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Why NEAT is helpful to lose weight and keep it off

00 Intro

If your goal is to lose weight and keep it off but you don´t like doing long sessions of steady state cardio and you don´t like HIIT neither then you need to continue reading.

NEAT – Non-exercise activity thermogenesis is all the physical activity we do every day that is not scheduled as exercise. If you go to the gym or exercise at home for 45 minutes doing some type of resistance workouts and other days you do long sessions of steady state cardio or HIIT then those do not count as NEAT.

Some examples of NEAT are cleaning, shopping, buying groceries, taking the stairs, walking from the parking lot to the entrance of your office, home, mall, it´s all about physically active throughout the day and not remain sitting on a chair or the couch for long periods of time. If you´re living a sedentary lifestyle then NEAT is very low and you need to find ways to increase physical activity daily this can be by going for a walk after lunch or dinner, if you remain sitting on a chair for long periods of time then every hour get up and go for a walk just a couple of minutes.

If weight loss is your goals then you know you need to be on a calorie deficit and NEAT makes that calorie deficit a lot easier, the more physical activity you can add each day the more calories you´ll burn so you see results faster (considering you´re on a calorie deficit and your metabolism and hormones are working properly). Energy expenditure has to be greater than the energy you take in from food so instead of creating a big deficit by lowering calories just increase activity.

NEAT not only helps you lose weight but it also helps you maintain optimal health, we all know that to maintain optimal health and a lean and fit physique we need to follow healthy habits and routines, one of these routines is to be more active every day. We know that being sedentary is unhealthy but technology has change our lifestyle making a lot of things easier for us so we developed this sedentary way of living, the problem is that we´re designed to move, to be active during the day.

You´ve probably hear this 10,000 steps as a tool for weight loss, this is a good strategy but not everyone is able to count and not everyone will be able to get 10,000 steps daily because of their job and in some cases this can lead to failure. Do not make it a priority to hit 10,000 steps every day, just make sure you find ways to increase physical activity.

Some activities that help you increase NEAT:

  • Walk your dog
  • Go for a walk after lunch and dinner
  • Walk while you´re talking on the phone
  • Clean your house
  • Wash your car
  • Take the stairs
  • Park farther from the entrance
  • Gardening
  • Spend more time standing

If you have a 9 to 5 job and spend most of the time sitting then you need to find ways to stand up, if you can get up every hour an walk for a couple minutes do it, if you can spend some time using a standing desk that´s also great, by being on your feet it´s easier to move around because you´re already standing. You can also take breaks, you can take 5 minute breaks every hour and do some stretches and walking, you can clean your desk every morning when you arrive or before leaving.

Let us know by leaving a comment below and on Twitter if you´ve tried to increase NEAT before or if you´re going to give it a try.

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Pam