If we told you about a great way to be active that guaranteed up to a 20% increase in your metabolic rate AND it was free, would you try it? Of course you would. If we then asked you whether you think this would involve going to the gym, cycling or running every day what would you say?
The answer is probably yes … but you’d be wrong. In fact, you’d probably be very surprised that you don’t even need to get a sweat on! Sound like a scam? Then read on …
N.E.A.T stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, which sounds technical but it’s basically a fat or calorie burning activity that is not related to exercise. So a N.E.A.T way to achieve this is simply increasing the number of calories burned while participating in day to day activities like walking up the stairs instead of the lift, or getting off the sofa to change TV channel.
In today’s electronic age, life is made very simple for us – it’s one of the key reasons that by 2050 it is estimated that a massive (excuse the pun!) 50% of UK adults will be obese. But it’s something that everyone can change – very easily – by burning a small number of calories, consistently throughout the day, instead of taking the lazy option. Do this several times every day and you could burn 100’s of extra calories!
How does it work?
Your metabolic rate is the amount of energy (calories) your body burns to maintain itself and is made up of three components:
– Basal metabolic rate (BMR) – energy burned whilst lying down, not moving
– Thermic effect of food (TEF)
– Activity thermogenesis
Muscles are more metabolically active than fat as they burn more calories at rest. The metabolic rate makes up over 60% of your metabolism with TEF (calories burned during digestion) up 10-15%. Add these together and your metabolic rate contributes around 75% of your daily requirements, meaning you only have 25% of calories to burn throughout the day (if you don’t over-eat of course!).
12 top tips to achieving a N.E.A.T activity level:
1. Take the stairs NOT the lift
2. Play with your children
3. If you drive, park further away from your destination and walt
4. If you sit at a desk, walk around the office every hour (great for posture too!)
5. Do housework whilst watching TV
6. Stand Up when on the bus/train – you burn more calories
7. Go out for a walk at lunch time
8. Play pool/table tennis instead of going out to dinner
9. Take a ‘walking break’ instead of a coffee break
10. If possible, ride your bike to work
11. Walk your dog instead of just letting it roam around
12. Don’t snack on sugary or fatty foods otherwise a day of the above could be wasted
So to summarise, the more you move the more calories you burn – the more calories you burn, then your weight is managed more effectively … all of this and we haven’t even mentioned the dreaded Exercise word yet – just imagine what you could achieve if you start doing some exercise as well!