Have you ever felt exasperated at the needle not budging despite your fairly regular workouts in the gym? Or your weight piling up because your painful knees revolted at the thought of running on the treadmill or jogging?
Metabolic scientists have recently discovered that vigorous exercise or workouts in the gym may not be all that effective in burning calories and fat after all, and N.E.A.T. could be the reason why some stay slim and fit without ever visiting a gym!
N.E.A.T. is the acronym for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, and refers to that portion of the daily energy expenditure that results from spontaneous physical activity that is not specially the result of voluntary exercise.
It turns out that NEAT, meaning keeping oneself active most of the day doing “non-formal” exercise, could be a great way to burn your fat. Examples include walking up the stairs to your office or home rather than taking the elevator, carrying groceries home by walking rather than using the car, cycling to work, mopping the floor, washing dishes, ironing clothes, cutting vegetables, or doing any or several of the household chores.
That NEAT could be the secret behind many healthy non-gym goers became evident when scientists realized that around 40% of the daily calories are burnt by “just being active” in small ways rather than by the burst of activities in the gym for an hour and then slumping in the chair and ordering others around the rest of the day.
The arithmetic around calories consumed and burnt could be depressing. Around 120 to 250 Kcals come from a stuffed “paratha” or fried bread; doing weight lifting for 30 minutes in a gym helps burn only around 100 to 120 Kcals.
NEAT helps achieve a more slow-and-steady burning of calories, pushing up the basal metabolic rate for longer periods, thus aiding one to burn more calories up to an additional 2000 Kcals over the day.
The Metabolic Disorder package of obesity, diabetes, fatty liver, cholesterol, BP and increased risk of heart disease, is aptly called a life-style disorder, where we consume more calories than we are able to burn.
NEAT promises to be the way to do just that.