I know what you’re thinking; walking won’t give you abs! You need to lift weights and eat well to get abs!
You’re right; kinda. But you CAN walk walk your way to abs. Let me explain.
First let’s talk a little about how we burn calories throughout the day.
When we workout we build skeletal muscle mass. The more skeletal muscle mass we have, the faster our metabolism is (that’s science!).
It’s quite popular to tell people that a very sweaty workouts will burn 1,000 calories or something like that because that sells! But just because it sells doesn’t mean that it’s true.
The reality is that our workouts burn a lot less calories that we think/hope. What actually happens is that we build muscle during our workouts and this muscle increases our BMR (Basel metabolic rate) which in turn burns the majority of our calories throughout the day.
So how do we burn calories during the day?
The total calories that we burn in a day comes from a few sources;
- ≈ 70% from Basel Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is basically your resting metabolism as discussed above.
- ≈ 15% from Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). This is non-exercise activity that you do during the day. it’s the little stuff like fidgeting and changing posture and walking.
- ≈ 10% form Thermal Effects of Food. This is calories that your body burns to process the food that you eat. Ya, you burn calories from eating them – how awesome is that!
- ≈ 5% from Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (EAT). This is your workout, your game of football/soccer with your friends or your trip to a climbing wall!
The above is a rough illustration of how we burn our calories every day.
We all focus on our workouts as the place to burn all of our calories and they ARE incredibly important (as already discussed). However, probably the most under utilized part of calorie burning comes from NEAT which makes up about 15% or more of the total calories that we burn every day!
Most people work really hard during their workouts but then they go home or to the office and sit at a desk all day (before going home to sit on the couch and watch re-runs of Friends).
Whilst we’re all about watching re-runs of Friends but if you want to take your fat burning to a whole new level you should pivot (see what we did there!) your out of gym routine to include more NEAT.
Here’s a few ideas:
- Take a walk after lunch
- Get up regularly from your desk to make a green tea/get water
- Even better; use a stand up desk!
- Don’t sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. Even if it means getting up and walking around for 1 minutes; every little counts.
- Take the stairs! Over a year this will literally burn a few extra days/weeks worth of calories!
- Park a little bit further from the office/train.
Don’t know where to start? Start with a 5-10 walk every day.
Increasing your NEAT is not the sexy magic pill that everyone wants (spoiler alert; it doesn’t exist); but if you make a little bit of effort every day it will send your calorie burning through the roof as you walk your way to abs!
If you want to talk to us about how we can help you reach your goals faster, click here.