Did you know that increasing your NEAT can help you break through a weight-loss plateau? But what is NEAT and how does it work?
To help you better understand, let’s look at how the body burns calories.
How does the body burn calories?
The way our body burns calories every day can be organized into three main categories:
- Basal metabolic rate (BMR)
- The thermic effect of food (TEF)
- The thermic effect of physical activity (TEPA)
Basal Metabolic Rate
This is the amount of energy your body needs, in a resting state, to keep the primary organs functioning. These organs include the kidneys, pancreas, lungs, heart, and brain. The simple acts of breathing and living account for 60% to 70% of your total daily calorie expenditure.
The thermogenic effect of food
This is the energy your body uses to digest food and convert it into energy. TEF makes up about 10% of your total calorie expenditure.
The thermic effect of physical activity
This is the amount of energy expended by the body for all its daily activities. These activities include moving, walking, working out, etc. It accounts for an average of 10% to 20% of your total calorie expenditure.
TEPA can be split into two categories: planned activities, such as training and working out, and unplanned activities, that are called NEAT.
What is NEAT?
NEAT is non-exercise activity thermogenesis. In other words, NEAT refers to the calories burned by the spontaneous movements we make as we go about our daily business. For example, talking, gesticulating, carrying groceries, moving furniture, getting up from a chair, etc.
NEAT varies from person to person because it is influenced by genetics and an individual’s lifestyle.
Good to know: although your workouts can help you burn a lot of calories, you can maximize your energy expenditure with unplanned daily movements. At the end of the day, these extra activities can add up to more than 800 calories.
Now you have a better understanding of why you can break through a weight loss plateau by increasing your NEAT!
Simple tips to increase your NEAT
Good news! Increasing your NEAT is not complicated. Here are some practical steps to help you reach your goals:
- If you are using your own vehicle, park further away from your final destination.
- Ride your bike or walk to work instead of driving, carpooling, or taking public transit.
- Deviate from your regular walking routes by taking a longer detour.
- Stand when using public transportation.
- Get off the bus or subway one or two stops early.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Walk your dog often during the day, or increase the distance of your walks.
- Use your hands when cooking or baking, instead of the electric mixer or blender.
- Walk while talking on the phone.
- When possible, stand at your computer to work, instead of sitting.
- Stand on one leg while you brush your teeth (use a different leg each time).
- If you have kids, play with them.
“So, are you ready to increase your N.E.A.T ?
– Neat ! 😉 “