- NEAT includes a vast majority of an individual's non-resting energy needs
- It is regulated with changes in energy balance
- NEAT is an important component in how we maintain our body weight
Weight loss tips: Your metabolism is always working to burn calories. During periods of physical activity your body burns most calories. But what about other times when you are playing with your kids, doing grocery shopping, cleaning the house, fidgeting or just standing? Yes, those are the times when you are burning your non-exercising calories. These activities can help you burn calories and aid weight loss.
Weight loss: How integrating NEAT can help you stay fit without exercising
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy your body uses for everything that's not eating, exercising, basal metabolic rate (BMR) and sleeping. Thermogenesis is the production of heat, especially in a human or animal body. NEAT includes a vast majority of an individual's non-resting energy needs. Many physiological studies explains that NEAT is regulated with changes in energy balance; NEAT increases with overfeeding and decreases with underfeeding. Thus, NEAT is an important component in how we maintain our body weight.
There are many NEAT activities that we perform daily, but are not aware of its caloric output effect. Simple tasks such as climbing stairs, fidgeting and even standing help us expend additional calories. NEAT works by increasing metabolic rate and results in a substantial energy expenditure.
Research suggests that individuals who move throughout the day are more likely to maintain healthy weight than those who are sedentary throughout the day and vigorously move through one exercise session. Thus, a greater caloric expenditure occurs throughout the day rather than during one exercise session. NEAT can increase daily caloric expenditure by as much as 300 calories per day.
Here are some creative ideas to integrate NEAT.
1. Walk to work if near
2. Take the stairs
3. Stand after every 45 mins
4. Play with your kids
5. Do grocery shopping
6. Stretch your body after every 2-3 hours
7. Take your dog for a walk
8. Clean your house
9. Complete yard work
Not all NEAT is equal. Our individual biological factors - such as weight, body composition, gender has great impact on neat. Essentially the larger your body is the more energy it takes to move it.
The benefits of NEAT include not only the extra calorie expenditure but also the reduced risk of the metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular problems, etc. Moreover, recent evidence, links NEAT, with the incidence of obesity-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes. To reverse obesity and such health problems, we need to develop individual and community strategies to promote standing, walk and talk, take stairs, and also re-engineer our work, school, and home environments to render active living the option of choice.
(Monisha Ashokan is a nutritionist at NourishMe)
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