The secret to getting ripped – NEAT

NEAT stands for Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis – basically all the calories you burn while NOT working out. Your metabolism is always working to burn energy. During periods of higher activity, your body will burn more calories than when you are at rest, but even at rest, your body is always burning calories. There are 3 ways we burn calories:

  1. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): The amount of energy the body uses to support the functions of the organs (mainly the brain) and physiological systems, and comprises approximately 60-75% of total daily calorie burning.
  2. Thermic effect of Food: The energy the body uses to convert the food you eat into more energy or to move it to a location to be stored (as fat) for use at a later time. This makes up about 10% of daily energy expenditure.
  3. Thermic effect of Exercise: This makes up the remaining energy expenditure – about 15-30%. Included in this number is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which is the amount of energy the body burns after exercise to return to its normal state.

There are two different types of exercise: planned (going to the gym) and spontaneous non-exercise activities that occur every time you perform some sort of physical exertion, liker running up the stairs at work because you are late to a meeting. While exercise is an important form of physical activity that can burn hundreds of calories at a time, NEAT plays a huge role in helping to maximise the total amount of calories burned in a single day. Here’s how you can skyrocket your NEAT:

  • Standing can make a difference. Remaining seated for long periods of time can reduce levels of Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) an enzyme that coverts fat into energy. Simply standing is one form of NEAT that can help increase your daily caloric expenditure.
  • Daily steps add up. 8000 should be be the minimum. If you’ve have a desk job, drive to work & walk during the day – you are probably hitting 4000 daily! Get moving, 1000 steps = 10mins of walking.
  • Mall Walking.¬†Instead of ordering your groceries online, go to the shops & pick them out yourself. Not only will you burn extra cals but you get to choose which fruit & veg you take home.
  • House cleaning burns Cals.¬†Doing additional tasks around the house or putting a little extra effort into your daily chores can be a great opportunity to increase daily NEAT.
  • Play with your kids or get a dog. There is an app for everything except spending extra time with your kids. If you can carve out even a few minutes for kicking a ball or walking down to your local park, you will be spending precious time with your offspring (or dog) while racking up NEAT. An additional benefit to playing is that it can also help boost neural activity and cognition, so not only are you burning a few more calories, you could actually be increasing your brain function as well.