10 Proven Ways To Boost Fat Loss With NEAT
10 Proven Ways To Boost Fat Loss With NEAT
Boost Fat Loss With Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). I know what you’re thinking right now, how can diet and the one hour you spend in the gym not be all that matters when it comes to fat loss?
You’re doing this consistently week in and week out.
3-5 days a week in the gym busting weights.
30 minute “HIIT” classes.
Healthy “low carb” meals 3 times per day, but you’re still not losing as much weight as you would expect (or any at all).
After all, creating a negative energy balance (calorie deficit) is the only important factor, right? Or at least that’s what you’ve been told.
There’s no denying the fact that in order to achieve weight loss, energy expenditure has to be greater than energy intake. We can achieve this by either reducing our food intake or by increasing our energy output without an increase in energy input.
However, the increase in our energy output doesn’t have to come solely from physical exercise.
You would be very surprised as to how many calories you actually burn in a 1-hour training session in the gym.
It’s far less than you’d like to imagine.
In the range of 200-300 calories (we know, hard to believe right?!).
The reality is you would actually burn more energy through day to day tasks.
Such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Getting out for a walk on your break during work, or aiming to hit a consistent step target each day.
These are just a few examples but before you show you more, let’s dig a little deeper into what exactly NEAT is and why it’s important for fat loss.
What is Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) And Why Should You Care About It for fat loss?
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that’s not related to any type of formal exercise. Cleaning the house, cooking the dinner, and even fidgeting are all great examples of NEAT. These can help boost fat loss by burning a lot more calories than you would expect.
A lot has changed over the past half-century and we as a society have slowly transitioned from having a manual workforce to a knowledge-based workforce.
This has meant a great increase in prosperity for a lot of people, but at what cost to our health?
For those of us who now spend Monday to Friday chained to our desks, sending emails, attending meetings, and making phone calls, our levels of energy expenditure are quite appalling. When we compare the difference in energy expenditure through NEAT between sedentary jobs (general office jobs) and more active jobs (nurses, waiters, personal trainers) the difference can run into the hundreds, even the thousands of calories.
Just by choosing to move more and doing more of the things that we were designed to do, could be the deciding factor as to whether or not you are losing weight or achieving fat loss, even if you are hitting the gym consistently and reducing your food intake.
You see the problem is that if we are sitting down for 90% of the day, then the amount of energy (calories) we need to consume to lose weight is going to be FAR lower than you anticipated.
And who wants to eat poverty calories? Not me!
So, would it not make more sense to move more day to day? That way you burn more calories and therefore can actually eat more because the number of calories you now need to eat in order to lose weight (calorie deficit) is far greater than before.
Wait, you’re telling me that I can eat more food AND lose weight at the same time?
Yes, you can.
So, lets show you 10 ways you can boost fat loss with NEAT.
10 Proven Ways to Boost Fat Loss with NEAT– The key to fat loss & losing weight isn’t diet or how much time you spend in the gym, it’s NEAT.
1. Get a pedometer- how much NEAT should you aim for in a day?
One of the easiest ways to keep track of how much you are actually moving each day is to purchase a pedometer.
This doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive.
Any device that tracks your steps will do, you can even get free apps for your phone for tracking.
Having something we can wear on our wrist though is a good idea. Not everyone has their phone on them 24/7.after all.
You will be very surprised the first time you see how much you are actually walking each day.
Let’s say you drive to and from work, and sit at a desk for the majority of the day. You also sit in the canteen on your lunch break and then sit down in front of the television when you get home at night. It’s very likely you’re only getting in between 1,000-2,000 steps per day.
This is something we see ALL the time with clients here at ActivHealth. But don’t worry, the first step to overcoming anything is first becoming aware of it so you can then take action!
A very common recommendation that you have probably come across if you’ve researched NEAT and how many steps you should aim to hit per day, is the infamous 10,000.
There is nothing special about this number, however, it is something that most people find achievable even with sedentary professions.
If you hit 12,000 per day at ease, then by all means work away with that. If you are new to all this and are currently getting 2,000 per day, then simply aim to increase this over time. Don’t wake up tomorrow thinking you now have to hit 10,000 each day in order to lose weight.
Increasing your daily output by even 1,000 will make a huge difference. That’s an extra 7,000 steps per week (and if you do the math, an extra 3.5 days output in steps if you usually only get 2,000 per day).
Remember to start small and give yourself a tap on the back when you’ve stayed consistent. Then, aim to increase your numbers over time.
2. Boost Fat Loss by Taking The Stairs
A very simple way to increase your Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is to take the stairs. Just take a second and imagine how many times per day you take the elevator? How many flights of stairs would you be forced to take if you ditched the elevator for a week? I’d make an educated guess that it would be a lot!
Climbing stairs is a lot more strenuous than simply walking so guess what that means? Yes, you’re right, more calories burned which means more weight loss!!
Give it a try for a few days. I bet you’d probably even surprise yourself as to how many calories you’re leaving behind.
3. Get A Standing Desk
This one may seem a bit strange. Can we really burn that much more calories standing up compared to sitting? Well, no not exactly.
The difference will not be significant. All though we will burn slightly more, but it does also have some other indirect benefits.
If you’re standing you are probably a lot more likely to move around more. That email you wanted to send to your co-worker because you didn’t want to get up off your seat and walk over to him? The glass of water you wanted to get for the last hour but haven’t been bothered to get up for? All of these situations will be far more likely to happen where you move if you are standing at your desk.
And if that wasn’t enough to get you standing in work, then what about all the negative effects sitting and slouching has on your posture, head positioning, and neck and back pain? Oh, you’ve decided to stand reading this now, thought so.
4. Ditch The Car To Increase NEAT
Probably one of the biggest limiting factors to our weight loss goals when it comes to NEAT.
The reliance on our car for traveling everywhere.
Picture this, it’s a Saturday morning and you’ve run out of milk to have with your morning coffee. You decide that you need to go to the shop immediately and so you rush to get dressed. What are the odds that you decide to take the car instead of walking? even though the shop is literally a 5-minute walk from your house. Quite high I’d imagine.
This is the problem. We’ve become so dependent on choosing the easier, more comfortable option in everything we do in life.
We’ve forgotten about the consequences. This may seem a bit over-exaggerated, but how many times in a week do you take your car with you to complete minuscule tasks? Parking your car as near as possible to the supermarket door?
Next time you go shopping, leave your car on the opposite side of the car park. Simple things like this will rack up a tonne of extra calories burned and help you on your way to greater fat loss.
5. Movement When Cooking
You may not always have time to cook all your meals at home.
However, most of us will cook at least one meal throughout the day. A simple trick we like to use with our clients is to incorporate some type of movement every time you complete a specific task in the kitchen.
Just boiled the kettle? Perform 1 bodyweight squat.
Just put the kitchen in the oven? Drop and give me 1 push ups.
I know we’re talking about Non-Exercise Activity, but the point is to not be standing still. It’s very easy to stand in the kitchen and scroll aimlessly through Instagram without moving at all until your food is cooked. Even fidgeting while on your phone will be better than nothing.
6. Go To The Bathroom Every 90 Minutes
This is a great way to get some extra steps in every day and boost fat loss with NEAT. How many times have you sat in work and before you know it, it’s lunchtime and you haven’t moved an inch?
Even if you don’t need to go to the bathroom, still get up and walk to it. The bathroom may only be on the other side of the office or on the other side of the building with stairs included in order to access it. Great news for you because that means, yes you guessed it, MORE energy burned through NEAT and a greater boost of fat loss.
And if you’re worried about not getting enough work done, I would argue that you’ll actually get more done as working in 90-minute blocks will force you to work faster as you’re “on the clock”.
7. Boost Fat Loss By Going For A Walk On Your Lunch Break
Most of you will get a 1-hour lunch break during the day. This can easily be spent eating, in a relaxed state, for 30 minutes and walking for the other 30. We’d actually advise that you get out for your 30-minute walk first before eating.
Most people don’t know this, but we need to be in a relaxed state when eating in order to aid digestion. This will help to digest and assimilate all the nutrients effectively. Going straight to the canteen to eat after working all morning and stressing over deadlines, meetings, etc, can result in our digestion being in a very compromised state. This can lead to very common digestive issues. Have you ever felt bloated or stomach discomfort after eating? Yes, we thought so.
8. Go For A 30-Minute Walk In The Morning Before Work
There are a number of benefits to this apart from the obvious getting some extra steps in before your day starts. This simple trick can help you get a head start on your step goal for the day, along with the benefits of daylight first thing in the morning. Studies have shown that daylight exposure first thing upon waking can help reset your circadian rhythm and thus promote a better sleep that night.
9. Find Accountability
Accountability is something we all seek when it comes to achieving our goals.
Whether it’s fat loss, weight loss, body transformation, or any other goal you have, accountability will help. Getting your partner on board with you and having them hold you accountable each day will make the process easier.
10. Add In Some Stretching
I like to do this when it’s most convenient, like when watching television. I know the last thing we want to do when watching television is to do any form of moving.
Stretching however may help you unwind after work and stretch out any stiff muscles from sitting down all day.
So, there you have it, 10 proven ways to boost fat loss with NEAT.
Take what you may and remember to choose the lowest hanging fruit where change will seem effortless.