weight loss

Using NEAT to Stay Active During the Holidays

Hey Angels and Alphas,

The holidays can be a busy time for all of us, especially as the world is reopening up, the calendar becomes packed once again, and everyone is trying to hit their weight loss milestones. 

It’s also an amazing time to give yourself a little bit of grace and relaxation. If your schedule doesn’t allow for a 1-hour gym session, you can simply take advantage of “NEAT” moments throughout your day and rack up some serious unscheduled calorie burn.


Non-exercise activity thermogenesis calories (NEAT) are basically the calories we burn from physical movements outside of our planned exercise sessions, sleeping, and digesting food. 

The total calories burned throughout the day is known as Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), and this is a total of your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), and TEPA – Thermic Effect of Physical Activity.

TEPA — which includes your workout routine and NEAT are the two things we have the most control over that contribute to daily caloric burn. 

NEAT can add up to an additional 1,500-2,000 calories every day for people who have active professions, but most of us can more realistically get an extra 100–300 bonus calories burned every day just through extra movement. 

While this may not sound like a lot, even an additional 100 calories burned every day can lead to 10 pounds of fat lost in just a year. Let’s examine a few easy and fun holiday ways you can move your body and burn calories even if you don’t have time to jump on a treadmill.


The number of people working from home is growing every day. We’re moving into move sedentary jobs and not as much energy is being expended at work like the past years. Below are some of the ways we can change this trend and increase our activity levels throughout the entire day. 

  • If you work in an office outside your home, consider riding a bike or walking to work and you can effortlessly add another few thousands steps to your day. 
  • Stand up more. Just switching to a standing desk from sitting all day can lead to an additional 400 calories burned every day.
  • If possible, skip the elevator and take the stairs.
  • Walk to another person’s desk to chat instead of texting or e-mailing.


Hanging out at home doesn’t mean lounging around on the couch all day. There are many opportunities you can utilize for activities right in your own home space.

  • While watching TV, you can go double duty and tackle home chores such as that laundry pile, get in some sweeping and dusting, or even wrap gifts!
  • If you live in the right climate, you can easily save a ton off washing and wash your car by hand.
  • Get outside your home or building and do your own shoveling and gardening.


Kids are a great (and sometimes essential) reason to add movement into your life. But instead of spending your free time watching cartoons, you can teach them early about the importance of moving throughout the day with daily activities.

  • Walk with your child to school or the bus stop. If you have to drive, you can park far away from the school and walk with them to the building.
  • Do an impromptu dance party in the living room.
  • Instead of sitting in the stands during their athletic games, pace the sidelines and cheer on.
  • Don’t scold your children for fidgeting. Research points to the fact that it may help people of all ages move more and burn more calories. 


If you don’t own one already, you can add a step tracker to your holiday wish list. These trackers are an awesome way to measure the amount of NEAT you get in through your daily walking. You can begin with easy goals and continue to challenge yourself with greater numbers of daily steps. You can also take the stairs, move around the house, walk to work, and do other activities that will be much more tempting with a step goal attached to them.

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