Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis in Action
Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or NEAT as it’s more commonly referred to as can be a massive ally when it comes to body composition and weight loss. In this article I’m going to show you Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis in action, using my own data.
Those of you who read my blog regularly will understand my approach to health and fitness – it’s pretty simple. Train hard, eat well and make sure you recover properly.
You may even recognise this glorious piece of art I’ve shared on the blog numerous times…
Well this last week, I’ve been indulging in a spot of recovery – I’ve been on holiday! A week in the sunshine, away from the gym – perfect conditions in which to recover.
A holiday is part of your recovery, so it counts as a healthy activity in my book. (Unless your idea of a holiday is to lie down on a sun lounger all day, gulp 15 pints of beer and eat 5 burgers a day because you’ve gone all inclusive).
I’m not into that.
Anyway, back to my holiday. We went to Italy for a week. The pic below is my family and I in San Marco’s square in Venice (no, I’m not wearing a bum bag – it’s the baby carrier for the little one!)
No Gym, No Problem – Thanks to NEAT!
Before you panic, this isn’t going to be a lecture about how you can still train on holiday, so you can continue to read without being patronised….
As it happens, I didn’t train – it was a total week off exercise for me.
It wasn’t a week off activity though and I want to show you how valuable this can be when it comes to your overall health/fitness/weight loss goals.
As I mentioned earlier, there’s something in the fitness and nutrition world we refer to as NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis).
NEAT is basically all of the calories you burn that aren’t as a result of exercise, eating or sleeping. They’re the background help in keeping your weight down and in people who spend a significant amount of time on their feet, they burn more calories than exercise.
I’ll show you a couple of examples of my own training and calorie burn data and how Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis can play a huge role.
Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis in Action…
The two images below are from my training app. The little man figures on the tables show when I trained. If there is no red square with a man in it on the day, I didn’t train that day.
We went on holiday on Saturday 3rd of June and came home yesterday, Saturday 10th. As you can see, I didn’t train all holiday.
Well, check out the turquoise bar at the bottom of each day – it has a % written on. That is how much of my daily activity target I hit (my daily activity target is set high).
You will also see below that figure how long I trained (on the days when I didn’t train, that figure is obviously removed), how long I was on my feet for and how many calories I burned each day….
Despite not training at all, I still managed to exceed or nearly hit my daily activity target (with the exception of yesterday, where I spent a lot of the day sat in a taxi, on a plane or catching up on work when I arrived home!)
This, ladies and gentlemen, is Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis in action. An active person is still burning a lot of calories every single day, even without exercise.
Of course, training is a huge calorie burner if it’s done correctly, but so is daily life if you make it so.
I know of more than one high level fat loss coach who preaches about Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis as a key strategy to weight loss and weight management over the long term. As you can see, Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis in action contributes a huge calorie burn – the longer this continues, the more significant the effect.
By the way, if you like the data from the app and are wondering what Heart Rate Monitor I use, it’s the Polar M400 HR Monitor. Here’s why.
The NEAT Effect…
During the holiday, I was active and on my feet all day, whether that was building sand castles, playing in the pool, swimming in the sea, playing football with the boys, walking or cycling around the resort. None of this activity was strenuous, but it was consistent and it was long duration.
I arrived back from holiday (where I had eaten a lot of pizza, gelato, breakfast pastries and cheese, not to mention drink 2-3 beers every night and a couple of bottles of prosecco throughout the week) to find I had gained…
Not a single lb. I hadn’t lost weight, but that was to be expected with my calorie consumption. Thankfully though, my calorie expenditure had negated the effect.
What Can You Take From This?
Well three things I’d say…
1. Never underestimate the power of ‘activity’. Whether that’s walking instead of driving the kids to school, doing some gardening, housework, walking to the shops, walking the dog etc – just being active has a dramatic effect on calories burnt throughout the day.
2. Don’t pin ALL of your calorie burn hopes on training. I know a few people who think the 45 minutes to an hour in the gym 2-3 times per week is enough. It may well be, if your diet is spot on. If your diet isn’t perfect, you’ll probably benefit from upping your daily calorie burn through NEAT.
3. Even on days away from the gym, you needn’t worry about the weight piling back on as long as you are moderately active. As I said, NONE of the activity I did on holiday was strenuous.
I’ve shown you Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis in action with this post – I hope you understand now how crucial a factor it can be in helping you lose weight or maintain weight loss for the long term.
I came back to see some sales of this, so if it’s you that has bought it, thank you! I hope you’re enjoying the workouts and seeing the results. Remember I’m always here if you have any questions about the workouts.
If you haven’t got a copy yourself and want to get into better shape ahead of the beach season, start here…
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