Are we the first generation to be bringing up children with a lower life expectancy than ourselves? Surely not!! I think we might be, this obesity problem isn’t going away…..
Shocking thought really, but based on the global obesity epidemic, it may well be true. Getting leaner is really important! Have you ever wondered why people in the 70’s and 80’s seemed (well, actually, they just were) leaner than today, yet today we have way more gyms, more events around fitness, more awareness about healthy eating, and better healthcare? It seems just plain wrong…
Well – obviously diets have played a large role, I firmly believe that the low-fat diet FAD saw our society increase sugar intake far far too much, and that is a major reason for the problem. But I think there is something else at play here too……..
N.E.A.T – this refers to Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or in easier to understand terms, the calories you burn outside of exercise and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). What people I guess normally just call their ‘metabolism’, the sum of all the activities in the body that burn up calories. Now this is a very important concept….
Total calories each day = BMR + exercise calories + N.E.A.T. + thermic effect of food (energy used to actually burn food up)
BMR is all the stuff that happens anyway – you know, breathing, heart beating etc. Exercise is exercise, so should be lots of calories right? Thermic effect of food goes up with increase in protein, so don’t miss that. N.E.A.T though? Guess what, in lean people NEAT can account for up to 50% of total calories used! More than the exercise amount!! It’s that important. In overweight people the NEAT can be as low as 15%, so couple up bad diet, inactive lifestyle, and yep even a fitness session might be useless!! You’ll have to do better than that!
You all know people who complain of a slow metabolism right, well actually I think it’s more just total movement – you need to watch lean people versus fat people for a day and see what they do outside of their exercise and food. Lean people simply move more! They walk here and there, get up out of their seat, they take on more daily tasks, and simply move more in a day than a fat person. It all adds up.
Even standing uses more calories than sitting. I’ve seen elite athletes struggling to get their body fat levels down and then have a car break down, have to add some easy walking to their day, and then shed body fat.
My advice: have a good long look at your day. Aside from your training, consider the following:
- Stand up while you work. Or at least get up every 10 minutes and take a few steps.
- Eat more protein – this takes more energy to burn up.
- Take on some physical jobs around the house.
- Use the stairs where possible.
- Walk wherever possible, or even ride your bike.
- Plan in a 20 minute walk each day, this can help you think clearly too and also help recover from harder training.
My fat loss program specifically builds in at least 20 minutes of walking per day along with the diet changes, strength training, and high intensity intervals. The extra walking has a great effect, helps you in far more ways than just the extra calories burned. In generations gone by, people were too busy to eat constantly as our generation does, and they simply burned far more calories during their day’s activity. Get busy!!
Corey Hinde – That Fat Loss Blog