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What does NEAT have to do with weight or health?

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

Living and enjoying life is a great way to transform your body. Will you try it today?

Well, if you’re a novice like I once was, NEAT isn’t about how tidy your home is or how put together you look. Yes, cleaning your house is connected to your health as it burns calories and is actually related to the acronym NEAT. However, when I say ‘NEAT’ I’m talking about Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, which describes calories burned by the movements we make when we go about our daily activities. This includes the physical movement in our everyday lives that isn’t planned exercise or sport. It’s things like cleaning, as previously mentioned, cooking, playing an instrument, shopping, carrying groceries home, or even small movements such as fidgeting with your hands and feet.

These things might not look like a lot on their own but can have a substantial impact on our metabolic rates and calorie expenditure when added together. The number of calories NEAT burns will vary from person to person, however, as an example, cleaning for 30 minutes will on average burn 50 calories. So, if you were to become a NEAT queen or king and cleaned your house for 1 hour a day, 5 days a week minimum, that would be around 500 calories burnt in one week. This means if you add 5 hours of additional house cleaning to your week, in about seven weeks you’ll have achieved 1 pound of fat loss. [On average we need to burn around 3,500 calories to burn 1 pound of fat.] Your job and lifestyle influence NEAT, therefore two people with similar BMIs, but different jobs, will likely burn different amounts of calories, especially if one job is sedentary and the other is active.

Depending on your health and weight journey, whether you’re in maintenance or improvement, NEAT is one of the best tools we have that doesn’t need anyone but ourselves. It may not burn as many calories as jogging or walking, but every little helps. If we understand everything our body needs, we can use this information to achieve success in our weight and health goals.

So how can you incorporate more NEAT into you life without cleaning every day? It can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of an escalator or lift. Having a fun stress ball, or just a tennis ball you play with when you are watching TV at night. The key is the more NEAT activity you have in your day, the more you’re reducing the amount of sedentary time in our day… which means the more calories you burn by simply living and enjoying life.

Here’s a list of all things I know that are considered NEAT:

· Small movements [i.e fidgeting or bobbing your head from side to side]

· Standing

· Carrying a heavy bag

· Taking stairs instead of an escalator

· Carrying groceries home

· Shopping

· Playing an instrument

· Playing with your kids

· Completing yard/ garden work

· Playing with a pet

· Cooking

· Cleaning

· Tapping your feet

Go ahead, live and enjoy life! Watch your body transform ...

Till the next time x

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