I’ve chatted with many people who have put on weight during the lockdown. The ‘’lockdown belly’’ is the thing.
My first reaction was that gained fat because they stop exercising. We exercise hard to burn more fat, right? It has turned out that this is not true. They didn’t stop exercising. They even exercise more as they had more time on their hand.
So what has gone wrong?
The answer is in lower Total Daily Energy Expenditure. Or simpler, they didn’t move as much as they used to. They worked from home; they shop for groceries online, they didn’t go out much etc.
My first reaction was like yours, disbelief. It cannot be true; you cannot burn that many calories just by walking. Well, you can.
Let’s look closer at TDEE – the total energy you spend every day, and let’s see how we can manipulate it for our benefit.
- 60% of TDEE comes from Basal Metabolic Rate. This is the energy spend when you rest. You cannot increase it unless you add some muscles to your skeleton.
- Another 10% comes from the Thermic effect of food; it is the energy used for eating, digesting etc. We cannot increase it either.
- The last 30% comes from Physical Activity PA. This is where we have some play.
What is important to understand that from that 30% only around 5% is from exercise (EAT Exercise activity thermogenesis) and whooping 25% from NEAT – nonexercise activity thermogenesis.
What does it mean?
It means that you cannot simply sit all day and then do a 40min intense workout and expect miracles. It is not enough.
You can burn much more calories but simply moving more during the day. Then, yes, do the workout, and focus on strength to build the muscles which will increase your Basal Metabolic Rate.
There is 24h in the day.
You sleep 8h.
This gives you 16h to work with.
10 min walk burns around 50kcal.
If you walk 10min in every hour, you will burn an additional
- 800kcal (90g of fat) every day,
- 56.00kcal (600g of fat) every week and
- 22.400kcal (2kg of fat!) per month !!!!
And you can swap walking for gardening, playing, cleaning… anything really and still burn 2kg of additional fat every month, without even trying. Then, add some good diet and targeted strength exercise routine, and you have a chance to get rid of fat and keep it off forever!
So, how do you start?
Stand up, and go for a walk, now! 🙂