Gain it and Lose it: Diet Math - the N.E.A.T. way to lose weight 


Have you put on weight over lockdown? Struggling to burn it off again?

A combination of factors throughout the various lockdowns has led to most of us moving less during the day than usual. Increasing your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) can help you lose excess weight.

Most of the calories you burn each day are the ones you burn from performing basic bodily functions - this is referred to as your BMR (basal metabolic rate). Calculating your BMR can help you to determine your daily expenditure, allowing you to create a calorie deficit which is a proven approach to losing weight. 

You can work out your BMR using the Mifflin-St Jeor equation:

You can work out your total energy expenditure by multiplying your BMR by your physical activity level. The physical work you do in your day.

If sedentary and do little physical activity - multiply BMR by 1.4

If moderately active and do moderate physical activity a week (3-5 days) - multiply BMR by 1.7

If extremely active and do regular physical activity (5-7 days) - multiply BMR by 2.1

Part of this physical activity level incorporates your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) score.  Your NEAT score can be manipulated with very little effort by simply moving more in your day. It is the energy we expend for everything other than sleeping, eating or doing sports based activities. This means NEAT includes everything from walking rather than driving to standing rather than sitting.

One thing to remember is that going to a class or training with us doesn’t make up for the 8-12 hours you spend sitting at your desk each day. Remaining sedentary for long periods of time decreases your lipoprotein lipase (LPL) - an enzyme which aids the process of converting fat to energy. By increasing your NEAT, you will increase your LPL and therefore the ability to convert/burn fat. Secondly, you will burn far more calories throughout the day by doing small activities than in one single hour spent training.

One final note - your NEAT score is individual to you. Biological factors, including gender and age, makes your score unique. But generally it is 15% of your daily expenditure. The NEAT principle: the more you move during the day; the higher your NEAT will be.

Here are 5 easy ways you can increase your NEAT today:

  1. Take the stairs instead of using the lift 

  2. Work at a standing desk

  3. Have a daily step goal (10,000 is a good amount to aim for)

  4. Walk to your OPUS classes  

  5. Try and be active around the house - every climb up your stairs contributes to your NEAT (!)