NEAT Weight Loss

Most people trying to lose weight have incorporated more physical activity into their lives. Be it going to the gym, walking the dog in the evenings, or Sweatin’ to the Oldies in the privacy of our living rooms, one thing is for sure – getting our bodies moving is an important part of shedding those pesky pounds.

The many daily activities we do, such as grocery shopping, house cleaning and even playing an instrument can contribute to our overall NEAT weight loss.

Daily activities we do, such as grocery shopping, house cleaning and even playing a musical instrument can contribute to our overall NEAT weight loss.

Although NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) weight loss won’t get you off the hook for getting some decent exercise, it is an interesting and rather new concept in the battle with the bulge. NEAT is the term used to describe the activities we do on a daily basis that do not include eating, sleeping or planed exercises (I.E. aerobics, going to the gym, etc.). For instance, examples of NEAT could be: walking to work, engaging in yard work, house cleaning, washing dishes, typing, and even fidgeting. What most of us do not realize is that these trivial physical activities actually increase our body’s metabolic rate considerably. Therefore, you can actually lose weight by simply engaging in NEAT.

Studies have found that some individuals have higher NEAT than others and this is mostly due to the type of job and lifestyle they lead. For instance, manual and agricultural workers have high NEAT, while those who work in an office or have sedentary jobs have lower NEAT. This seems like common sense. Furthermore, other studies have discovered that NEAT adjusts with changes that occur in the amount of food we eat, suggesting that NEAT may play a major role in how a person maintains their body weight, gains or loses weight or becomes obese.

Anyone who is interested in achieving NEAT weight loss needs to understand how this can occur. To do this one needs to consider their total daily energy expenditure (EE). Your EE consists of your basal metabolic rate (energy that is used when laying down at total rest), the thermic effect of food (energy that is required for digestion) and active energy expenditure (the energy that is necessary to move your body). This active energy, also known as activity thermogenesis, includes both organized physical activity as well non-planned activities like standing, walking or sitting. The non-planned activities are, or course, NEAT (try this great tool to calculate your own daily NEAT – Activity Calorie Calculator).

You may be wondering how engaging in simple regular movements can help you lose weight. The fact of the matter is that anytime you do anything that requires your muscles to contract you need energy to do it. Understand, this doesn’t mean sitting at a desk all day or fidgeting can be considered adequate exercise. Therefore, you still need to make sure that you are getting regular exercise (preferable both anaerobic and aerobic exercises) and eating a healthy diet. In fact, the healthier your habits become the better chance your NEAT will naturally increase.

As I have mentioned a number of times, it is not necessarily the activity you are doing, but the fact that you are doing some activity at all, that will determine whether you lose weight or not. One of my favorite activites to break a sweat doing is housework – especially these days because of the pregnancy. Although it may not get my heart pumping the way intervals at the track or a good jog does, it still counts as activity and is a perfect example of NEAT. Taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, walking to the store to buy groceries, gardening and so on can all contribute to your overall NEAT weight loss. Embracing NEAT weight loss in your life is all about finding the little opportunities to be active.

Other Related Posts and Articles you May Find Interesting: “Fun Exercises that can Help You Lose Weight”, “Exercises You Can Do While Sitting” and “Exercises You Can Do At Work”.

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