You Just Never Know

August 29th, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I’m in love with this information. I really, truly am.  For me, it helps to  explain a few questions I’ve had rattling around in my brain for quite some time.  (Not that there was just the one question… every single answer I find gives me just a smidge more peace!)

I think I’ve blogged on this one before: the NEAT principles?  NEAT = Non- Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.  (Pretty sure I mentioned my dad lecturing me on thermodynamics?)

Anyway, this is just PRIMO INFORMATION HERE, if you ask me.  This is the kind of information that I think should change people’s lives.  (I think it has already changed mine a little.)

It’s information about the differences between structured exercise and regular, what I would consider largely thoughtless activity.

Turns out, and it’s weird for me to say this, but it isn’t always about the structured exercise we do. A lot of our calorie burn (15-50%) comes from our Non Exercise Activity.

One group looked at 16 non-obese participants and purposefully overfed them 1,000 calories each day for 8 weeks.  That is 56,000 calories!  3,500 calories = 1 pound… so that means the researchers fed these poor participants the equivalent of SIXTEEN POUNDS’ worth of calories.  SIXTEEN POUNDS.  (Would YOU sign up for that one?!  Didn’t think so!)  The study participants were pretty much supposed to keep their structured exercise consistent as it had been prior to the study.

Some of the participants gained only 3 pounds.  Some gained 15.8 pounds.

Why the difference?

It comes down to NEAT.  Those who naturally increased their daily activity as a result of the increased calories were the ones to gain the least amount of weight.  They seemed naturally resistant to weight gain. (How cool would THAT be.)

How did they manage that impressive feat?  It’s NEAT.  They worked just a bit harder to maintain their posture.  They walked up the stairs just that much faster.  They probably stood up when chatting on the phone.  They fidgeted.

Maybe it’s a good thing to have ants in our pants.

Who knows, but it just may make a huge difference.

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