Why 10,000 steps?
Research shows this amount builds stamina and gives you a healthier heart, as well as burning calories.
Did you know?
City dwellers generally walk further than people in the countryside because they’re more likely to use public transport than drive a car.
Your walking plan
The average person walks between 3000 and 4000 steps in a day. Your goal is to walk an additional 6000-7000 in order to hit your 10,000 steps and burn an extra 200-250 calories a day.
Of those steps, 2000-3000 should be taken at a fast pace. This will help you meet the government’s recommendation of 150 minutes a week ‘moderate intensity aerobic activity’.
As a rough guide, 10 minutes walking equates to 1000 steps. But for more accuracy, use a pedometer (Argos has a good range, with prices starting at £3.99).
Walking not your thing? You can swap any block of 1000 steps for 10 minutes of another moderate intensity activity – e.g. cycling, gardening or swimming. Your aim is to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. If you can still talk but can’t sing the words to a song while exercising you’re doing it right.
Fast walking for half an hour – 4000 steps
Average pace walking for half an hour – 3000 steps
1 mile, any pace – 2000 steps
Grocery shopping for half an hour – 2010 steps
Housework for 15 minutes – 1080 steps
Dancing for 10 minutes – 930 steps
Vigorous stair climbing for 1 minute – 267 steps
Ten Minute Turbo-Charger
If you follow this short 10 minute sequence, the 1500 steps you get under your belt will burn two-thirds more calories than if you had been walking normally…
0 – 3 mins – Start walking; gradually build up speed
3 – 4 mins – Walk as fast as you can
4 – 4:30 mins – Jog
4:30 – 5:30 mins – Fast walk
5:30 – 6:00 mins – Star jumps
6:00 – 7:00 mins – Fast walk
7:00 – 7:30 mins – Star jumps
7:30 – 8:30 mins – Fast walk
8:30 – 9 mins – Jog
9 – 10 mins – Easy walk
Your food plan
To maximise weight loss during your walking regime, choose one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner and one snack each day from our easy menus below. Also allow 275ml/1⁄2pint skimmed milk daily in addition to milk in the menus.
2 slices wholemeal toast with 2tsp of low-fat spread and thin layer of marmalade. Bowl of raspberries
2 Weetabix with skimmed milk and a small banana
Sandwich of 2 slices wholemeal bread filled, 2 grilled rashers lean back bacon, lettuce and 1 tomato
2tbsp unsweetened muesli with 1 chopped apple and 1 small pot low-fat natural yogurt
5tbsp bran flakes with 1tbsp sultanas and skimmed milk. Small glass unsweetened orange juice
Sandwich of wholemeal bread, 6 slices wafer-thin turkey, 2tsp redcurrant sauce and salad. 1 pot low-fat chocolate mousse and a slice of melon
1⁄2 small pot tzatziki with 1 wholemeal pitta bread and veg crudités. 1 small banana
Bowl of minestrone soup. 1 small roll filled with salad and 1tsp low-calorie mayonnaise. 1 pot low-fat chocolate mousse and 1 kiwi fruit
4 inch piece of French bread filled with 4tbsp grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, 1tbsp pickle and salad
1 jacket potato with 1⁄2 small can tuna in water mixed with 1tbsp canned sweetcorn and 1tsp reduced-fat mayonnaise. Serve with salad
3 thin slices lean roast beef with 1 small ready-made Yorkshire pudding, 4 new potatoes, vegetables, and fat-free gravy. 1 bowl fresh fruit salad with 1tbsp single cream
400 calorie ready meal with salad. 1 apple
1 grilled lean gammon steak with a box of microwave chips, a ring of pineapple and vegetables. 1 peach
Baked salmon. Place a salmon steak on a piece of foil and sprinkle with lemon juice. Wrap up the foil and bake in the oven until cooked. Serve with 3 new potatoes boiled in their skins and vegetables
Veggie chilli with rice. Fry 1 chopped small onion, 1⁄2 chopped green pepper, 1 sliced courgette and 2 sliced carrots. Add chilli powder to taste and cook for a few minutes. Add 1 small can red kidney beans, 1 small can chopped tomatoes, 1tbsp tomato purée and a little water. Simmer until heated through and thickened. Serve with a fist-sized portion of cooked brown rice and salad
2 crispbreads with 1tbsp reduced-fat soft cheese and 1 sliced tomato
1 sachet low-calorie instant hot chocolate drink and 1 small chocolate chip cookie
1 apple and 1 peach
1 French Fancy
1 small glass red or dry white wine
For further information on our diet club, and to get a free 7-day membership, go to Woman’s Own Diets