NEAT – Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis
NEAT – Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is essentially your movement throughout the day that is not through formal exercise, such as weight lifting, cardio vascular movements, running, etc.
This is something which can be used as a key part of your arsenal for fat loss but is very often overlooked. When it comes to dieting, energy balance is everything. Many will track their energy output from training and track their energy intake (food consumed) which is great. Up your game and track your NEAT, you’ll see improvements quicker and reach your goals in better time.
One simple way you can do this is by tracking your daily steps. I have all my clients do this and is something I suggest everyone does. This can be done with a Fitbit or through a step counting app on your phone. Allocated steps are individual dependent however, I use 10,000 steps per day as a good general number to aim for, which I recommend to all my clients. Even if you don’t make it to 10,000 steps, adding extra steps to your day is an important component of NEAT that can burn calories, while adding health-promoting activity to your life.
For my clients that are also parents, a simple form of NEAT is to play with your kids. In this modern era of having an app for everything, there is no app for spending extra time with your kids. If you can carve out even a few minutes for playing catch, kicking a ball or walking down to your neighborhood park, you will be spending precious time with your offspring 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.
Your metabolism is always working to burn energy, some faster than others, but this is purely down to genetics. During periods of higher activity, your body will burn more calories than when you are at rest. (Note: A calorie is just a measure of a unit of energy; technically speaking, it’s the energy required to heat one liter of water by 1°C .) But even at rest, your body is always expending energy. How you burn energy or expend calories, which is called the total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).