In this week’s blog, let’s take a look at the one major area people neglect when it comes to achieving their fat loss goals. The strategies below have helped hundreds of our clients achieve their fitness goals and keep them. You could be thinking about starting on your goals, or you could be in the process right now. Either way, this is going to move you forward.
“Am I Doing Enough to Lose Fat?”
Is training 3x/week enough? Do I need to do anything during my off days? These are two questions we regularly get from clients. If you think about it, there are 168 hours each week. If you’re doing three 1-hour workouts in the week, that’s just under 2% of your week spent moving (ideally in full range of motion, using your major joints and muscles, with some weights). There are small ways you can combat the effects of the other 165 hours when you are not working out to ultimately move you closer to your goals.
Oh, That’s NEAT!
Let us introduce you to NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). You can think of NEAT as all movement that you do throughout your day outside of intentional exercise. While the energy expenditure outside of exercise may seem significantly less than while exercising, it really does create a substantial energy usage, which helps with calorie deficits and moving you closer to your weight loss goals. It’s an easy way to boost your metabolism.
Why Should You Care About NEAT?
Aside from it being an easily implementable addition to your day and week to help you achieve your goals effectively, it helps you to adopt the healthy habits and behaviours that keep you healthy! Not only that, if you can’t make any of your workouts that week, you can at least know that you have added non-exercise activities that can help you with your fat loss goal and keep you moving.
Research suggests that individuals who move throughout the day are more likely to reach or maintain weight-loss goals versus those who are sedentary throughout the day and vigorously move through one exercise session. Therefore, a greater caloric output occurs throughout the day rather than during one vigorous exercise session. - American Council on Exercise (acefitness.org)
How Do You Improve NEAT?
There are many ways to effectively slip in extra movement throughout your day (sort of like how parents sneak in veggies into their kids’ meals). It really comes down to being mindful about moving more. Here are a few ideas to improve your NEAT:
Walking or cycling instead of driving
Playing with your kids or pets
Sitting with good posture
Standing instead of sitting
Cleaning your home more often
Take the stairs
Startstanding.org has calculated various activities and the number of calories burned per hour while doing them. The average 170lb person burns:
Sitting - 134 calories
Standing - 206 calories
Walking at a moderate pace - 296 calories
Walking at a brisk pace - 341 calories
As you can see, there are quantifiable reasons to start ramping up your NEAT.
We’d like to hear from you! Now that you know more about why NEAT is important and the benefits of implementing it, what is one thing you will incorporate into your week to improve your NEAT?
Reply in the comments and be sure to share this blog with one other person you know this article will help!