Lose weight with every day activities - Now that's NEAT!


As I passed the 45 year old mark and the kilo count started to gradually rise, I resorted to all manner of excuses such as “I have heavy bones”, “my metabolic rate is extremely low” or my recent favourite (somewhat justified until now) “I just don’t have time to workout due my business schedule”. If I travel overseas every week, how can I join a Gym for example or follow any regular fitness schedule. Now I have found the answer and it appears to be compelling.

The fact is that science is moving fast in the field of weight regulation. The latest “Buzz Word” that has gained traction and worthy attention is a phenomenon called "NEAT" (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). For purposes of simplicity, this involves the energy expended in everything we physically do that does not involve eating, sleeping or sport-related activities. Examples of such every day physical activity are merely walking to work or to a meeting, typing, fidgeting around, walking whilst on the phone, merely talking (the Ladies are good at that) or performing other necessary tasks such as active Shopping, Gardening or Cleaning.

In a fairly recent study of sedentary lean and overweight people, they were fitted with special underwear that monitored every single movement of their bodies. These subjects were specifically fed 1000 calories above their weight maintenance levels. The results were remarkable, whereby those who engaged in a NEAT program did not gain fat despite being overfed. Conversely, those who did not switch to a NEAT program gained literally 10 times more fat!

More precisely, those who were obese moved around 2½ hours less than lean people, which equates to about 350 fewer calories a day. The results show that ambulation movement seemed to make a notable difference. For clarity this did not come in the form of pre-planned power walking, but instead by constantly taking every potential opportunity to move. It is also worth noting too that most of the subjects had desk jobs.

Just think about the scenarios; there is no reason why people cannot potentially talk on the phone and walk around at the same time or hold one-on-one meetings while walking, or move around whilst cooking or even heaven forbid selecting different activities at the weekend that are perhaps not so screen-related.

The facts speak for themselves
About 30% of a person's daily expenditure comes from NEAT (the other portions are from basal metabolism and the thermic effect of eating). Those who are active have higher percentages of NEAT. Moreover, this is a factor we can assume control over. Put simple, NEAT burns more calories than exercise in most non-athletes.

It will come as no surprise to you to when thinking logically, that in the last 100 years, we have imposed an almighty environmental kibosh on our ancient biology. To illustrate 150 years ago, 90% of the world's population were agriculturists.

NEAT is certainly part of the solution to combat poor health and weight for Perpetual Travellers, however it does not mean we can eat what we like! A balanced protein rich controlled calorie diet when travelling combined with an optimised NEAT program will certainly make a difference to your health, weight and well-being.

I designed this article to motivate those of you who need it the most to shape your own movement-oriented habits when travelling or at home, that will help you reverse the tide of age and the challenges that come with frequent travel.

CLICK the below link to view some of my top suggestions to help you travel NEAT

Stay slim and travel NEAT!

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