N.E.A.T. – Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Even with COVID, most of us got out more in the nicer warm weather. As it gets cold out, we tend to stay indoors more. But hopefully even while indoors some NEAT is still happening. Not only can NEAT help you lose weight, but it can help with longevity. Your metabolism is always working to burn energy even at rest. But how you burn those calories can vary to what makes up your TDEE – Total daily energy expenditure
- BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate: This is how much your body burns to support life basically and the 3 organs that take up the most energy are the brain, skeletal muscle, and liver. This accounts for about 60-75% of your TDEE
- TEF – The thermic effect of food (TEF): This is the energy the body uses from food into energy or for fat storage. This accounts for about 10% of your TDEE
- TEPA – Thermic effect of physical activity: This is basically the amount of energy your body burns after exercise and accounts for about 15-30%
Number 3 is important or TEPA, as there are 2 different types of exercise: 1. Planned – you know you are going to go for a run, weight train or do a sport. 2. Spontaneous or otherwise non-exercise activity- this can be a very important to realize or make happen, as this shows to be key in what is helping people stay healthier than their peers, who sit for prolonged periods. This type of exercise occurs every time you do any sort of physical exertion, from standing, to walking (even if to water cooler), stretching, running to catch a bus, cleaning up a spill that just happened…. All these are essentially NEAT!
NEAT not only sneaks in extra calories being burned throughout the day, but it can literally add years to your life. As you may have heard sitting is the new smoking. It can bear some of the same chronic diseases as well as others, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol, obesity or weight gain, varicose veins, blood clots, certain cancers as endometrial or lung cancer, dementia, depression and for older women a higher chance of breast cancer and weak bones. NEAT, is a way of combating these or help to prevent. The idea is not to sit for prolonged periods and get up and move a bit. In fact, sitting for more than 4 hours a day consistently over time, shows very undesirable affects, even if you exercise outside of that!
When it comes to weight loss, NEAT can offer an additional 200 calories a day by just moving more, in addition to whatever else you have done to contribute to your weight loss regime. 3500 calories = 1lb, if you did NEAT everyday at 200 calories, that would = 1400 calories in a week. If you also reduced calories by 300 per day that = 2100 then you would technically lose 1lb per week – 1400 + 2100 = 3500. 300 calories reduced a day could look like taking away a 12oz pop and small bag of chips. I don’t necessarily like taking calories away, but rather change the food choices to healthier ones throughout the day and those calories will take care of themselves. If already eating well increase physical activity outside of NEAT or vice versa.
*If this article or any past articles leaves you with questions, the want to be a better you, the courage to take the first step to a happier you, than please contact me at: