Have you ever stepped on the scale to only see the same number popping up every week no matter how clean you eat?
So you ramp up your workout and spend more time at the gym and meticulously start cutting out carbs from you diet?
Then you step on the scale a month later and it reads that you lost only ½ lb?
I understand that frustration and the need to toss the scale out the window, tear out your hair, and scream that this doesn’t make any sense!
But before you do that let me ask what are you doing outside of the gym?
Most of us are pretty sedentary outside of our daily workouts and that’s the problem. We’re simply not burning enough calories during our daily routine outside of the gym.
We’re sitting in the car to do more sitting at the office to more sitting on our way back to only sit on our couch at the end of the day to lying in bed.
Tell me that does not sound like your typical day except you put in a workout whereas the majority will just head home.
Our lifestyle supports our sedentary habits. We have designed our life to be so efficient that we don’t have to put a lot of effort to do what we need to get done and there lies the problem when we struggle with fat loss.
There are only four ways our bodies burn calories and one specific way burns 60% of our daily calories.
That way is called N.E.A.T. which stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis. Non-exercise is that all activity outside of our workouts.
We have 24 hours in a day. We sleep for 8 of them or we should be sleeping for 8 (looking at you late night owls!). Then 16 hours remain and only 1 out of the 16 hours is spent in the gym.
It would make sense that how we spend the remaining 15 hours are where we’re going to burn the most calories. So what are we doing for the rest of the 15 hours? Sitting!
We’re more sedentary than we think.
So how do we increase the caloric burn without attending another gym class?
Let’s start by taking more office breaks and walk around. Our bodies and our minds could use a breather more often.
We can take meetings and phone calls standing up. We can stand up at our desks.
We use half our lunch break and go for a walk around the area or take the steps in the park.
We can park our cars farther away so we don’t have to circle for parking and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
These little activities add up.
In fact, track your steps and take the average for this week. You can use a pedometer or if you always have your phone attached to you like I do you can download an app for that.
Try to increase your steps next week and play a little game to see if you can get in more steps each day. Play a game with yourself and aim to get in X steps in every day.
Do a morning walk before you head off for your commute and take a walk after dinner instead of watching Netflix.
By finding different ways to Increase your activity outside of the gym, you’ll find that the little bit of extra will go towards a long a way to increasing your N.E.A.T. leading to burning more calories and fat loss. It doesn’t have to be another gym workout or class in fact, too much intensity can lead to burn out and injury.
Instead take it slow and do what nature built your bodies for which is walking and moving. How many steps can you get in this week?