you can do.
“Sometimes really tough workouts too often can drain you so you cannot do too much of walking. It’s not going to have you overtrain. It’s a really healthy thing for your mental state, your sleep, everything – and it’s just so underrated.”
And if changing the shape of your body is your goal, Babet says you can ditch the “crazy weights and crazy high intensity workouts” and fad diets for a balance of walking and strength training (think Pilates).
“I live and die by that 12k steps a day. Often people can’t get to a gym and I often say do my double dozen – try and get 12k steps and a little 12 minute home strength workout 12 days out of even 14, so 12, 12, 12 – and you will probably get better results than you will at paying for the fanciest hundred dollar per week gym membership that you can find.”
So, here’s to getting in an extra 2,000 steps per day. And if you think about it, it’s totally achievable, too!
Libby Babet is the founder of The Upbeat Bondi. Follow her on Instagram @libbybabet.