Ever wondered where you burn the most calories, shorty?
Okay so all joking aside…
There are the top 3 ways our bodies burn calories are BMR, NEAT and actual exercise.
The biggest portion of how we burn calories is via BMR(basal metabolic rate) which is basically the calories our bodies burn to stay alive and carry out it’s basic functions. For most petites that’s somewhere between 900-1500 cals
The next biggest piece is NEAT(non-exercise activity thermogenesis) which is the calories we burn by being active throughout the day like walking your pup(s), cleaning the house, or even reaching for that top shelf!
And finally, actual planned exercise like weight lifting and cardio and whatever else. This might be surprising to you but let’s say you work out for about 1 hour most days … that’s only about 4% of your day so it’s no surprise we would burn more calories outside of our designated exercise window.
While I absolutely & whole-heartedly believe in actual planned exercise for toning up and fat loss, we have an even greater (and a hell of a whole lot easier!) ability to increase our overall calorie burn throughout the day via NEAT.
You know I’m all about weight lifting to build muscle so that you can burn more calories at rest which is your BMR but to add to the overall daily calorie burn, the best way to do that without burning TF* out, is via NEAT.
And The easiest way to increase NEAT is to set & reach a DAILY STEP GOAL. Because walking is low intensity, low impact, and therapeutic cardio that doesn’t lead to burnout. That is why I’m suck a stickler for tracking your steps via a FitBit or Apple watch.
Here’s how to set & reach a challenging step goal:
- Track your steps to see what level you’re currently at. Wear a step tracker like fitbit or apple for at least a week. You could use your phone but it’s not nearly as accurate. After about a week, take a look at how many steps you took on average.
- From there, determine how that feels for you. Does it feel like you could do a little more? If so, add about a thousand and try to reach that for 2 weeks, if that starts to feel easy and you’re ready to challenge yourself, add a little more to your daily target.
If you’re the kinda person who had 3k one day and 11k the next day and it’s just crazy all over the place I would try your best to balance those days out so that you’re consistently reaching around the same number all week long. So if 11k is your work days and 3k is your off days, maybe plan on taking a long walk or hike on those days you’re off and skipping the elliptical on your work days. There’s so many different ways you can go about making them even but the goal here is to…
3. Be consistent throughout the week. When you’re consistent with your steps and your NEAT, you’ll have a more consistent calorie burn which is gonna be the main piece for you to tone up and shed body fat, or even maintain your weight – which ever your goal may be.
So that’s basically NEAT in a nutshell. If you wanna to make sure your step goal is right for you, send me a DM on instagram @funsized.nutrition and let’s chat!