Sussex Performance Centre

The Secret To Fat Loss

Most people we deal with at SPC want to lose body fat which, ladies and gentlemen, is very simple.

Fat loss means people expending more energy (moving) than they’re taking in. That’s it.

The secret? That’s called NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). This stands for the energy you burn outside of structured training sessions (typically 1 hour in a gym) such as walking and moving around. The accounts for the largest amount of what people burn calorie-wise throughout a day.

Remember the goal is to expend more energy when focusing on fat loss

Without being specific to any individual differences, you move more over your waking hours than you ever do in a 45-60 minute gym session.

So ‘beasting’ yourself in the gym or having a trainer put you through ‘agony’ to the point where you don’t want to move or can’t walk for 3-4 days can actually be counter-productive from a fat loss standpoint (note: this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train hard!).

So What Should You Do?

Focus on results based training; are you achieving the correct calories in vs calories out equation? Are you moving enough in your everyday life? Are you only achieving 3-4 hours a week of exercise? Are you sedentary too often?

You might think that going to the gym makes up for the 8-12 hours you spend sitting at your desk every day. You don’t have to take the stairs, or leave your house to pick up dinner rather than ordering in because you’ve already spent an hour on the treadmill.

You probably don’t realise that the calories burned with the accumulation of all of those small activities would significantly outdo the calories you burned on the treadmill.

According to Dr James Levine, the Mayo Clinic researcher who first described the phenomenon of NEAT, it can vary by up to 2,000 calories a day between two people of the same size.

That means that just by moving around and being on your feet – like we humans were designed to be – you could burn an additional 2,000 calories without even trying. And 2,000 is a hefty number in the fat loss world. Take home message: no matter how much make it to the gym during the week, this doesn’t make up for being seated for the remainder of your waking hours.

The truth is we don’t move very much anymore; workplaces are often the biggest culprits

5 Ways To Increase NEAT

  1. Take the stairs
  2. Get a standing desk
  3. Break up your day with short walks (5-15 minutes at a time)
  4. Run errands, avoid ordering everything to be delivered online
  5. Do chores around the house that you may pay other people to do for you

Take Home Message

Train hard and smart in the gym. Use your time wisely to get the most out of the exercises prescribed and choose the most beneficial forms of exercise (resistance training, for example). When you’re not there, focus on moving often. Are you being active on a regular basis? Can this tilt the calorie in vs calorie out equation in your favour?

The combination of both methods can help bust through plateaus you may be experiencing.

Struggling for meal ideas? Check out our Recipe Book, filled with 30 calorie controlled recipes!

Contents of this article was taken from:


What Does Pre-Workout Do? Exploring the Benefits and Ingredients
Get in Shape for Summer with Just 2-3 Hours of Training Per Week
25 Surprising Things You Learn After Getting Fit
The Best Workout Plan for Longevity and Lifespan