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Weight loss (NEAT)


Adrià Vargas,        Calafell , November 12, 2019

In this article we will talk about what factors are involved in weight loss and we will use to give some tips and thus achieve our goal. 

One of the bases to lose weight, is to consume less caloric consumption than we spend. In other words, we have to spend and burn more calories than we eat. Either for food (very important) or because we are more active, and therefore we spend more energy.

And what does energy expenditure depend on?

The factors involved in this expense are; 

Basal energy expenditure or basal metabolic rate, is the minimum energy we need so that our body can perform all vital functions. In short, to live with all our biological functions in an optimal state. 

Thermogenesis: We find two types of thermogenesis, the mandatory and adaptive. 

The obligatory one, is about the nutrients we eat, apart from providing us with energy, they need it (in less quantity) to process and digest them, therefore, there are foods that will make us spend more energy than others. 

For what the adaptive does, it is the energy that we use in homeostatic control processes, so that our body is in equilibrium, temperature changes, warming or cooling... 

Activity and physical exercise: All the actions we do during the day, walking, running, our sports training, going shopping ... This means more energy expenditure that adds to the basal metabolism. 

So, what can we do to increase our caloric expenditure and manage to lose those extra kg ... 

Leaving aside our physical exercises (gym training, sports training ...), which in itself will be a great source of caloric expenditure, we must keep in mind other factors. Within these factors, we find what is called NEAT.


What is the NEAT? 

The NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) is the daily energy expenditure used in any unscheduled activity, not considered as physical exercise. That is, the rest of the activities we do throughout the day, such as walking the dog, shopping, doing household chores ...


Therefore, how do we increase our NEAT? 

Very simple, change the car for the bicycle to go to work, make the purchase and carry the bags, go up the stairs and not take the elevator or escalators, among other things. 

The trick is to follow a healthy lifestyle and modify some sedentary behaviors for others that are more active.

And how can we calculate the NEAT we perform? 

It is somewhat complex to calculate caloric expenditure through NEAT, the best way is to use technology, smart watches, activity or mobile wristbands. 

These will help us count steps, indicate the physical activity we do during the day and assess the heart rate, therefore, you can also tell us how many calories we have spent throughout the day. 

That measurement will never be 100% accurate, but its reliability will depend on the type of device we use. Personally, I think it is the best option to calculate daily physical activity. 

In summary, one of the most effective ways to lose weight is to have a healthy and active lifestyle, increase your NEAT as much as possible and take care of food. 

It is important to know that NOT all people will have the same total daily caloric expenditure, either because of their thermogenesis, because of their baseline energy expenditure, difference in sex, age, weight ... 

One option to know how many calories we eat throughout the day and keep track, is to use applications that add the food we eat, make us count. They help us with food and can alert us if we exceed the limit we have been able to set ourselves. 

Finally, set some short and long-term physical activity goals, number of daily steps, calories burned, all this will help you reach your goals and see the results of your goals. And all that, accompany it with a balanced diet, removing some extra calories that do not bring us benefits.

Images: pixabay


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