Everyone loves a good diet.
From raw foods to Ketogenic to Whole 30 and beyond, we're always one new diet away from our perfect selves.
The problem is: they don't work.
For one, when we start to lose weight, our body works against us. The stress of not eating (or eating weird things) makes our body freak out and attempt to slow down the amount of calories we burn. Initially the stress causes weight loss--then it doesn't.
For another, diets don't work because we won't stick to them! We're given a bunch of diet rules, and we follow them... at first. But we really haven't changed our mindset, so we eventually throw those rules out. They were stupid rules anyway (so the thinking goes).
And most of all, diets are terrible! Who wants to eat that when we could eat this? What kind of quality of life do we have if we're eating kale? Seriously.
So are we all just stuck? Are we hopelessly trapped in our current state?
You can step your way out.
Now I'm not a doctor. I'm not giving anyone medical advice. For medical advice, go to a real doctor.
But I've been tracking my steps for several years now. And I've also been tracking what I eat in relation to those steps.
And what I've found is that there is a threshold. There is a number that seems to create weight loss no matter what I do.
The first number to talk about is 10,000. Everyone throws around 10,000 as the number of steps we need to get each day to lose weight and be healthy.
Unfortunately, that's not the number.
10,000 definitely can keep you at equilibrium (as long as you don't eat too much). But 10,000 steps won't get you where you want to go. You can still gain weight at 10,000 steps.
How about 15,000? We're getting closer.
If you eat a reasonable diet and don't eat past 6 pm, there's a chance 15,000 steps will get you to lose some weight. But if you eat late (past 8 pm) or eat too much, you may not even see progress at 15,000.
What about 20,000? Now we're talking.
20,000 is a big number. If you get 20,000 steps, you're almost off the hook. I've eaten late and not great on days when I've put 20k on the board, and woken up the next day weighing less than I did before. It's happened. I've seen it with my own eyes many times. But we're not all the way there.
So what's the magic number?
If somehow, some way, you can get 25,000 steps in, I would bet you a hefty amount of money that you'll lose weight. On my days of 25,000 steps, I can literally eat anything I want whenever I want and weigh less the next day.
Of course, 25,000 steps is a massive number. It takes about an hour to walk 10,000 steps if you're walking briskly.
So we're talking about 2.5 hours of walking to get to that number. Who has time to walk 2.5 hours a day?
In my tennis days, I got that number pretty easily. One of the perks of being a tennis pro. But it would take some creativity to get it done during a "regular" day.
How about vacation, though? A hike would do it. A long nature trail would do it. Walking the Vegas strip would do it (I've gotten 30,000 steps there before).
The bottom line is: we should all eat a little less and eat earlier.
But if we don't want to eat reasonably, 25,000 steps will get you where you want to go.
My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.