The NEAT way to lose weight

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NEAT way to lose weight; fat loss

Tried the fancy diet and joined the swankiest gym in town, but still not losing weight? You may not be alone. There are many people who have plateaued as far as their weight loss goals are concerned. This is often attributed to a sluggish metabolism. Yes, our metabolism differs from individual to individual; however we also need to work to get the metabolism up. This can be done in a couple of ways; one of course being exercise and the second being increasing your NEAT. NEAT or Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, is the amount of calories burned (or energy expended) while not sleeping, eating or exercising/playing sports/training. So NEAT would include day to day activities like walking around the house or garden, walking to the parking lot, typing, office work, cooking, cleaning the house and so on.

Weight loss at the end of the day is the creation of a negative energy balance. If you use more energy than you consume, on a sustained basis, you will lose weight; barring some exceptional cases including hormonal and other medical issues. Now the Total Energy Expenditure in a day includes the summation of your BMR, TEF, NEAT and exercise. BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of energy required by your body to simply survive; energy required for various physiological processes like breathing, circulation, digestion etc. So even if you don’t lift a finger your body would still burn a stipulated amount of calories to simply exist. Another major contributor to your total energy expenditure is the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). Whenever you consume some food, the body needs energy to digest it, and hence the more frequent meals you eat the more energy is expended. The quality and nature of nutrients also has an impact on this- protein and whole food has a greater TEF than highly processed or simple carbohydrates. Now you see, why most dieticians recommend eating small portions of whole food at frequent intervals. Exercise or sporting activity is something like the bonus to the total energy expenditure; done properly it burns quite a substantial number of calories within a relatively short time.

Once you take up an exercise program, you invariably end up losing some weight; what remains the challenge for most people is to keep that weight off permanently and also keep reducing the excess weight without facing a block. This can be greatly achieved by increasing your NEAT. Making some simple changes in your lifestyle can greatly increase your NEAT. The human body was designed for movement; but our city lifestyle has made us increasingly inactive. Sitting is today considered the new smoking. We all know smoking is injurious to health, but sitting is equally bad if not more. Besides obvious postural problems, sitting is the root of most lifestyle diseases.

 Movement is good, for your joints, for your muscles and also for weight management. Parking your car far from your workplace, taking the stairs instead of the lift, doing some simple stretches and exercises at your office desk can all help. The generally accepted protocol is completing at least 10000 steps a day; research indicates that on an average most people complete only 3000 steps in a day. Why not help your spouse with the dishes, in washing the car and making the bed. Playing with your kids or pets can also increase your NEAT. Besides the boost in metabolism, the quality time spent with your kids would be cherished by them and also lay foundations for their own healthy lifestyles. All these little activities increase your NEAT which translates into better weight management. As you can see there are n numbers of ways by which you can increase your NEAT. The basic premise is to move around more; once you adopt a few healthy habits, it will soon become your lifestyle.

The writer Angshuman Dutta is the CEO/Founder of Transformers Fitness Academy. Follow him on facebook at and on Instagram at

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