Here’s the NEAT thing:
Well, here we go again.
It’s that time of year when it seems like every advertisement on TV, radio and internet is promoting “quick and easy” weight-loss. You know the routine.
- TV Stars plugging commercial weight-loss programs with pre-packaged meals and snacks
- Advertisers hawking a ‘revolutionary’ new pill or program to ‘melt the fat’ virtually overnight
- Facebook adds popping up with the quick fix to losing belly-fat without exercise or dieting…
This senseless dance between unscrupulous marketers and hopeful/ desperate consumers has been going on for almost 300 years. Yes, that’s right.. 300 years! Yet America is more obese than ever!
The only path to long term sustainable fat loss is through healthy lifestyle habits.
Implementing good nutrition, managing stress, getting quality sleep, and keeping your brain and body active are the keys to a fit body and a long healthy life.
Our bodies were made to move yet modern technology allows and even encourages us to spent an unprecedented amount of our day on our butt. Many professions require hours being seated at a desk a long commute to and from work then the evening planted on the couch to ‘unwind’ from the stress of the day. And all this sitting is taking its toll. “Sitting is the new smoking” has been reported in the Huffington Post as well as Forbes Magazine. and has been linked to cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Moving more and sitting less is a habit that most of us can reap huge benefits from.
Making regular exercise a nonnegotiable part of your routine and increasing your movement throughout the day can help reduce risk of many lifestyle related chronic diseases, and help you manage your weight.
Here’s the NEAT thing:
Did you know that the activities you do, such as cleaning, gardening, shopping, etc., has a big effect upon how well your body burns calories? Called Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT, It is a fancy way of saying everything you do exerts a specific amount of energy, thus every movement you make during your waking hours has an impact on how many calories you will use to get through the day. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12468415 Changing your habits to incorporate as much “movement” into your day as you can, could actually impact your fat loss results significantly, as well as decrease your risk of many diseases.
How Does Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis Work?
Every single thing that you do takes energy, from getting out of bed in the morning to cleaning the house to mowing the yard, even fidgeting. This energy that you use to do these tasks burns calories (thermogenesis) and if you can use more energy than you take in via food, then you will burn more calories, helping you to lose fat and become more fit. Essentially it works like this:
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) + Thermic Effect of the Foods you eat( TEF) + exercise and Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) = Total daily energy expenditure/calorie burn
BMR is the calories your body uses to maintain core functions, from heartbeat and breathing, to cell turnover and blinking: everything your body need to do to maintain life while completely at rest accounts for approximately 60 % of total metabolism.
TEF is the calories your body uses to digest and process the food you eat This accounts for approximately 10 % of your total metabolism.
The rest of your metabolism is governed by activity, both structured exercise and non-exercise activity.
Increasing Your NEAT
Incorporating as much “movement” into your day as you can is essential. Parking further from the door at the store, picking weeds from the garden, mopping, getting up to change the TV channel, and taking the stairs at work are all ways that you can increase your movement. Instead of choosing the more convenient and less physical ways of doing things try to incorporate as much movement into your day as you can. While our first inclination is to use the remote, use tub cleaner that you just spray and go, and use weed killer rather than manually pulling them, using physical activity to do all of these tasks and more can actually make you healthier. Consider the way that people lived 100 years ago. Most of their tasks were physically done and, for the most part, their health was much better as well.
How To Measure How Much Daily Activity Are You Actually Getting.
Using a Fitness Tracker to Monitor NEAT
There are dozens of fitness trackers that help monitor the number of calories expended and, when used in conjunction with a companion app, allow you to compare your expended calories to the calories you take in via food. Some studies have found that when people are able to see real-time data during the day regarding their activity level, they tend to want to increase it. It all goes back to the competition mindset, which makes you want to do more. This can be a powerful tool to allow you to really see how much moving you are doing or not doing. Having those numbers in front of you may be the key to losing weight and feeling, as well as looking, better. A wide variety of prices and types ensure you will get the one that you can afford and that you will use.
There are many different fitness trackers on the market. You can also find them on Amazon.From a simple pedometer to an accelerometer, the trackers can be used to give you a tool that will allow you to see exactly how much activity you are actually doing and encourage you to increase it. Some allow you to set activity goals for yourself, which can further encourage you to ‘level’up’. The key is to find one that will work for you by reading reviews and evaluating the features. For example, if you just want to monitor your number of steps, a pedometer can be a budget friendly choice. However, if you want to see how your activity measures up to your food intake, a more involved accelerometer has dozens of features that can allow you to see where you stand, as far as fitness, quality of sleep, and your calorie usage and compare that to your food intake.
If you are trying to lose fat and improve your body composition, making the most of your non-exercise activity thermogenic effect is essential. Whether you simply change your habits regarding activity in general, or you purchase a fitness tracker, increasing your movement will increase your calorie burn. Combine this with eating quality food, and you will be on the right track to making your body healthier and increasing your fat loss.
Can it be as easy as moving more? Not exactly. But it is certainly one piece of the overall puzzle.
If you would like help in fitting the rest of the pieces together contact me to set up a strategy session. We can determine what areas would be the most beneficial to you to focus on, and identify some things you can do to remove the stumbling blocks that are keeping you stuck.