Long term weight management involves making changes not only in our dietary choices but also in the ways we expend energy. We all know we should move more, but structured exercise such as gym workouts are not the only way to get the physical activity we need. To understand how we can burn more energy in our daily lives, it’s helpful to understand the components of our total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). TDEE is comprised of:
Intentional exercise (IE) can be defined as purposeful physical activity like working out at a gym, playing a sport, going for a bike ride, or jogging. Although purposeful exercise is an important component of energy expenditure, there can be physical, environmental, and financial barriers to increasing this form of activity.
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is all other activity we expend in our daily life activities such as taking a shower, going to work, going grocery shopping, tapping a foot, and even shivering in cold weather. NEAT can vary by as much as 2,000 calories per day among different people.
In fact, individuals with obesity have been shown to sit for 2.5 hours a day more than their sedentary lean counterparts. The difference in weight between these two groups may be related to the greater NEAT expended by the lean individuals just in their everyday activities. Since NEAT is something we are doing everyday throughout our waking hours we can alter our lifestyle in many small ways to increase the daily calories we expend. This can be a powerful tool for long term weight management.
Our modern way of life has eliminated many of the physical demands of daily living. But you can make small changes in your daily life (your NEAT) to sit less, increase your activity, and help you maintain a healthier weight.
Let’s explore ways to integrate more activity into your daily routine. Choose two suggestions from each section and make a plan to work these into your routine.
□ Walk around the house while talking on the phone.
□ Do your own yard work.
□ Do your own housework.
□ Plant a vegetable, herb, or ornamental garden.
□ Make several trips up and down the stairs instead of waiting to carry several items in one trip.
□ March in place while watching TV.
□ Use hand weights or resistance bands while watching TV.
□ Do sit ups or stretch while watching TV.
□ Walk around the house during TV commercials.
□ Go shopping at stores instead of shopping on the internet.
□ Stand while sorting through the mail.
□ Walk or bike to do an errand, get coffee, mail a letter, or buy a newspaper.
□ Dance to music.
□ Play outside with your kids.
□ Walk the dog.
WHEN OUT AND ABOUT
□ Get off the bus or train a stop early and walk the rest of the way.
□ Park a few blocks from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
□ Park farther away in the parking lot.
□ Pace the sidelines while watching the kids’ athletic games.
□ Take a lap around the mall or store before you start shopping.
□ Take the stairs whenever possible.
□ Walk around the airport while waiting for a flight.
□ Instead of going to a restaurant with a friend, do something active like touring a museum or going bowling.
□ Walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of emailing or phoning them.
□ Take the long way to the bathroom, water cooler, and break room.
□ Get up from your desk every 30 minutes and walk around for 5 minutes.
□ Stand at your desk while on the phone.
□ Take a walk around the building at lunch or on your break.
□ Hold meetings while you walk.
□ Start an office walking club.
□ Stand at your desk while on the phone.
Using the tips in this module, develop 1–2 goals to work towards.
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All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland. ©2017 Nestlé. All rights reserved. OPTI-13947-1017
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