How Active Are You?
We all know that nutrition and training are the key factors when it comes to fat loss. However, there is one important factor that is often overlooked called NEAT.
NEAT is defined as Non-Exercises Activity Thermogenesis. It is essentially movement that you do outside of formal exercise that results in calories being burned on a daily basis.
Why is it important?
Let’s quickly look at the role of NEAT in your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
TDEE is made out of 4 components:
1. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)/Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), which is the amount of calories you required to sustain life. It accounts for roughly 60% your calorie requirements.
2. Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), which is calories burnt as a result of the breakdown and assimilation of food.
3. Physical Activity Level (PAL)/Exercise Activity (EA), which is calories burnt through formal exercise. The amount varies based on length and intensity.
4. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis ( NEAT), which is often overlooked and can have a massive impact. It is essentially calories burnt through daily activity like cleaning the house, daily tasks, walking the dog, travel to and from work etc.
Why is NEAT important?
Let’s use a simple example: if you keep your nutrition intake and training output the same, but you work in an office sitting down for the majority of the day for one week and the next week you work outdoor as a builder, your activity levels outside of exercise will vary drastically. NEAT varies significantly between individuals based on lifestyle.
What we have found is that throughout the dieting phase, NEAT tends to go down over time if you aren’t consciously aware of it. As you can imagine, when you are dieting, you are eating less, training more and your energy level drops. This usually results in people moving less in general. You unconsciously move less and become less active outside of training.
This is why you frequently see people say they cut calories out or add more cardio but do not seem to get the outcome they want. It is almost always due to the decrease in NEAT counterbalancing the calorie deficit created through diet and exercise.
If you are someone who is dieting and in a calorie deficit, make sure to consciously move more and be more active. You can also use a tracking device such as Fitbit to track your daily steps for consistency.
Diet Smart. Not Hard.