Sunday, November 09, 2008


A few days ago I explained where daily caloric expenditure comes from:

BMR + TEF + TEA + NEAT = Daily Caloric Expenditure.

As I was researching that formula one thing I noticed is that NEAT is highly variable from day to day and person to person. That means the amount of calories burned is variable as well!

Let's take an example - say we have a 200 pound, 30 year old man with 15% body fat. We would expect that guy to have a BMR around 2000 calories a day. I hope it is fairly obvious that this guy would burn more calories working heavy construction than sitting at a computer all day. Most daily calorie requirement calculators try to capture this with a "lifestyle" modifier of sedentary through highly active.

As a matter of fact NEAT can account for 15% to 50% of daily calorie expenditure! What does that mean in real numbers? Our sedentary computer jockey would need an extra 300 calories a day to maintain his weight. The construction worker, on the other hand, could need as much as 1000. This is all through the virtue of how much they move in normal day-to-day life, before exercise is calculated.

What does that mean? GET UP AND MOVE! Park your car in the farthest space from the front door. Take the stairs, at least part-way. If you are a cube dweller like I am, get one work surface set at standing-height and give your butt a break. Try replacing your office chair with a stability ball - not only will it help strengthen your core and improve your posture, it can burn an extra 100 calories a day - just for sitting! How about doing some exercise during the commercials as you watch TV at night?

If you could raise your NEAT just 100 calories a day, that is burning an extra one pound per month (OK, 35 days) which equates to 10.5 pounds per year. 10 pounds just for taking the stairs and walking farther to the front door - not a bad trade, eh?

1 comment:

BlueEyedBikinBabe said...

Please tell me you don't take the escalator up to the gym door.