Posted on

3 NEAT things to consider to kickstart your health and fitness goals

So on Monday, one of our weird and wonderful challenges in our Fit For Life Body Transformation sessions was playing the game “Operation” (with a twist, of course). Remember that? It says ages  6+ on the box so how hard can it be (I thought to myself)?

Funny thing is that I remember playing it as a kid and being pretty good at it.

But the night before when I trying it out ready for our workout session? I literally couldn’t pick any of the parts out without the red nose shining and the game buzzing…

But anyway, after the session I had a few meetings with some of the ladies on our Fit For Life Body Transformation Programme.

 

One of which saying how they lose weight for a bit, but can’t stick to anything. They then just go back to doing what ‘worked’ before. Like a yoyo cycle.

Which does makes sense. I mean, something works (like Cambridge or one of those 10 pounds in 5 days detoxes)

 

or you see a friend who’s boasting about how they lost 10lbs in 3 days sipping on kale…

 

So you automatically think to do THAT (again, in some cases)

 

^^^ I did this many times with the ‘time to ditch the carbs as it’s Summer…’ <<< which can work but is not always necessary

 

Now, it’s no secret that “crash diets” DO work…in terms of weight loss. 

But the main problem is the ‘after-after’ plan. I mean, what do you do once you’ve lost weight? Are you give the tools to know how to learn what works for you? Do you know how to keep it off? Is it fit for your lifestyle?

 

^^^ And I’m not saying this part is easy. Far from. And can lead to quite a journey of challenging your own thought and beliefs which dictate your behaviours, from putting off exercising to finding yourself eating biscuits even when you’re not hungry…

 

But is this the ONLY reason why you struggle to keep the weight off?

 

Perhaps not…

A big factor in this is something call NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis if you speak Latin)

 

This is the calories we burn from everyday activities like fidgeting, cleaning, using the stairs instead of the lift, throwing your daughter up and down in the swimming pool to distract her from the toy that another baby has in the swimming pool (as I did the other day),  shopping, and – even – singing ‘I am the music man’ …


And it’s NEAT that can often explain why you can’t lose weight…

Because trying to lose weight does mean that your body fights you a bit. It almost doesn’t want you to lose weight. It almost sees it as a danger. So one of the ways it does this by decreasing your NEAT…

 

almost without you knowing…

 

You might opt for the lift instead of the stairs.

 

Drive to the shops instead of walking.

 

Stop twitching your leg whilst sitting down…

 

Some research has even shown that the difference between an overweight twin and a lean twin is their “fidgeting” habits.

 

One is always on his feet and can’t sit still and the other is quite happy to sit there and play computer games…

And it explains why you might initially be losing some fat, but then it comes to a halt. Because what was ONCE a calorie deficit, is no longer a calorie deficit as you subconsciously move less…

So, with that in mind, here’s 4 things to consider when trying to lose fat and keep it off:

1) Track your steps so you know if you’re subconsciously moving less (and burning fewer calories)

2) Do some resistance exercise / muscle strengthening exercise as this may help slow down / lessen the decrease in NEAT

3) ​​​​​​If you’ve been REALLY consistent with your food intake (AKA tracking points / calories / portion size), but are now finding that you are always hungry, tired, bored and not losing weight? Consider having a bit of a break and increasing your food intake again..

Might sound scary. But consider this:

Let’s say “Debbie” (made up person) is trying to stick to an 800 calorie plan to lose weight and take control of her blood sugar levels. This is all well and good if she can stick to it.

But if she ends doing really well at brekkie, maybe having some porridge, then has a nice chicken salad at lunch before eating a packet of biscuits and 3 bags of crisps at 4pm each day…ending up at 2500 calories…

Could it be better to just aim somewhere in the middle? Say, 1400 calories for example? Perhaps even adding biscuits into the plan? So she didn’t feel deprived (not for everyone but could this restriction be the reason for the binge relationship with food?)

Anyway, just a “NEAT”” way to think about personalising your own nutrition for you ..

​​as the key really is in a personalised plan.

If you have any questions about this, just reach out :-)​​

Matt 

PS. Mrs Fruci says I talk too much, but what she doesn’t understand is that I’m just increasing my NEAT ;-)​