Last week’s post on five family-friendly, delicious and nutritious recipes was a hit with my busy professional readers. I decided to follow it up with the fitness portion of the health and wellness equation, since energy balance is all about both calories in (from food) and calories out (from our bodies’ processes and activities each day).
Are you ready for today’s science lesson? The amount of energy we use each day is called our Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). It’s not just about the numbers on the calorie counters at the gym or on your personal tracking device (both of which are notoriously inaccurate, by the way). Nope, the bulk of calories we “burn” in a day aren’t in our Zumba class, but rather the normal daily biological functions that keep us alive and moving. Things like breathing, digesting our food and thinking. Even sleeping! The amount of energy it takes to keep our bodies functioning each day is called our basal metabolic rate (BMR) or resting metabolic rate (RMR). The fact that it takes energy to break down our food for use in our bodies is captured in the thermic effect of eating (TEE). And of course we know that we use energy when we hit the gym or do another kind of workout or class – that’s physical activity (PA). But then we have all of the movement we undertake each day that’s not part of our formal exercise routine. We get out of bed, we brush our teeth, we walk from Point A to Point B, and back to Point A because we forgot why we went to Point B in the first place (or wait, is that just me?). Yup, all this movement adds up! It’s the non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). So TDEE = BMR + TEE + PA + NEAT. Neat, right? NEAT, indeed!
This post is all about ways to increase your NEAT and get more activity into your already busy day. Read on!