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The Missing Link for Fat Loss

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The Missing Link for Fat Loss

Today I am going to talk about the most unspoken about factor when it comes to weight loss and weight maintenance. 

Yesterday I got a message off my friend Olivia who is marrying my best mate Ben in two weeks in Wales (where I will destroy him with my best man speech).  But the message read ‘my anxiety was really bad this morning and I was really beating myself up about not being able to get to the gym’ But she remembered something I said, and it took her back down to earth which I will explain. 

Through our lives we are going to want to be in better shape for certain periods of the year, that is life for most. 

So we believe we need to train harder at this point to get down to our desired weight/result. So we go fucking mental and start training excessively, eating a lot less. Sort of punishing ourselves to get the body we desire.

All this time your energy is dropping and you’re missing out on the thing that really matters and is in our control for weight loss. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) or non-exercise non-activity thermogenesis (NENAT) which is defined as – ‘The energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports like exercise’

NENAT is subconscious movements for example fidgeting and facial movement. Other things come under NEAT for example; going shopping, getting your steps up, gardening, cleaning, playing with your children etc. Think of this as everyday movement. 

In the energy balance email, I explained that on average exercise makes up around 5% of our energy expenditure per day where NEAT makes up around 20-25%! So you tell me which one is more important for fat loss? what you do in the gym or what you do outside of it? 

People believe me when I say this. This is not me making shit up. I am a gym owner, by god I wish the gym was the be all and end all the fat loss, but it is not. 

If you are looking to get results, train because it makes you feel amazing, train because it makes you a better person, it makes you less stressed, it makes you look better naked, it makes you want to eat better and move more. You get to train, you don’t have to train. It’s a privilege denied too many.  

Then focus on your everyday movements outside of the gym. You train for 60 minutes per day, what about the rest? As a Practitioner, we measure NEAT through steps because it is an objective measurement we can control. If you are hitting and increasing your step count, you can be fairly certain you’re moving a lot elsewhere. 

By training more and eating a lot less to get a quick fix, we know through countless research that your NEAT can drop excessively. So what you thought was your deficit, may not be a deficit any more. Because you do not have as much energy to move subconsciously or consciously.

We also see a huge drop in NEAT for people who have lost a substantial amount of weight.

But you’re training loads, eating less and not getting results? Then what happens? We go “fuck it”. The vicious cycle of yoyo dieting continues.

Instead, we can control or be conscious of our everyday movements 365 days a year, this will make the biggest difference in your life. 

My advice for anyone wanting to maintain or lose weight is to go and pick yourself up a step tracker. It doesn’t need to be expensive. But monitor your steps over a week a month a year, make it a challenge to hit a number each day. 

We say around 10,000 steps per day, why? because It is a good amount of steps I guess. I mean you’re thinking about your movement and burning more energy then if you were hitting 5000 let’s say.

But if your current step count is 3000 per day, then your aim should be 4000 then 5000 and so on. 

Try to improve a small amount every single day. Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. 

So don’t feel you need to ruin yourself in the gym, don’t get caught up if you miss a training session. It’s only a gym session. It is not the be all and end all in life. Turn the negative of not being able to get into the gym, to a positive one by moving more elsewhere. 

Get outside and move, one day you might not be capable. 

I know for some people, they may already know this. But for some, this might be the first time they are hearing it. So I really hope it helps. None of us, experts or not should underestimate the importance of this facet of energy expenditure. 

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