N.E.A.T. ways to burn more fat and stay lean!

NEAT (all the calories you burn during the day outside formal exercise sessions) is the real cause of the obesity epidemic according to research. An endocrinologist named Dr. James Levine, who is one of the main researchers in this field, said that obese individuals are far less physically active than lean individuals and on average they burn 350 calories per day.

NEAT includes all the calories you burn during the day by things like shopping, housework, casual walking, pacing, standing, even fidgeting, changes postures and chewing.

For lean people, NEAT amounts to around 30% of the calories spent by physical activity. The problem is that for overweight and obese people this can be as low as 15% and up 50% for really active people.

The most amount of calories can be burned by walking and the type of work people do, also greatly affects their NEAT. It is pretty obvious that for busy office workers who sit practically all day long, the the daily NEAT can not be high. But if you have a job that requires physical activity such as construction or walking, such as delivering mail, then your NEAT will be higher.

So many people find themselves watching TV, surfing the web or playing video games and all of this greatly contributes to weight gain. Nowadays we are far more technology-based and desk-bound than ever before. Just a 100 years ago most people earned their living by doing some type of physical labor. So in the last few decades we have gone through a massive environmental change but out bodies are still the same – bodies which are used to physical activity.

Of course you are not going to change your job just because it causes your NEAT to be low and by looking at just one activity at a time, it does not really amount to much. But if a person looks at it from a long-term perspective and understands that when small changes in their lifestyle becomes habitual, then all of it accumulates over time.

There are lots of simple strategies you can use to increase the daily NEAT in your life:

  • Do not sit all the time, pace or stand more
  • Do not use the elevator, use the stairs instead
  • If you have a desk job then stand up from your chair and do some body weight exercises every now and then
  • Get a mini-stepper or a desk-treadmill
  • Do more yard and housework
  • when doing errands and local trips then walk, instead if taking a cab or driving your car
  • Spend more time engaging in sports, physical recreation, cycling, boating, hiking and other such activities, instead of watching TC, playing video games or surfing the web
  • Try to use labor saving devices such as leaf blowers, riding mowers or snow blowers less or not at all

An activity does not have to be high intensity to be effective and just because you follow a really intense exercise program, does not mean you are going to melt away fat if your NEAT is very low. It is very important to find ways to increase NEAT and if you are able to burn something like 250 calories a day more then it will add up to 1750 calories a week, 7800 calories a month and almost 100 000 calories a year.

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