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What Are NEAT Calories And TDEE?

The term "TDEE" (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) plays a crucial role in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Most are familiar with the concepts of basal metabolic rate (BMR) and exercise-related calorie burn, there's a lesser-known component that can significantly impact your overall energy expenditure – NEAT calories.

NEAT, or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, refers to the calories your body burns through activities that are not intentional exercise, such as fidgeting, standing, and even chewing gum. Understanding and optimising NEAT calories can be a game-changer for those looking to enhance their TDEE and support their fitness goals.


What are NEAT Calories?

NEAT calories is the energy that is expended through daily activities that are not structured exercise or physical training. These activities can be as simple as walking to work, taking the stairs, gardening, or even tapping your foot while sitting. NEAT contributes to the overall energy balance in your body, alongside the calories burned during exercise and the calories consumed through food.

Increasing NEAT for a Higher TDEE:


  1. Incorporate More Movement into Your Day:

  • Take short breaks and stretch or walk around, especially if you have a desk job.

  • Use a standing desk to reduce prolonged periods of sitting.

  • Choose stairs over elevators whenever possible.


2. Engage in Leisure Activities:

  • Participate in recreational activities like hiking, biking, or dancing.

  • Play sports or join a community sports league.


3. Make Household Chores Count:

  • Turn everyday tasks into opportunities for movement. Vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping can all contribute to NEAT calories.

  • Gardening is also an excellent way to stay active.


4. Add steps into your commute:

  • Walk or bike instead of driving short distances.

  • If feasible, consider public transportation, which often involves walking to a bus stop or train station.


5. Embrace Fidgeting:

  • While it might seem minor, fidgeting and small, spontaneous movements can add up over the course of a day.


6. Set Activity Goals:

  • Use fitness trackers to set daily step goals and gradually increase them.

  • Challenge yourself to reach a certain number of active minutes each day.


While hitting the gym and following a structured exercise routine are integral components of a healthy lifestyle, it's crucial not to underestimate the power of NEAT calories in influencing your overall energy expenditure. By incorporating small, intentional movements into your daily life, you can boost your TDEE and contribute to a more active and healthy lifestyle. Here is a chart to show the difference between sitting and standing in terms of calories burnt per hour. This just shows that changing a small daily habit can really increase the calories burnt. Click the button below to see a recap of the recent workshop regarding Cardio vs Weight training.




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