Weight loss is the result of a negative daily energy balance. Losing weight requires eating fewer calories, improving the quality of food consumed and increasing energy expenditure. Let’s look at the three components of daily energy expenditure:
So, what is non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)? It is the number of calories burned through any activity other than sleeping, eating and playing sports, such as gardening, walking to work, taking the stairs or simple fidgeting.
Example of NEAT at work (kilocalories per day)*:
Eating well every day and training 3 to 4 times a week to improve your fitness is a great way to control your weight. However, if you want to see clear benefits, take advantage of “NEAT” whenever possible. Talk on the phone standing instead of sitting, park your car at the end of the parking lot instead of wasting time finding a parking space near the entrance, take the stairs instead of the elevator—moving at every opportunity will help to control your weight.
* Based on a basic metabolism of 1,600 calories a day. Adapted from A.E. Black, W.A. Coward, T.J. Cole, A. M. Prentice, “Human energy expenditure in affluent societies: an analysis of 574 doubly-labelled water measurements,” Eur J Clin Nutr., vol. 50, no. 2 (1996), pp. 272–292.
Reference: ENDOCRINOLOGY NEWS OF MAYO CLINIC: James A. Levine, MD, PhD, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism and Nutrition, Mayo Clinic Rochester