Maybe your mom was right about keeping your room clean. Being NEAT is part of the weight loss solution. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is everything we do outside of eating, sleeping, and exercising. It’s the simple things like fidgeting, standing, tapping your foot, or just moving about.
Recent research has begun to focus on the 110-115 hours per week we are awake as part of the weight loss solution, rather than the few hours we spend exercising.
Results show, NEAT provides many opportunities to achieve, and sustain weight loss without totally disrupting our lives, and trying to carve time that is simply sometimes not available.
Here’s an example:
A 145 lb. person burns 102 calories hour while seated at work, if it’s done standing, the burn is 174 calories. The 72-calorie bump translates to 18,000 calories or 5 lbs. on a 50-work week year.
174-102=72 x (5×50) = 18000
If you want to achieve that bump with exercise, it would 60 workouts, where 300 calories were burned. That would be in addition to the workouts you already have in your schedule.
NEAT is essentially another approach to weight loss. It’s a can be a compliment to what you already do or jump off pointed, if you haven’t started, or maybe have stalled for a while.
It allows you to focus your attention on the kind of exercises you want to do, avoid what doesn’t work for you and benefit from the calorie bump.
How to Incorporate NEAT
Become an observer of your daily life. Over the course of a few days, note how many hours you were sitting vs standing activities (i.e., standing desk time, cooking, laundry, taking the garbage out, etc.). What’s the ratio seated vs. standing? Is it 50/50, 60/40, 75/25? Whatever it is, over time strive to incrementally increase your standing activities.
Create a challenge for yourself, from your observations, are there activities you can do standing, if so, pick 2, and just once, do them standing.
- Create a stand-up workstation
- Do a few flights of stairs between calls or meetings
- Get up and unload the dishwasher, change the laundry, empty the recycling, etc.
- Walk and talk
- Stand to text
- Pace the sidelines at your children’s sporting events.
If you like how your chosen activity went, keep it, and commit to doing it every day for a week. If you still like it at the end of the week, make it a permanent part of your repertoire. If you don’t, move on to a new activity, keep exploring and challenging yourself. At the very least, you’ll be moving more as you try to find your groove.