Does that sound like gibberish to you?
Don’t worry, it’s actually a very simple concept. We just like to throw fancy sciency words on things to make ourselves sound smarter.
Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is just a fancy way of describing all the movement you do outside of exercise.
If it burns ANY calories, it counts as part of your NEAT.
Every activity apart from the mentioned ones like walking to work, standing, texting, performing household works, talking, fidgeting, etc comes under the NEAT.
Moreover, recent evidence links low NEAT with the incidence of obesity-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity strokes and mental health issues.
Moving around more isn’t just about weight loss.
Your NEAT burns more calories overall than the cardio you’re doing for your fat loss!
And weight loss aside, we should always be looking for opportunities to get more movement in our lives!
There are tons of benefits to increasing your NEAT that we cannot overlook.
NEAT for weight loss: NEAT contributes around 6-10% of our daily energy expenditure in sedentary individuals and around 30-50% in highly active individuals.
Few steps to improve NEAT:
- Track your step count. Whenever I see slow progress of a person, I immediately ask them to track their step count and most of the cases the person’s step count will be minimal, less than 3000.
- Try to do household works like cooking, cleaning, washing by yourself.
- Take frequent breaks between work and walk for a little while.
- Take the stairs instead of elevators.
- Take a walk after a meal, this can help lower blood glucose.
- Play with your kids. Take them outside, without your phone and play with them for at least 30 mins
- Active TV time! Stand up air squat, arm swings, March on the spot.
- Get a standing desk.
- Walk the dog twice a day!
- Enlist your colleagues, friends or family members to join you in moving more. Social support goes a long way in helping you stick to new habits.
Hence, before blaming your metabolism for not losing the weight, work on NEAT for making good progress.
Examples of NEAT:
- Washing dishes
- DIY projects
- Mowing the lawn
- Raking leaves
A little progress each day brings big results.