Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – Simple Weight Loss Technique To Shed Pounds The N.E.A.T. Way

We live in times of great convenience and luxury.  Even if you are working for minimum wage in our country, you’ll often have an automobile or access to public transportation that requires very little of your own energy to get around.  Most of the people in modern society have very sedentary lifestyles PLUS we spend an average of 10 to 15 hours a day sitting in our cars, at our desk, watching t.v. and browsing on the internet.

Has all of this convenience compromised our health and beauty?  Recent studies show the results to be a resounding YES!

The #1 key to solving any problem is being aware that the problem exists in the first place.  As I like to say, “consciousness trumps everything.”  So now we can begin to focus on the solution.

Most experts (including yours truly) encourage the application of vigorous exercise several times a week in order to have your body in immaculate shape.  What I have found, however, is that it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.  It’s about having intelligent strategies to leverage the small things that actually add up to getting the BIG results.

NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.  This is the energy we expend each day for everything that is not sleeping, eating, or sports-like activities.  We are specifically talking about the non-exercise activities that we would normally perform on a daily basis.

Things like walking to your job from your car, washing dishes, doing yard work, playing with your kids, these are all things that increase your NEAT  Increasing your NEAT time each day is the key to burning an extra 1,500 to 2,400 calories a day!

In his book Move a Little, Lose a Lot, endocrinologist James Levine is showing that people are being robbed of burning thousands of extra calories each day because they are unaware of the power of utilizing their NEAT.

Are you a victim of the “sitting disease”?  The only way that you can suppress your body’s natural thermogenesis (calorie-burning capability) is to sit all day.  Your body literally burns calories for a living, and it’s very good at it’s job.  The issue is that you can not incite your body’s full capacity to burn calories if you are sitting for too long. Extended inactivity is actually a depressant for thermogenesis and for your brain.

Use these excellent tactics to increase your NEAT time each day and avoid the “sitting disease” forever!

  • Walk around your house while you’re on phone calls (it’s even better to walk around outside!)
  • If you have a meeting with your partner or work associate, do it while walking (and your brain will work better too).
  • Make it a mandate to use the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator (this can get you an extra 50 to 100 calories burned on average each day).
  • Bounce on your rebounder while watching your favorite show (This can burn THOUSANDS of extra calories each week!  This is borderline being a NEAT tactic, but I do it all the time while listening to audio books. Here’s more info on rebounding for you: Teach Your Body To Burn More Fat)
  • Take quick 10 minute walks every 2 hours of your workday to refresh your mind and boost your metabolism.
  • Walk to drop mail at the post office or mail box.
  • Consider using one of the stand up desks that are becoming extremely popular right now.
  • Record your study materials or research information on your iPod, then play it for yourself while taking a 1 hour walk (this is a POWERFUL way of learning and integrating the information into your body)
  • Wash your dishes by hand, rather than using the dish washer (I never trusted the dishwasher anyways).

Honestly, I couldn’t even finish this article without taking a 20 minute walk.  I just got back and I feel refreshed, invigorated, and ready to accomplish great things today!  I feel more excited to serve you, and it’s my honor to be able to share this information with you.

Personally, I do most of my phone interviews while walking around in my back yard.  The fresh air and the ability to get grounded always provides the best conditions for me to deliver a powerful message.  I also take 10 minute breaks every 2 hours of working to walk around, stretch and have some water (you can utilize these too).

It all boils down to one thing:  If you don’t use it, you lose it.  So take action now on upping your NEAT time each day.  Our bodies are made for movement, and if we don’t take advantage of them with these smart strategies, we’ll find ourselves not bringing our best to the things that matter most in life:  family, career, creativity, and our ability to contribute.

By adding in these NEAT activities, and utilizing a cutting-edge exercise plan (like the one found in The Fat Loss Code) you are guaranteeing yourself great success and setting yourself up for unstoppable results.

Do you have special NEAT techniques that you are already using?  Or are you already doing some of these NEAT techniques and didn’t even know about it?  Leave me a comment below and let me know.

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  • seth B
    21 Apr 2011, 12:10 pm

    I thought this was a great article. It was very N.E.A.T. haha

    • Shawn
      25 Apr 2011, 9:03 pm

      Gracias Seth! There’s so many N.E.A.T. ways to upgrade our health… I’m always excited to find out what’s next!

  • Like Attract Like
    21 Apr 2011, 2:53 pm

    Great source of Information, Shawn.. Greatly Appreciated:)) Keep them coming!

    • Shawn
      25 Apr 2011, 9:05 pm

      Thank you so, so much. I will be honored and much obliged to do so.

  • Anne
    21 Apr 2011, 7:42 pm

    Great Article Shawn,
    I’m not comfortable sitting for long periods of time and never have been (lower back complains) so I creatively find ways to get up at work. I sometimes refrain from sending an email to colleague and go and discuss things with him or her at her desk. At lunch I might go and do some errands at the shop across the street. I also cycle to work everyday of the year unless it’s snowing which happens three times per year here. When I’m home I walk everywhere, library, gym, pool, grocery shopping. I picked a place to live where I can virtually walk everywhere.

    You guessed it, I’m one of those people who needs to eat a lot to keep up with my lifestyle!
    Thanks again

  • Masha
    12 Sep 2014, 2:12 am

    Thank you for those tips, Shawn, they are great!

    6 months ago I lost 15 kg of weight after doing a thorough research about what’s healthy and what’s not and completely changing my eating and exercising habits. One of the things that helped me a lot was your podcast, HUGE thanks for that. I felt so good for half a year that I guess I became a little arrogant and relaxed in many ways, so now I’m coming back to my habits and learning to be humble, not going to miss a single episode of the podcast either! 🙂

    I’ve learned that it’s a never-ending process and we just have to make it as fun as possible to keep doing all that for the rest of our lives.

    Anyway, I wanted to share 2 tips that I’m using in my daily routine and that helped me achieve the body of my dreams.

    I hope they might be helpful for someone like me.

    1. I’ve heard people complaining that stand up desks are too expensive and if you’re not working from home, it’s nearly impossible to get one for your office.
    I personally just use the simplest chair from Ikea which I put on top of my desk with a laptop on it whenever I feel like standing.
    When I used to work in an office, I just put it back down and sat on it whenever I heard someone (especially my boss) approaching.
    You can even do some simple exercise or stretching while standing.
    As a result, my back isn’t sore and I have more energy.

    2. I’m trying not to drink too much coffee and whenever I’m going through a low-caffeine consumption cycle, my blood pressure goes down significantly and I am very low on energy.
    I discovered that apart from short walks, one thing that really works for me personally as well as a cup of coffee would, is a few minutes hand stand next to the wall. When I wasn’t able to do that, I started with just reaching my toes with my fingers while standing and relaxing like that for a while.

    I also wanted to share one thing that I still find the hardest to deal with and maybe, someone will have some advice for me. This thing is eating out with my husband’s relatives. They live quite an unhealthy lifestyle and they’re not willing to change their habits but it gets really upsetting for everyone when they start persuading me to ‘eat more, to eat with everyone, that once in a while won’t harm anyone etc.’ I can’t say I have a strength of will made of steal, so all those sweets and cakes and bread and deep-fried food make me suffer a lot on their own and when I’m being begged ‘just to try’, it’s even harder.

    Would really appreciate any tip on how to deal with that.

    Sorry for such a long comment and thank you once again, Shawn!

  • Merry
    29 Mar 2016, 4:10 pm

    I have foot pain and am limited in how much I can stand or walk. Could you please expand more on ideas for NEAT I could try? If only I could live my life in a warm swimming pool with a noodle – I can move for hours that way.

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