You need to move more not exercise more.
The old saying is “eat less move more”, and thats not entirely true. In some aspects we do need to decrease our overall intake, and get moving. That is not always so clear cut. To understand how our bodies use energy we have to understand how movement effects us and how much intake we need to sustain that activity.
When it comes to losing weight or gaining weight humans follow the laws of thermodynamics. This means that the amount of energy we take in (food), we be balanced out by the amount of energy we use. When you hear calories in vs calories out that statement is 100% true. There have been many studies showing that if you take in less energy than you expend, you will lose weight. While that seems pretty easy to think about there are a lot of factors in our bodies that effect the way we expend energy. This is the complicated system of what we call our metabolism.
Our bodies expend or use energy (calories) in different ways, its not just going to the gym and “burning” 500 calories. We use energy to keep our bodies functioning, when we digest food, when we exercise, and when we are just doing simple movement. The simple movement is what I’m going to focus on today, this is what we call NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis)
Just to give you an example of how important NEAT is to your weight loss journey The body will use about 10-30% of its energy for exercise, while it uses 50% of the energy from NEAT. Let’s break that down, YOU WILL BURN MORE CALORIES IF YOU MOVE MORE THAN EXERCISE. Sorry for yelling but we are always lead to believe that exercising more will burn more calories, and that is true only up to a certain point.
While exercise is VERY important and has many benefits to your body and overall health, I just want to focus on NEAT. So don’t think I’m telling you not to workout, you NEED to workout for your health.
Here are some things that classify as NEAT:
-cleaning your house
-taking the stairs over the elevator
-mowing the lawn
-If you have an active job your NEAT will increase
-Even tapping your fingers is NEAT
When you are losing weight or on a calorie deficit you might notice your need to move around more slows down. This is your brain telling your body you aren’t getting enough calories and to slow things down.
If you have hit a wall on weight loss, start tracking your steps and see how much movement you get each day. You might be surprised about how little you move. You should aim for 10-15k steps a day.
To sum it all up, MOVE MORE.