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How Can NEAT Help You Lose Weight?

Did you know that daily movements can be the key to losing weight? Here's NEAT's secret.

How Can NEAT Help You Lose Weight? There are many theories circulating in the fitness world about effective weight loss, but one of them is gaining more and more popularity. Experience the power of NEAT and apply it to your daily routine.

How many times a week do you exercise? 3? 5? Every day? Do you know that even a few dozen minutes of daily workouts can still be classified as sedentary? All thanks to NEAT, i.e. spontaneous physical activity not related to training.

Fun fact: The difference in burning daily calories by two people of the same height and weight can be up to 2000 kcal.

Emerging research suggests that many serious health problems — including metabolic syndrome, poor blood sugar management, and type 2 diabetes — are associated with a lot of sedentary time, regardless of how much exercise someone gets. Simply put, thirty- or sixty-minute workouts can’t counteract the adverse cardiometabolic effects caused by long-term, uninterrupted periods of sedentary activity.

Your total energy burn during the day:

Basal metabolic rate (BMR): the minimum amount of energy your body needs at rest. BMR represents about 70% of the total daily burn.

Thermic effect of food (TEF): This refers to the amount of energy we expend on eating, digesting, and metabolizing food. In the average person, this accounts for about 10% of the total combustion.

NEAT refers to the energy burned during non-sporting activities. NEAT can account for between 10% and 20%

Exercise activity thermogenesis (EAT): This refers to the number of calories you burn during a workout. EAT typically accounts for 5% to 10% of a client’s metabolism.

Higher levels of NEAT mean a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular events, and death from all causes.

What’s more, since studies show that the lack of activity outside of workouts makes their effects decrease significantly, on the other hand, increasing NEAT strongly favors achieving and maintaining a calorie deficit (in people who want to lose weight).

How do I increase NEAT?

Fidget at your desk.

According to research, you can burn up to 120 calories per hour just by sitting and “fidgeting” (like tapping your fingers, stretching your legs and arms, or flipping through papers) — compared to 80 calories per hour if you were sitting still.

By the way, don’t treat 40 calories as “meager”! It all adds up: seven hours of sitting and fidgeting during the workday adds up to an extra 280 calories.

What if you move standing up?

150 calories per hour, which in turn gives you an additional 490 calories per day compared to sitting still.

Stick to taking at least 10,000 steps a day.

Take a break every 30 minutes for jumping jacks, swings, some push-ups or sit-ups

Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Walk while talking on the phone, park the street further away from your destination.
Move in the way you enjoy dancing, cycling, walking the dog.

Fun fact about cardio:

According to several studies, too much cardio makes us move much less after a workout. This is due to the tendency to compensate to the point that we sometimes burn more energy through a typical daily NEAT than a cardio session.

The Solution: Strength Training

Unlike cardio training, resistance training seems to increase an individual’s NEAT levels for the rest of the day.

Conclusion? You want to prioritize strength training – making sure the client is making progress throughout the session – and spend less time focusing on the cardio sessions of the trainee.

Of course, this does not mean eliminating cardio. You should still follow the recommended 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week.


While increasing your NEAT is a great way to counteract the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle, don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s a replacement for exercise. Rather, it’s a lifestyle change that has the potential to improve your health and complement the great work you’re already doing with training.