We all know a bit about calories and how they impact on the body. If not, think of calories as energy. We need a certain amount of energy to survive as humans, but too much energy will lead to weight gain. One thing not a lot of people know is that the body burns calories in 4 different ways. What if I told you that you will burn more calories than an exercise session just by taking the stairs, parking further away, standing more than sitting and even fidgeting!
I’m referring to your something called your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) which is the amount of calories (energy) you burn in a day. Each day will vary as no two will be exactly the same. Your TDEE is spilt into four parts.
The first is your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which is the amount of calories you burn just to perform basic bodily functions such as breathing. The bigger you are, the higher your BMR will be. Generally speaking BMR accounts for 60-75% of your TDEE which is by far the most of the 4 parts:
Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) is the energy the body uses to breakdown food into more energy or to move it to an area to be stored as fat or use at a later time. This makes up around 10% of your TDEE.
Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (EAT) is the calories burned from anything we intentionally engage in such as a gym workout, sports, running etc. Your EAT contributes to roughly 10% of your TDEE.
Now finally, the most underestimated of the 4 parts of TDEE is Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). This is often overlooked but actually accounts for 20% of your TDEE which is double the calories burned from exercise! To put simply, your NEAT is the energy expended for anything we do that isn’t sleeping, eating or intentional exercise. Examples include walking, standing, fidgeting or doing house work. It can be easy for your NEAT to decrease if you’ve done a hard gym session as you’ll be more likely to use an escalator, park your car closer and probably fidget less because you’ll be tired.
It can be more effective for fat loss to move more during the day than adding an extra gym session to your week. A quick way of improving your NEAT is to find out how many steps you perform each day using your smart phone or watch and attempt to add 10% to this each week.
Remember that energy balance is the all important factor when changing your physique. Hopefully this article gives you a clearer insight to know how you can use each element to your advantage and achieve your goals either in fat loss for gaining mass!
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