If you've been a client of member of mine for any time with the goals of losing fat, then chances are, I've explained (I know, repetitive aren't I!) the process of how your body loses weight, and if not then click here to find out.
We all (should) know that fat loss occurs when your body is in a caloric deficit. In order to create a calorie deficit, we need to either eat less, move more or a combination of the two.
Your metabolism isn't one thing. Instead there are a number of components that make up the human metabolism.
These components are:
RMR (resting metabolic rate) - how many calories your body burns to maintain naturally bodily process'
EAT (exercise activity thermogenesis) - the calories burned during exercise
TEF (thermic effect of feeding) - the calories it takes to digest the food you've eaten
and the topic of today: NEAT - NON exercise activity thermogenesis
The total sum of the above make up your total daily energy expenditure and subsequently determine how many calories you should be eating, appropriate to your goals (fat loss, muscle gain etc)
So how can increasing NEAT help me lose fat?
Typically when dieting for fat loss, there is an inevitable point where the magic stops and in order to continue losing fat you'll likely need to increase the calorie deficit by either chopping down your food some more, increasing activity or both.
If you're anything like me (a greedy MF) then you'll like food. And I don't know about you, but if I'm already on lower calories than id like, then cutting my food down even more sounds would be a solid NO from me. And this is where increasing your NEAT comes in.
How much can it really help though?
A lot. If you start parking 10 mins away from work, that's an extra 20 mins of walking (and around 120kcals) being done each day. Add in a weekly car wash and you're looking at over extra 900 calories being burned per week. That is a significant amount, which will make a difference, particularly if you'd like to keep as much food in your diet as possible.
Another benefit of this is how little it impacts your recovery between sessions. Sure, you could just go for another cardio session in the week. But if you've smashed your body with 4+ resistance sessions PLUS already done 3+ runs, then the chances are throwing another intense session in is actually going to do more harm than good.
How can I implement ways to increase my NEAT?
Easy. Below are just a few examples of how you can increase your daily NEAT levels:
Carrying your groceries back from the shops
Parking a few blocks away from the office
Walking to work
Washing your car yourself instead of paying someone to do it (badly as well)
Taking the dog for a walk
Playing with your kids
Basically, any activity which you would normally do the faster (and arguably easier) way, could be used to increase NEAT.
It may mean getting up 20 mins earlier to give you time to park a little further away from work. It may be offering to clean the your better halves car (and bag some brownie points while you're at it). Whatever it is, increasing daily non exercise activity can have a profound effect on total fat loss over a given period, so if you're goals are to do with fat loss, then its certainly worth looking into how you can increase yours!