If you’ve been wondering why some people can eat all they want and still stay thin while others starve themselves and still struggle with weight issues, here’s the explanation.
It seems as though there are “those people” in the world who can eat a hamburger, fries and a large soda, then ice cream thirty minutes later and never gain a pound. Meanwhile, you may have starved yourself by eating plain lettuce, drinking water with lemon and skipping dessert. What is the explanation for why they can eat all the time and stay thin?
New studies have shown that the likely explanation for this phenomenon is that your thin friend engages in non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), according to the American Council on Exercise. This means that while you are sitting and answering calls at your desk, they are pacing back and forth and burning twice as many calories. NEAT accounts for every type of physical activity, whether it is standing and cooking dinner, taking an extra flight of stairs or simply walking further to get to your car, all these calories contribute to your metabolism.
The American Council on Exercise states that, believe it or not, if you incorporate non-exercise activity thermogenesis throughout your day, you are likely to increase your metabolism by up to 50%, which can mean that your current 1,500 calorie diet is now 2,250 calories, or that you are burning an extra 50% of your calories every day, thus leading to increased weight loss.
A high amount of lean muscle tissue can also contribute to fast metabolisms. Over time, if you develop lean muscle mass, you will burn more calories throughout the day, because muscle takes more calories to maintain than fat.
Incorporating this non-exercise will not drastically change your lifestyle or throw off the course of your day. Instead, you will need to make small adjustments throughout your day that add movement to your body. For example, tap your feet while you are sitting at your desk, raise and lower your heels when you are standing in line, take the stairs at work and stand up when you are on phone calls.
If you want to build lean muscle mass in addition to incorporating NEAT into your life, go for a run, take an exercise class or do some jumping jacks and squats. Get your heart pounding, your feet moving and your body sweating!
Regardless of whether you are the skinny, eat-everything-you-want type of person or the one who has yet to incorporate NEAT into your life and feel restricted by every piece of food you eat, these simple steps are easy for anyone to add to their busy day. Get up and move! Don’t waste time at your desk, in line, making dinner or at Starbucks; use that time to engage in non-exercise activity thermogenesis and you will see your hard work pay off!