Top 3 Forms of NEAT for Fat Loss
I was talking to my mom the other day and she sent me some pictures of her vacation in Vegas and I was like “Mom, YOU LOOK GREAT!” Her jaw looked super chiseled and she looked noticeably slimmer.
She proceeded to tell me that she lost 12lbs since we last saw each other a few months ago!
We saw each other in early July so in a span of about 2 ½ months she’d lost that weight averaging to a little over 4lbs per month.
That’s a healthy way to lose weight --- slowly. You can't rush your body with fat loss, it will literally fight against if you go too fast. Especially if you've been a certain body composition for a long time, your body will not take kindly to that rapid change.
So I asked my mom what she did to lose the weight.
She said two things: "your stretching exercises and walking". I literally started clapping.
With some easy walking and mobility training my mom lost all that weight.
Fat loss doesn’t have to be complicated. There’s a ton of other smaller activities that you could be doing to burn more fat. In this article I’m going to go over the top 3 modalities of movement that you could be doing for more fat loss. These modalities are often called NEAT or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. This term is science for movements that are not intentionally exercise. All of these activities I’m going to cover do not tax your CNS (Central Nervous System) at all. Because of this fact, they are great additions or starting points for your fat loss journey.
We have to realize that stress is universal. Stress from family, stress from work, stress from relationships and stress from exercise are the same. They equate to more cortisol circulating in your bloodstream if they are not managed well. They stimulate the Sympathetic Nervous System “fight or flight” response which is what they should do. Stress is an important prerequisite for growth but too much will LIMIT that growth and leave you burned out. NEAT is a great way for active recovery to stimulate the Parasympathetic Nervous System which helps lower blood pressure, heart rate and circulating cortisol in the bloodstream. So not only will you burn more fat with these modalities, but you’ll aid your recovery as well! It’s a win-win.
Without further adieu, let’s dive in.
Walking is the classic form of NEAT that EVERYONE can do and do more of. We do it everyday, sometimes all day, and it is such an underutilized form of movement that leads to more fat loss.
When you walk, it may not feel like it because you’re not going balls-to-the-wall, but you're burning calories when you do it. It’s safe for your joints because it’s a low resistance, relaxed modality of movement. This strategy is usually reserved for the elderly and obese populations, but I’m here to say that ANYONE and EVERYONE can, and should be walking more.
About 2,000 steps is 100 calories. Of course that’s very relative based upon the age, weight and height of the individual, but it’s a good ballpark number to stick with. So, if you own a pedometer (fitbit, apple watch, etc) track your steps and aim for some multiple of 2,000 steps. Or basically, if you go outside and just walk for an extra 10-15 minutes daily, you’ll see some serious results long-term like my mom did! It’s even been proven to be therapeutic in some cases. Walk up hills, take the long route, take the stairs, get moving!
Walking can be your missing tool for fat loss that you don’t even realize you could be doing more of. All those steps DO add up!
Fun Activities with Friends
Next time you hang out with your friends, go do something active! Doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Something simple like mini-golf, going to a museum, going for a bike ride, hiking or playing frisbee for instance, are fun and easy activities that burn lots of calories! You don’t even have to think about it, you’re just having fun with your friends. These activities are 100% NEAT because you’re not hanging out to exercise, you’re not training together and you’re not taking a group class together. You’re just hanging out with your friends.
Will you burn more calories? Yes.
Will you recover better? Yes.
Will you build better relationships? Definitely.
There’s so many benefits to this modality of NEAT because it’s unintentionally helping burn more fat and allows you to have a good time while doing it. Don’t worry about calculating EXACTLY how many calories you’re burning, just enjoy yourself. Add some fun into your week, once a week to start!
Do Your Chores
Washing dishes, taking out the trash, cleaning your room, dusting, doing laundry and other chore related activities also are great examples of NEAT. I’ve gotten into modes where I suddenly want to clean a lot of stuff and just go off. I work up a little sweat and feel great after. My house is cleaner, and I got some movement in at the same time.
Throw some music on, throw some gloves on and get moving! Nothing else to say here.
At the end of the day, NEAT is all about incorporating more movement into your life daily. You shouldn’t rely on the gym to get all of your movement in. There’s tons of other ways to help you burn more fat with little effort or strain on your body. And like I mentioned earlier, most of these modalities won’t require much effort on your part! That’s the point of NEAT! It’s supposed to be simple and very relaxing for the body.
LISSC (Low Intensity Steady State Cardio) falls into this category if you’ve heard the term used before. A lot of people usually spend an hour on the stairmaster hating every moment of it. You can do the same thing spread throughout the week with one of these examples I presented to you today. You don’t need to spend hours on the stairmaster to get some LISSC in. Fat loss can be fun!
(Doubt you thought you’d ever hear that)
If you’re still struggling to burn fat and reach your goal, apply for a 30 minute call with me HERE and let’s talk about it. I can give you real strategies that will aid you in your fat loss journey. And as always, these won’t be generic BS. These strategies will be completely specialized to YOUR situation and YOUR journey.