• Ben Yates

What is NEAT and how will it help you to lose weight?

Why is weight loss so difficult?

The rules behind weight loss and more specifically, fat loss, are not overly complicated but there must be a reason behind the growing numbers of overweight people around the world.

And, a little closer to home, why you keep asking yourself (and me) "why am I not losing weight?"

Most of us know that to lose weight, chances are you need to eat a little less, right?

But, is it that simple?

Have you ever tried to tell someone that they need to reduce their calorie intake or attempted to do it yourself?

The majority of us know that reducing the number of calories you eat in a day is not easy.

And, just because people struggle, doesn't mean they're lazy or not bothered about taking action.

On paper, weight loss is simple.

In reality, mental and sometimes physical barriers make it much harder than it needs to be.

It might not sound fair but that doesn't mean you should give up.

Unfortunately, it does mean that the majority of people do give up, or spend their life going round in circles, the lifetime yo-yo dieter.

When actually, investing in the time to find out 'why' you're not losing weight, could make the process a whole lot easier.

Whereas most people throw their hands up in exasperation and say "why can't I lose weight no matter what I do?" and give up.

Ok, so we know that calories play a huge role in weight loss.

There's also another factor that isn't eating-related that can be overlooked but also plays a massive role.

How many times have you heard or said: "burn calories"?

And when you hear "burn calories", what do you think about?

Cardio, killer workouts, lifting weights, endless burpees and situps?

When in fact, from an exercise and burning calories perspective, fat loss isn't all about soul-destroying, brutal workouts.

There are easier approaches that are usually forgotten because they're not sexy enough.

A quick recap: How you burn calories

Calories are energy.

Your body uses calories for everything it has to do.

From intense exercise like running and weight training to everyday tasks like standing and tying your shoes and activities like gardening and walking... they all burn calories.

The total number of calories that you burn every day happens in three ways:

  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): Quite simply, this is the number of calories your body uses to stay alive. You could stay in bed all day and your body would still burn this amount to maintain your BMR. Around 60% of all the calories we eat goes towards maintaining this understandably vital process.

  • Thermic Effect of Food (TEF): This is the amount of energy our bodies use to digest, absorb and store the food we consume. It varies from person to person, and from food to food - protein is the most energy-expensive food. TEF accounts for around 10% - 15% of our daily calorie burn.

  • Activity Thermogenesis (AT): There are two elements to AT: exercise - including gym sessions, bike rides, running etc.; and Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, which includes walking, gardening, fidgeting, standing etc.

And, we all know by now that to lose weight, we must be in a cal