FitnessHealth and Wellbeingknowledge bankSue says...

How neat is NEAT?

I feel very sad writing this but we are in the middle of an obesity epidemic in the UK – according to the NHS, in 2016 26% of adults in the UK were classified as obese (compared to just 15% in 1993) and, even more worryingly, 1 in 5 Year 6 children (and 1 in 10 Reception children) were also classified as obese in 2016/17.

So, what can be done to reverse this trend?

The key to any weight loss (or gain) is the energy equation; to lose weight, calories IN need to be lower than calories OUT….so there are three options available:

  1. A person can INCREASE the calories they burn
  2. A person can REDUCE the calories they consume
  3. A person can do both 1 and 2!

And this is where NEAT can help.

NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis; it’s the calories we burn just by being active throughout the day, as opposed to the calories we burn when we hit the gym.  It has even been found that those of us who hit the gym hard may actually reduce their levels of NEAT; they are exhausted from their gym session and therefore end up doing a lot of sitting for the rest of the day! Or maybe they feel justified in all that sitting because they have been to the gym? Whatever the reason, being more mindful of our general (NEAT) activity levels can have a huge impact on our overall calorie burn across the day and subsequently this can have a huge impact on our weight

So, then the question is “if I want to lose weight, how can I increase my NEAT?” and the answer is “it’s easy!”. Here are some ideas to add into your daily or weekly routine:

  • Use the stairs (up and down) rather than the lift or escalator
  • Park further away from work, shops etc and walk the extra distance
  • Walk your children to and from school – it’s great exercise for them too and gets them mentally ready for the day ahead
  • If you use public transport, get off one stop (or 2 stops, or even 3 stops!) earlier than you normally do and walk the extra distance
  • Get cleaning – housework is an excellent way to burn calories and you’ll have a great sense of satisfaction once it’s done too
  • Increase the amount of time you spend standing up – in our industrialised society we can spend as much as half of our day sitting down…not only does this mean we burn less calories but it’s not great for our posture either! So stand more to improve your posture and burn more calories…this one is an easy win in my eyes
  • Play with your kids – whether that is kicking a football around, playing chase, rolling about on the floor play-fighting, having a mini sports day, putting an obstacle course together in the garden or throwing a frisbee….it all adds up to more activity and more calories burned – plus your kids will love it too!
  • Get your green fingers out…gardening, like housework, is great for burning calories, and what’s more you will be outside, amongst nature. And as being amongst nature has been found to be great for our mental health this is another win-win!

As you can see some simple changes, each day, can make a massive difference to your NEAT!  So instead of Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis how about New, Easy, Activities, Today?

Let’s get moving more!


p.s. have you grabbed my free guide yet? In it I share 5 tips to help you lose weight whilst still enjoying the foods you love…some of them are shared in this vlog but there are others too! You can grab your copy here

p.p.s. are you in my FREE Facebook group yet? If you’re not then I’d love for you to join us. I host live workouts, share allll the knowledge bombs, set monthly challenges to help you embed some new healthy habits and help you work towards hitting your own health and wellness goals. Join us here