Anything but sport ?! This is good, this is exactly the definition of NEAT. A simple and effective method to increase your daily calorie expenditure … and therefore potentially lose weight.
NEAT, what does that mean? Let’s start with the beginning. NEAT means in English “Non-exercise activity thermogenesis”. In French translation, it is “Thermogenesis linked to non-sporting activities”. To summarize, it is everything that we do during the day outside of sport and which burns calories despite everything (thermogenesis refers to the production of heat by the body). It turns out that having a good NEAT allows us to increase our DEJ, or our daily energy expenditure, the energy “burned” by the body to maintain good health and respond to our multiple demands.
Having a good DEJ, and therefore a metabolism that is not too slow, is perfect for losing weight on a regular basis without disrupting your life. Because it makes it easier to achieve a calorie deficit without restricting yourself to food, and therefore to achieve a slight weight loss without much effort. Convenient, isn’t it? There is nothing miraculous here, but the NEAT can have a bigger impact on your weight than you think. We explain why.
Concretely, what is the NEAT?
Everything except sports, OK. But concretely, the NEAT covers what? It’s all the little activities in your daily life: walking to do your shopping, carrying a package, gardening, cleaning, standing, cooking, going up and down stairs, going for a coffee … everything really matters. But obviously, each gesture or movement will burn more or less calories depending on its intensity and duration. The thermogenesis produced by each of these activities is very variable.
If I walk to work, walk at a good pace (6 km / h), and it is four kilometers away, I will burn more calories per day than if I take three steps to get to my car or if I use an electric scooter to go to the office. Ditto, I will burn more calories if I get up regularly during my day and walk a bit to stretch my legs, or even work partially standing than if I sit for eight hours in a row behind my desk (even if I do a little sport in the morning or on your own). No matter how much I exercise for an hour during the day, I would still be sedentary. Car inactive.f more than half the day. Thermogenesis and metabolism will therefore not be as active as desired.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stay active, increase your NEAT (at home, in the office, or outdoors), and build or maintain muscle mass. The solution is therefore multiple. What should be remembered above all is that each small step, each gesture and each physical activity count in the NEAT and to define us as sedentary or not (whether we practice sport or not). In short, on a daily basis, any activity is good to take!
To exert yourself in one way or another: walk more.
We tend to forget it too often, but walking can really help to lose weight. At a correct pace, without going into sport walking either (7 km / h and more), we burn on average 220 calories per hour. This is not negligible for increasing your NEAT. You can of course try to force yourself to go out for a walk for an hour, but it is often easier, and it requires less motivation, to walk a little throughout the day. To do this, a few simple tips:
- adopt as a rule that you always walk when you take a call on your smartphone
- do not go in a straight line to the coffee machine in the office but go up one or two floors take a few corridors before filling your cup
- go out for a walk 10 minutes before and after your lunch break
- park your car 200 meters from the office rather than opposite
- no longer take the elevator but the stairs
- no longer take escalators on public transport or supermarkets
- replace your car or scooter with a bicycle (muscle or electric) if the distances allow it
- decide to do squats during commercials or the credits of a series
>> To read also: Walking to lose weight: does it work?
Stand up ! (and stay standing)
The numbers speak for themselves: just by standing, your body burns twice as many calories as when you sit. To increase your daily NEAT, you therefore try to increase the opportunities to be in an upright position. we are looking for a raised support to work standing for at least an hour a day (it is all the easier when working from home). At a minimum, if you work at a fixed seated position, force yourself to get up once an hour and stretch your legs for 2-3 minutes. Also do some stretching, it will only be beneficial and will make the blood circulate differently. In the opinion of experts (physiotherapists in particular, it is the fact of maintaining an identical position for a long time that is the most harmful to health.
Change your means of transport for a better NEAT
Today in France, according to Ademe (Ecological Transition Agency) 50% of daily trips are less than 5 km. However, it should be noted that the bicycle (muscular or electric) is the fastest mode of travel for journeys of less than 6 km in urban areas (source: Insee – National transport and travel survey 2008). What’s more, in the city, in fluid traffic, it takes an average of 7 minutes by car and 9 by electric bicycle to cover 3 kilometers. Two minutes away, why not take the opportunity to heal your health and your line by increasing your NEAT?
Daily cycling reduces the risk of cardiovascular incidence and mortality and cancer by 40 to 50% because it is a physical activity (which can even turn into a sporting activity if you put in a little intensity). As for the issue of safety, it should be noted that, on the move, 4.5% of fatal accidents occur by bicycle against 51.5% by car. Moreover, the more the number of cyclists increases, the safer the bicycle becomes (Source: Jacobsen 2003, Elvik 2009).
“Muscle” bike (classic) or electric bike (also called VAE), both are a good alternative to the car or the scooter. Both allow an interesting energy expenditure (hello NEAT!) And if, the eBike burns less calories, this is compensated by the fact that owners of electric bikes use it more often to move on average than cyclists with a lambda bicycle. So, instead of his car or his scooter, what if we opted for cycling or walking?
>> To read also: This summer, we are going to cycle tourism: the green trend of cycling travel
Don’t delegate your housework to increase your NEAT
This “chore” of household chores, however, has an advantage: this physical activity (sometimes almost a sport!) Allows you to quickly burn calories without realizing it too much. In short, it’s an activity like any other and without wasting time since you work out while doing a chore. Count about 256 calories for a shiny bathroom, 150 calories per hour of cooking, 167 calories for half an hour spent washing windows, 50 calories for 10 minutes of vacuuming, 240 calories for mopping and cleaning the floor , about 200 calories to put away the things lying around (and that increases the total of steps of the day!). At least, knowing this, it can give you a little extra motivation to do the housework, when the weekend comes … or an argument to have a loved one do it!
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Fight at all costs against a sedentary lifestyle
Taken together, these physical activities, which are not sport, allow you to increase your NEAT and therefore your daily energy expenditure. But not only: this more “dynamic” routine also helps to fight against sedentary lifestyle, a new scourge of modern times. Currently, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the major causes of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and overweight. Moving more activates your metabolism and therefore solicits muscles, joints and organs that are just waiting to stay in good condition. This will also promote the production of heat and therefore … the expenditure of energy, which should ultimately help to burn fat if your diet is varied and balanced. And that it does not exceed your daily energy expenditure.