Many of you wear a Fitbit or Apple watch to track the number of steps over the course of the day but did you know that simply moving more in any kind of way can burn calories? Neat, hey? NEAT is non-exercise activity thermogenesis, which is basically the body burning energy (calories) with even the smallest movement. To give you an idea, the body burns around 1.5 calories a minute when you are lying still, just through the body performing its basic functions. When you’re sitting up and working on your laptop you burn about 25% more, start fidgeting in your chair and you will burn even more.
All of the little movements you make add up and recent research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that NEAT helps you improve your overall health in the longer term. Combined with your regular workouts, increasing your daily NEAT through small changes can make all of the difference in achieving your weight-loss goals.
For a moment, imagine that you didn’t work out at all and let’s say you enjoyed your food. After three years, you are 10 pounds heavier, all your clothes feel a little tighter and you decide to go on a diet. You join NuYu and start working out two-three times a week, burning a total of 2500 calories at the end of the week. Coupled with your diet changes, you have created an additional 2000 calories deficit at the end of the week. So far you are doing well and burning 4500 calories in just a single week.
Now with a little NEAT magic you add just 100 calories a day of extra activity into your life and therefore an extra 700 calories burned off in one week; totalling 5200 calories a week burned between your diet, exercise, and non-exercise activity.
Now over a course of a month you have 28,000 calories burned and after three months it is 84,000 calories which adds up to a total of 24 pounds lost. If you didn’t include NEAT you would have still lost 21.6 pounds – still a great amount lost, but after a year you would have missed out on those extra 10 pounds simply by moving about a bit more!
Here are 10 examples of how to build more NEAT into your everyday activities:
  1. Showering – apparently Kourtney Kardashian does 100 squats whilst in the shower – why the shower? Because she showers daily it is something she now never forgets to do.
  2. Fidget – whilst you are scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, make a habit of bouncing or fidgeting around in your seat to add in a bit of NEAT.
  3. Making a cuppa – whilst you are waiting for the kettle to boil, why not add a few squats in? I read once that this is something Liz Hurley does (not that I could imagine her actually making her own tea!).
  4. Driving – ok not whilst driving per-se but why not add a couple of jumping jacks as you get out of the car? Or challenge yourself to get out of the car without using your hands to get other muscles working.
  5. Shopping – rather than bending to grab that tin, why not do a squat on the way down?
  6. Cleaning – see how quickly you can clean the whole house and make it a challenge each time to beat your PB. When you are hanging out your washing, it is another great time to add a few squats in!
  7. Work – got a report or lots of emails to read? Stand up and add a few arm circles in.
  8. Walking – any time you can ditch the car and walk, jazz it up a bit and add a few lunges in along your journey.
  9. Watching TV – next time you are able to stretch out on the sofa add a few leg extensions or scissor kicks in.
  10. Queueing – us Brits love a good queue but rather than standing still try bouncing on one foot and then the other.
Ok so some of these might attract some funny looks from people but who cares really if it is helping you on your way to being lighter and fitter? Let’s have some fun with it – share your pictures on the Facebook group of you doing some NEAT whilst going about your day using the hashtag #NEATNUYU.

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