Have you ever heard of N.E.A.T. for weight loss?  No, that’s really not a surprise. N.E.A.T. is Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and it can be a great tool for those who have a goal of losing weight.

What is N.E.A.T.?

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis is the expenditure of energy for activities we do throughout the day that does not include sleeping, eating, or exercise.

N.E.A.T. includes activities like cooking, cleaning, shopping, walking the dog, even small movement activities like fidgeting.  While these activities may not seem like they would have an impact on your daily calorie burn, when you add them all up you may be surprised.

One example, a 145-pound person expends approximately 102 calories an hour while seated and performing desk work at an office job. However, if they perform the same work while standing they expend 174 calories. Over the course of a year that adds up to about 18000 calories or 5 pounds.

More N.E.A.T. in your Life

There are a number of super easy ways you can add more N.E.A.T. in your life. At home or at the office opt to stand at your desk rather than sit. Try sitting on a stability ball, this forces your to engage core muscles for stability.

Other things that add N.E.A.T. to your day include:

  •             Hand washing your car
  •             Hand washing dishes
  •             Pace the sidelines at your kid’s sports events
  •             Carry groceries rather than use a cart
  •             Pacing while on the phone

Exercise is Not Enough

We all know that exercise alone is not enough for us to reach our weight loss goals. Eating properly, healthy, whole foods, and getting the proper amount of sleep are also key factors in the equation.

Although regular exercise is important, 2, 3 even 4 workouts a week are often not enough for our goals. It is not uncommon to get frustrated when we don’t see the results we want.  If we use our regular Team or Semi-Private training session in conjunction with N.E.A.T. we see our results multiply.

Example: You need to burn about 2000 calories more than we consume per week to lose weight. Completing 4 circuit training sessions per week burns about 1700 calories total. So, the average person would still need to burn an additional 300 calories beyond their regular workouts. Looking back to our office worker who chose to stand rather than work, they are burning an additional 360 calories per week through N.E.A.T. Now, that’s pretty neat!

Ways to Use N.E.A.T.

Create a list of your average daily activities. Are you aware of how much time you spend sitting? The results may startle you.

Identify problem areas and think of creative ways to accomplish the same tasks while standing or with added movement.

Challenge yourself to add N.E.A.T. into 1 – 3 of these activities, start with the low hanging fruit for success.

Evaluate the results, don’t force things that feel too uncomfortable.

As little as an extra 100 calories per day could add up to about 10 ½ pounds in a year.


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Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis: A Neat Approach to Weight Loss by Fabio Comana


Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) and Health by Laura Doison


NEAT Ways to Burn More Calories by Niki Campbell