Fat Loss and NEAT: WTF is NEAT?

bodybuilding fat loss physique Apr 07, 2023

In my last physique contest prep, I tried something new to reach my fat loss goals. As opposed to stupidly long hours of cardio at the close of my cut, I increased my energy expenditure-my NEAT “rating”.

Every day, I had to hit 10,000 steps/diminish my chair time and move more frequently throughout the day. I still had “planned cardio”, but I kept it to a minimum. I started with 120 minutes per week, BUT at the end, I would pnly be near 160 minutes per week. Break that down into 5 days a week and it only comes out 32 minutes at the end of the cut!

I won my division, and for my last show, I probably looked my best. As much as I love battle ropes and sled pushing/drags I could not do these favorites because I was dealing with a labrum tear. This banned me from any upper body cardio. So my coach and I had to do something different. I came up with the NEAT rating increase. Glad I did.

What is NEAT?

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy we burn doing activities other than sleeping, eating, and exercising. It includes activities such as walking, standing up from a chair, fidgeting, or even playing with your pet. These activities require energy expenditure and can contribute to fat loss.

How Does NEAT Work?

NEAT works by increasing our daily energy expenditure. This means that we are burning more calories than we would if we were just sitting around all day. Studies have shown that increasing our NEAT can lead to significant increases in energy expenditure. This means that even small changes in activity levels can have a big impact on our overall fat loss goals.

How Can I Use NEAT To Reach My Fat Loss Goals?

There are several ways to increase your daily energy expenditure through NEAT:

  • Take regular breaks throughout the day and add some exercise into them– this could include taking a short walk or doing some stretching exercises.

  • Try biking or walking instead of driving when possible – this will help you get some extra physical activity into your day without having to dedicate extra time specifically for exercise.

  • Stand up whenever you can–try standing while talking on the phone or working at your desk instead of sitting down all day long.

  • Increase your fidgeting–this may sound silly but studies have shown that fidgeting actually burns more calories than sitting still! So don’t be afraid to move around a bit during the day.

  • Play with your pet–this one is fun and easy! Playing with your pet not only provides mental stimulation for both of you but also helps you burn extra calories throughout the day without having to do any extra work! 

The Bottom Line

Increasing your Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is an effective way to reach your fat loss goals without having to dedicate extra time specifically for exercise. By making small changes such as taking regular breaks throughout the day and adding some exercise into them, biking or walking instead of driving when possible, standing up whenever you can, increasing your fidgeting, and playing with your pet; you can significantly increase your daily energy expenditure, which will help you reach those fat loss goals faster!