Weight loss comes from a basic energy balance – burn more calories than you’re consuming….. simple, eh?!
Exercise burns calories, we all know that, and we also know that some forms of exercise burns more calories than others. The same way that some foods contain more calories than others, so make losing weight that bit harder.
Something else we need to consider is our overall movement throughout the day. Doing some form of planned exercise is great, but if you’re not moving much apart from the 30 minute Gym trip after work, then you might not be getting results as fast as you could.
With calorie burning you have 3 main numbers to think about – BMR, TDEE and NEAT (bear with me, I’ll explain them all!!)
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is the amount of calories that you need to consume in a day to function – ever had a day where you’ve eaten next-to nothing, and you’ve felt weak, foggy-headed and generally lethargic? Well, consuming too few calories means that you’re basic bodily functions don’t go as well as they should.
TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) is an estimation of how many calories you burn per day when exercise is taken into account. You can calculate this by first figuring out your Basal Metabolic Rate, and then multiplying that value by an activity multiplier (we’ll do that a bit later).
NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) is the amount of energy expended that isn’t sleeping, eating or sport-like exercise. This is your walking to the kitchen to get a cup of tea, your general fidgeting during the day, or choosing the stairs over escalators.
When we look in terms of NEAT, it’s easy to overlook the small and simple ways of burning more calories, but these can be so important. In most cases, burning calories through NEAT can be the difference between losing weight and not.
Take your 10,000 steps a day target. Sometimes this doesn’t take into consideration a Gym session or a bike ride (dependent on whether you have a fitness tracker that reads this automatically), so the extra movement per day to achieve your steps goal means a higher number of calories being burned…. which can all help with your weight loss goals.
People are constantly told to walk instead of taking the car, not take the lift but use the stairs or having a smaller glass on your work desk so you have to go and refill it more often – it’s frustrating, but it actually works. Increasing your NEAT increases your overall calorie burn, increasing your TDEE increases your overall calorie burn and these things go hand-in-hand.
If you have a pedometer on your phone, try and track your steps for a couple of days and see what difference a few changes can make – take the stairs, walk to the local shop instead of getting in the car etc. See what difference it makes to how you feel in general.
It sounds wacky, but I’ve noticed a huge difference in how much healthier I feel now I’m more active during the day. On my tracker, I get a little red dot each hour if I hit 250 steps. A little red dot is such a motivator – if I get to the end of the day with all 8 red dots, I get a green man twirling.
If you want to look at your TDEE, here’s a link to a website you can try: http://mytdee.com/
(I have no affiliation to them, just a site I’ve used before).
If you want more information, or have any questions please feel free to email or leave a comment below.