Did you ever wonder why some people just seem to burn off everything they eat while others store it all as fat? What if I told you they actually know a little secret and that secret is something so simple that we can all participate and burn fat all day long! Before I tell you though you need to understand what makes up our metabolism (BMR) each day.
The amount of calories per day that we burn is made up of our Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) plus our Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) and our Thermic Effect of Exercise (TEPA). The TEF and TEPA make up only about 25% of our total calories leaving the RMR representing the majority of calories we burn each day. It makes sense then that if we can increase these RMR calories all day long we would be burning fat throughout the day and not just in our daily workout sessions or when we are digesting our food.
These extra calories that you can burn all day long are called NEAT. NEAT is an abbreviation for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. NEAT is an effective way to shed those extra pounds outside the gym and that’s the secret of those skinny friends who seem to be able to eat whatever they want – they actually burn off more calories throughout the day adding movement into their daily routines. NEAT activities may include taking the stairs instead of the elevators, carrying your grocery bags to your car, walking to work or school etc.
You can easily increase your NEAT amount by adopting a few habits and letting go of the others. Below are a few creative ways in which you can increase your NEAT numbers and decrease your weight:
1. Fitness Trackers
I recommend that all my clients have a fitness tracker. It’s a great motivating tool to show you not only your steps but many of them track your sleep, have alarms that tell you to move, etc. These can be as inexpensive as using an APP on your phone for free to a nice watch like the Apple i Watch. But somewhere in between my favorite ones are the Fitbit Alta HR , Fitbit Flex HR, or Fitbit Charge 3. The sleep tracking is also critical as not getting enough rest will negate your weight loss efforts.
Fitness trackers motivate you to get a minimum number of steps each day and will encourage you to move more all day long.
2. At Work:
We spend most of our time at work and many of us sit all day at a desk job. There are so many ways to increase calorie burn at work. Try standing and pacing during every conference call, set an alarm on your phone to move every 30 minutes – take a stroll around the office, take the stairs, park in the furthest spot and last but not least try some simple desk exercises once or twice a day to get the muscles moving.
Also, consider a sit-to-stand workstation. These are getting more popular and your office may even pay for you to have one. Standing burns more calories and also prevents hip and back issues caused from too much sitting.
Walk on your breaks and at lunchtime.
First off cooking your own food verses throwing a processed meal into the microwave or oven burns calories as you are standing and chopping, cutting, and preparing your food. In between while the meal cooks try squats at the counter, wall push-ups and calf raises.
4. Watching TV:
Exercise lightly while watching your favorite show. This could be a few push up, squats , floor exercises like crunches or leg lifts or maybe a few runs on the treadmill. Challenge yourself to do something during every commercial
5. Family Activity:
Choose a family activity that the whole family does together each week. Try biking, bowling, skating etc. Keep it fun! The family not only spends quality time together but you are moving and burning those calories instead of watching movies or playing on electronics.
6. Walk your pet
If burning calories doesn’t motivate you to walk your pet then guilt should. Pets need exercise too and are often cooped up all day long while we work. Take them for a walk at least twice a day to add extra steps for you both.
This is another excellent exercise to shed some extra pounds. Put on your favorite music and dance to your hearts content.
Most of us need to shop at some point during the week and some more then others. Before you shop take one full trip around the store. Adding these extra steps not only burns calories but makes it less likely that you will impulse buy.
9. Morning exercise:
When you wake up in the morning and go about your regular routine, add few movements and exercises to your routine. Spend just 5 minutes while the shower is warming up to do some easy squats, lunges, or stretches.
10. Lunch time exercise:
What are you doing at lunchtime? Are you sitting again after sitting all morning? It’s time to get up and move! Walk around a local park, take a few trips up and down the stairs or just walk the floors of your building but get moving!
11. Evening exercise:
After each meal it’s a good idea to get into a routine of walking for 10 minutes. Walking just 10 minutes after a meal reduces blood fat and sugar levels so weight loss aside, the health benefits can be amazing.
So there you have it – the secret to weight loss is not the 30 minutes you spent on the treadmill today but what you NEAT things you did all day long!
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!