As we all know, maintaining a caloric deficit is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. However, as you start reducing your caloric intake, your body’s natural response is to decrease your overall activity levels, known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). So how can we increase NEAT to keep our overall caloric output high while maintaining a caloric deficit? Here are three effective strategies:
1. Keep your caloric deficit small to moderate: When implementing too large a caloric deficit, your body will automatically decrease your overall activity levels. So, to combat this, keep your caloric deficit at a manageable level. Instead of making drastic cuts in your caloric intake, try cycling your caloric intake daily or weekly. For instance, you can decrease your calorie intake on weekdays and increase it on weekends. This strategy can help maintain a consistent overall caloric intake, reducing the likelihood of drastic drops in NEAT levels.
2. Pick a metric to improve: Setting achievable goals and gradually increasing them over time is an effective way to increase NEAT. One of the simplest metrics is to measure your total daily steps. Set a step goal that you can achieve every day, and then gradually increase it by 5-10% each week. This strategy can help you gradually increase your overall daily activity levels and boost your NEAT.
3. Set yourself up for movement: Find ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine. For instance, get a standing desk or a balance board to use while working, park in the farthest parking spot, watch TV seated on the ground, and set an alarm to remind you to stand up and do a couple of squats every 15 minutes. You can also put fidget spinners around your work desk or take the stairs instead of using an elevator.
These small adjustments in your daily routine can help you increase your overall activity levels and improve your NEAT.
It’s worth noting that the overall caloric demand of NEAT is relatively small, but every little bit counts. However, exercise should still be a critical component of your weight loss program, and increasing NEAT should be used as a complement to it. By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you can gradually increase your NEAT and achieve your weight loss goals more effectively. Remember that it’s all about consistency, so start small and gradually build up to achieve long-term success.
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