Let’s Get Neat


Burn More Fat Doing Less

by | Oct 28, 2021 | Nutrition, Weight Loss

Weight loss strategies using NEAT

NEAT is an acronym that stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis. 

Virtually anything that you do throughout the day that isn’t planned exercise falls into the NEAT category.

These are things like house work, walking to and fro, playing with your kids, eating food etc. 

What you want to be able to do is to maximize NEAT by creating or planning for it.  This is best done by finding new habits that you can do throughout the day or week.


Simple habits can be:

  • Parking further from the door so you have to walk longer
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Getting up and down off the ground to play with your kids
  • Engage in physical activities with your kids
  • Nutritional strategies
  • Do your own chores and break them up throughout the day/week
  • Stand up to work
  • If certain locations are close by, walk instead of driving


You can get creative to find little ways to increase your NEAT.  And actually, interestingly enough, the amount of calories you can burn from NEAT activities is far greater than you can generate from your planned exercise.  So being able to increase your NEAT is even better to focus on in some cases to jump start weight loss and lose fat before you even begin an exercise program.


Fat loss using NEAT

When you do low intensity activities usually, if you are metabolically fit, your main source of energy will be coming from fat. 

If you have a good nutritional approach going you can maximize fat loss in several ways in addition to your NEAT activities.  Most of the time it’s easy just to eat less carbs, less calories or even fast before you do certain low intensity activities.  This should help you shift metabolically to using fat as your primary energy source.


If you set up an energy deficit remember that this affects all systems of your body and can cause a stress response.  I usually work towards small windows at first to implement one of the caloric manipulations and then gradually increase the length of those windows expanding the deficit over time.  


We want the stress you are adding to be manageable and you need to be able to perform your activities safely.  If you drop calories too much or for too long there will be consequences. 

Here’s a few things to pay attention to:

  • Moods – Do you easily get frustrated or emotional?  Do your emotions jump around?
  • Focus – Are you able to complete the task at hand or are you getting distracted?
  • Energy – Are you fatiguing during simple tasks?
  • Body soreness – Are you feeling sore or achy?


These are certain signs that you may be stressing your body too much and it doesn’t have enough energy (calories) coming in to deal with all the regular processes it has to go through throughout the day.  So something has to give.  


Work on tailoring your approach to a gradual decline in calories and monitor how you react.  Don’t let your ego get in the way.  If you are training for weight loss to be healthier, we need to add stress but in a healthy manner.


When it comes to losing weight or finding ways to burn calories you will constantly need to search for ways to integrate these activities into your day.  And, of course, be able to do them day after day.  Your success will revolve around habit change ultimately and being able to keep your weight off as well.

Look for other habit training articles in my blog or subscribe to my newsletter and get them sent directly to your inbox.


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