Stepdiet Review

Editor's Review: 3.5 / 5.0

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The Step Diet is a book and diet program developed by James O. Hill, Bonnie T. Jortburg, and John C. Peters, that focuses on exercise instead of diet to reach weight loss goals. James O. Hill co-founded the National Weight Control Registry, and many regard him as the leading obesity researcher in the country. Hill has made use of his research and experience as an obesity expert to create The Step Diet, and physicians and dieters alike seem to be intrigued by this diet. The Step Diet itself isn’t an actual diet — it focuses on a number of steps instead of on counting calories — but dieters, ranging from the obese to the slightly overweight, claim this diet is easy enough for anyone to try.

The Step Diet program is currently sold in simple paperback format for $22.95 per book. Each book includes a personal pedometer, which dieters will need to use to begin the diet.


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The Step Diet involves two principles: gradually increase the number of steps you do every day and decrease your normal dietary intake by 25%. Unlike other diets, The Step Diet does not force you to change how you eat — it simply changes how much you eat. You may continue eating whatever foods you wish as long as you decrease the total intake by at least 25%. For example, a person who normally consumes 1800 calories a day would decrease it to 1300 calories a day. The Step Diet puts more emphasis on the associated exercise program than the calorie counting, however.

The Step Diet exercise program is a simple program devised by James O. Hill. You increase the number of steps you take by 2,000, which is recorded with the included pedometer. By gradually increasing the steps you take (your goal is to eventually reach 20,000 steps per day), Hill claims you will gain a healthier body and lose weight gradually. He does not specify what sort of exercises should be implemented to reach this goal. Hill’s program is based on a simple science he developed with obese patients when he was a leading obesity specialist, which appeared to work. He does not address what dieters should do if they already exercise, however. People have qualms about Hills’ non-specific rules also, which do not specify what sort of exercises or foods should be eaten. Clearer guidelines would be helpful for many in establishing a sound diet routine.

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  • The Step Diet was developed by a leading obesity researcher and specialist.
  • There are no special foods or exercise equipment to buy.
  • This program can be used by any dieter of any weight.


  • Some of the diet’s rules aren’t specific enough for many dieter, who need structure to follow.
  • The diet does not recommend any foods when going on the diet.
  • It does not implement an actual exercise program that targets all parts of the body.
  • The diet does not explain how much weight can be lost – dieters are told they should only expect a healthier, leaner body.


The Step Diet appears to be a safe, healthy exercise program, but more emphasis on diet would be helpful to many. Dieters are encouraged to read this book for helpful tips on how to implement a healthy exercise program and a generally health conscious lifestyle, but this might not be as ideal as a complete diet solution or a natural diet supplement. The Step Diet could be a good, simple first diet for users who are experimenting with dieting, but if you have tried diets in the past and found that you had problems sticking to them, you probably won’t find the guidance you need with this diet.

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