NEAT – the secret to controlling your weight
Do you want to lose weight ? Are you the type of person who drives to work, plonks themselves at their desk for 8 hours, uses the elevator to go for lunch, sits and chills after lunch, goes home and watches TV at night and then scrolls on their phone for an hour or so before bed ? Are you frustrated that you are not losing any weight just now ? Maybe your slowly gaining ? If this is you or you just want to know a little bit more about a simple way to control your weight then you need to read on.
What is NEAT ?
NEAT stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. It’s basically the energy we use for all activities that are not considered sport like exercise, working out, sleeping or eating.
Let’s look at an average typical day, you spend say 7 hours sleeping, 1.5 hours working out and another 90mins sitting eating. That means there are 14 hours in the day where you can look at simple ways to increase your NEAT and burn mire calories.
Don’t underestimate how powerful the movements you make within this period can be for your weight management goals and general health. By increasing you NEAT you are increasing the amount of calories you will burn in a day.
If your dieting it’s as equally important being focused on increasing your NEAT as it is to working out and keeping tabs on your nutrition.
Generally when we diet and restrict our calories our body try’s to conserve energy and reduce NEAT, being aware of this can be helpful for increasing this type of activity and continuing to make steady progress.
Why should we increase our NEAT and how do we go about doing it?
There are many health benefits to increasing your NEAT both physically and mentally but the main one I want to highlight is that if your trying to lose weight then this is one of your go to tools.
Increasing this type of activity will go a long way to helping you drop some unwanted pounds.
Look at the times in the day where you commonly sit or take easy options for travel? Can we improve in this ?
Simple things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator is an easy way to increase your NEAT.
When I travel to London for business I try not to take any of the escalators when going through airports and underground stations this is me making an effort to increase my NEAT for that day.
In the summer I try not to drive to work instead I will make the effort to walk when I can, I find that not only does this increase my NEAT but it clears my head giving me more mental focus for the day ahead.
Lunch time after I’ve eaten I will get up and go for a walk rather than sit on my phone scrolling through social media, this is an example of increasing my NEAT.
When I go to the supermarket I park as far away from the door as possible.
These are all areas I’ve identified personally where I can increase my own NEAT that have worked for me.
Days off I’ve found can be tricky as you want to relax but I’ve found that scheduling in some household chores and walks can be a great way to offset the time spent chilling.
So if your reading this and you can relate to any of what I am saying look at your daily routine and identify areas where you can increase your NEAT and make the effort to change and stick to those changes.
If you have a desk job I strongly encourage you to take regular breaks and get up and move about. Even standing for a bit will help increase your NEAT.
Investing in a Fitbit or downloading an app to your phone that tracks your steps is a great way to see how active you are throughout the day. Setting yourself targets to achieve with your step count can be motivating and rewarding. The general rule is to aim for 10000 steps in a day but if that’s fairly easy for you to do then setting a higher target might prove to be the key to further weight loss if progress has stalled. If your way under 10000 then just aiming for targets that are more realistic to you and building on it week to week is a sensible way to go.
It’s not all about the gym session and the calories. All 3 (training, nutrition and NEAT) play am important role in your weight loss journey. So if you really do want to lose weight then take action today, only you can do it.