How we use NEAT in everyday life without us even knowing

I’ve put a little article together as I get so many messages every week asking about NEAT.

A lot of people to be interested in this; in particular how it can help you move more and contribute to a healthier lifestyle.Here’s a little bit more information…

What is NEAT?

NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis and is simply the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating, training in the gym or playing sports.

It’s a really popular concept in fitness at the moment and you might have possibly seen this on social media or maybe on some of the other fitness pages you’re following.

There are many NEAT activities that you might already do, but may not realise it. This is because its caloric output effect (burning calories) is really low.

Would you consider your daily chores as calorie burning exercise? Probably not. But everyday tasks around the house or even cutting the lawn count as NEAT. Spending half an hour mowing your lawn with a push mower can help you burn around 200 calories per hour. Even a 30-minute grocery trip down at your local supermarket can burn around 100 calories.

Remember – it all adds up.

If you don’t already implement NEAT yourself or with your clients, you really should… it’s that effective for fat loss and health!

Simple tasks such as cleaning the house, walking the kids to school or walking to the shops are NEAT activities. Cutting the grass, climbing stairs cooking your evening meal and even fidgeting help you expend additional calories as NEAT too.

And whilst they might not feel like exercise as such,they are contributing a surprising amount of energy expenditure.

How does NEAT contribute to your daily calorie burn?

Total daily energy expenditure (TDEE stands) is the for total amount of energy you burn in a day. Whether it’s from blinking to sport, from sleeping, working, exercising, playing with the kids and even make that lovely cup of tea, anything that burns calories makes up your TDEE

We get energy from the foods we eat. These provides calories because each ‘macronutrient’ has an energy value. The three macros are:

– Carbohydrate – 4 calories for every gram

– Fat – 9 calories for every gram

– Protein – 4 calories for every gram

Calories are simply a unit of energy. The food we eat and the drinks we consume provide different amounts of energy for the day dependant on which macro they come from.

If we eat less calories than our body needs for TDEE, we will lose weight. If we eat more than we need we store the excess as fat. It really is that simple.

Energy Balance = Energy Input – Energy Output

How We Use NEAT In Everyday Life Without Us Even Knowing!! 1

NEAT in the real world

Many people in the office use NEAT without them even knowing so.

When you’re sat at your desk typing on your computer, walking to the printer to get that important document you’ve have been working on or even making the afternoon brew for everyone – that is all NEAT.

As such it is contributing to calorie turnover and your total daily energy expenditure. And best of all it doesn’t even feel like you’re burning energy too!.

So if you’re a personal trainer and you don’t you use NEAT with your clients, why aren’t you? In my opinion this is a must.

How I Use NEAT With My Clients?

I use NEAT with all of my clients without them evening knowing it. Again, it’s a MUST in my line of business, and as a Transformation Specialist I see it as being key to clients’ success.

Before I start with anyone new I like to sit down for a consultation with them. This is a big one in my book, as it gives me an opportunity to find out about their lifestyle outside of the gym, so that there is more overall control on things that will affect health, fitness and body composition.

The BIG question for me with clients is what they do for a living. For example whether or not they sit at a desk for the majority of the day or whether they have they got a active job with them being on their feet for hours on end.

Why do I ask that?

Because the more physical their job, the higher their NEAT levels will be. Drastically higher in some cases!

If I’m going to work with anyone then these questions really are important to me so I can set their calorie ranges to meet their body goals.

A lot of my clients have desk jobs so they spend the majority of their day at their desks so they really don’t get to move about much.

One way I increase their caloric burn is to implement NEAT movement throughout the working day.

Does your coach or personal trainer use NEAT with you??

If not ask them why if they can’t tell you stop wasting your money and invest in a proper coach

So what I’m really getting at here is that if you’re a coach or personal trainer and you don’t use NEAT I highly recommend you start using so to help your clients increase their non-exercise activity thermogenesis during the workday.

Creative NEAT Ideas

Here are some creative ideas I use with all my clients to help you move more.

– Walking back and forth to the printer. Don’t use the closest one either; instead use the furthest one away to get those daily steps up.

– Using the water fountain again the furthest one away not the one right next to you.

– Don’t eat your lunch at your desk. Instead, use your lunch break and walk, eat then walk or walk first and then eat. You can still socialise with work colleagues just get them moving as well – make them walk with you and talk! You’re helping other people achieve NEAT without them knowing.

– You could take the stairs instead of the lift.If you work in a big office building you are more or likely going to queue up for thelift because it’s full, so instead of waiting for it, e take the stairs instead.

– If you go shopping in your car, make sure you avoid using the parking space closest to the door, and instead park in the furthest spot. I guarantee you there will be loads of spaces away from those supermarket doors!

– Change the way you travel to and from work. Instead of driving to work why not walk, bike or even catch the bus. You could even get off a stop before your normal stop if it’s a nice day. This would really be a great start to the day on the plus side if it’s a nice day it’s a great breath of fresh air.

If you’re a busy office worker with meetings most days, why not try and take those meetings outside. Head outdoors with your colleagues for those team meetings. So called ‘walking meetings’ are all the rage at the moment; and you can see why! Not only are you boosting your own NEAT levels you’re helping others at the same time without them even noticing.

Walking really can be an effective way to burn calories, this will help bond the team and great for morale.

– Stand at your desk instead of sitting at it (if you’re allowed of course!).

– If You’re using a phone a lot, get out of your seat and pace in the office. All helps towards those steps. (I do this one with a lot of my clients). I know in some companies they have high desks to work from, so let’s try and stand more than we sit purely because it’s really that simple.

Remember resting heart rate is higher while standing than sitting, so this will help with increasing caloric output just by shifting your working position.

So if you are an office worker, remember – if you spend your majority of the day tied behind the desk there are plenty of ways you can incorporate more calorie-burning movement into your day when you cannot formally exercise, as you can see from few of the examples above.

Other NEAT. examples I use with my clients:

• Playing with your kids at the local park

• Cutting the grass and gardening

• Walking to the shops to pick up the grocery shopping

• Taking the dogs for a walk

• General house work cleaning, hoovering etc

Summary – How to get more NEAT in your day

If your day lacks NEAT activities think of one or two ideas that I’ve mentioned above that you can fit into your day or week.

Cardiovascular exercise (cardio) is perfect for releasing stress and burning calories. If you find an activity you love you’ll feel wonderful doing it, and therefore more likely to be consistent.

So what I’m really getting at is stop being lazy stop picking the easier option waiting for that lift to come back down, using the nearest printer etc and get moving more.

As you can see I’ve mentioned tracking steps a few times.

I ask everyone one of my clients to track their steps , I highly recommended they get some sort of pedometer so they can track steps this can be anything down to a Fitbit, apple watch or even a app on your phone.

So if a pedometer or heart rate monitor will help you move more, then BUY IT and USE IT it’s a great guide and a great tool we can use to help us move more and stop being lazy.

I call this the BIG pedometer craze. Every single one of my clients got some sort of device to track steps. This is simply another easy way to focus our attention on moving more especially if you’re sat at a desk.

So for example let’s say you are currently taking about 4,000 to 5,000 steps a day in your regular day and you start taking 10,000 plus steps a day, keep your calories the same as they have been, keep all other activity exactly the same, you will burn more calories which will result in one of the following..! Lose Weight, Maintain Weight, or Stop Gaining Weight.

On average every 1000 steps you do you can burn 60-80 calories depending on how much you weight. So think of it’s this way.

1000 Steps burns 60-80 cals

So that’s 600-800 cals per day If your hitting 10000 steps.

Over a 7 day week that’s a MASSIVE 4200-5600 cals WOW.

Why wouldn’t you buy some sort of step o-meter, if it helps you move more in my opinion it’s a great buy. Try it why wait it’s a new day tomorrow if it’s going to help us become more active why wouldn’t you do it, get the whole family involved as well it’s a great why to spend some quality time together.

When people say to me I sit at a desk all day I can’t get my steps up this is rubbish and lazy. Be aware of opportunities to move more than you already do in your day, like the examples stated above it’s not hard people move move move more!!

Cardiovascular exercise (cardio) is perfect for releasing stress and burning calories. If you find an activity you love an enjoy and makes you feel good doing it and l therefore more likely to be consistent.

Remember life is always about balance. Some days you’ll be more active than others, some days you might have something important to celebrate and you’ll enjoy some good food. A healthy life means a healthy mind, healthy body and healthy spirit.

It’s all about being flexible we really can achieve all this if we really want to.

Adam Ambridge

AKA The Transformation Specialist