I had a very NEAT idea for today’s blog. Literally. The topic is Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis commonly referred by it’s acronym “NEAT”. If you already have proper nutrition and have been consistently working out, but are still struggling to lose weight or maintain that body composition you worked hard for increasing NEAT may be your solution.
A study in 2007 conducted by Mayo Clinic researchers showed people of the same size could have a variance of 2,000 calories burned per day based off their NEAT. This study also noted NEAT to be pivotal in the regulation of human energy expenditure and body weight regulation. 2,000 calories a day-would require a lot of effort, but even if you increase your NEAT to burn an additional 150 calories a day and kept everything else you currently do the same that is still over 1lb of fat per month.
What is Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis? To put it simply, NEAT is all the calories your body burns from movements you do without the intent of exercising. A few examples would include walking to your car, the nervous leg shake some of us have, or even blinking. The best way to increase NEAT for most people is by walking. After all, increasing your leg shake or blinking a bunch a times would be too difficult to do and likely would make someone very concerned about you. Also tracking your steps is now easier than ever. Many watches, fitness trackers, and even cell phones now have a pedometer. Increasing your daily steps=increasing your NEAT. So, here are three strategies to get your NEAT up by walking more.
- Schedule a daily walk
For the average person a ten minute walk roughly 1,000 steps.
It is important to know the absolute best time to walk everyday is when you will be able to CONSISTENTLY do it. Consistency is by far the most important thing when trying to create any new habit. Take ten minutes and explore with your significant other, children, dog, or take some time to yourself to get mental clarity.
- Park farther away
It’s time to stop battling that Toyota in the Publix parking lot for the spot that is nice and close to the front door.
Park in the back of the lot. Don’t limit this to only grocery stores, apply this to everywhere you go (work, your kids school, EarthFIT, etc ….). An additional bonus to using this strategy is your vehicle is also less likely to get a door ding or backed into.
- Use the other bathroom
I do not mean the opposite gender’s restroom.
If you have more than one bathroom in your home or where you work use the one further away. Chances are this will also lead you to encounter some stairs. You will be shocked at the additional steps you get in.
In summary, if you are consistent with exercise and proper nutrition, increasing your NEAT will help you lose weight in a way that is not stressful to the body. Other simple ways you can increase your NEAT include, doing yard work, standing more at work, completing daily chores around the house, and playing with your children. For most people, I would recommend starting to increase NEAT through walking as does not require extreme physical or mental exertion, just a little bit of awareness.
Time to get moving.
-EarthFIT Coach Sam