A NEAT way to burn fat (without cardio)

To drop body fat, you have to consume less energy than your body expends.

Think of it like a balance sheet, with calories as cash flow:

Maintaining a caloric deficit is like spending less than you earn.

To achieve this, most focus on two things:

  1. Eating less

  2. Burning calories through cardio

And while this seems to be the obvious approach, it’s not the best:

95% of people regain the weight they’ve lost after dieting. 

And to rely on cardio is a never-ending chore most can’t sustain because it’s hard to get yourself up to do a run after an exhausting day in the office.

But there’s a different, NEAT way to burn more calories, without cardio.

It integrates seamlessly into your daily activities, making it effortless to sustain.

This means you’ll have less trouble sticking to it and seeing consistent results - especially if you have a busy lifestyle.

Let’s dive in!

Your secret weapon for easier weight-loss

You might have heard the saying “It’s 80% diet and 20% exercise”.

And while your eating habits are vital for  your caloric balance, I disagree with that statement:

Research proves weight loss through diet alone will slow your metabolism three times more than combining diet with exercise!

I know many bodybuilders personally, and their anecdotes from doing harsh diets:

Stories such as sitting in front of a turned-off TV for 2 hours, because of lack of energy to grab the remote and turn on the TV, are common.

Those are extremes, but I’ll guarantee you that the energy crash that results from restrictive diets is no joke - especially if you’re running a business:

Imagine having a busy day at work, with meetings, presentations, and deadlines. 

If you're starved of energy because of a restrictive diet, you'll struggle to stay focused and perform well. 

It's like trying to drive a car with very little fuel left in the tank.

And from there on, it only gets worse:

Your body's natural response to deprivation is to seek out comfort foods, like chocolate.

Depleted of energy and willpower, you’ll give in when presented with opportunity:

Being offered cake by a coworker, at a restaurant visit with your family or on a business trip.

As a result, you’ll quickly plateau in weight-loss or, worse, suffer the yoyo-effect.

Drop the idea that you can starve yourself in shape - you want to be lean and fit, not lean and drained.

Here’s the problem:

Fitting workouts into your busy lifestyle can feel like pushing a boulder up a hill.

This is where the smart use of NEAT comes in.

It’s like an ace in your sleeve that works anytime - even if you go through a phase where you don’t manage to get into the gym.

Let’s go deeper on how to use it!

What is NEAT and how does it help you to lose weight?

NEAT stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.

That’s a fancy description for movements you make throughout the day that aren’t exercise:

  • Walking 

  • Standing 

  • Fidgeting

  • Washing dishes

  • Tapping your feet 

  • Grabbing a coffee

These tiny activities add up: 

NEAT makes up to 15% of daily energy expenditure.

To put this into perspective:

  • 60% of your energy use accounts to maintain muscle, organs, bones and other tissue

  • 15% of energy use comes through exercise (if you actually do it)

  • 10% comes through the thermic effect of eating - energy that’s used to digest food

As you can see, NEAT has the same potential for burning fat as exercise!

The beauty is it allows you to boost your energy expenditure without dedicating extra time to formal workouts.

It’s like a savings account for your energy balance:

Every movement you make is like depositing money into this account.

By increasing NEAT, you increase your caloric output, without high perceived exhaustion, unlike cardio.

What's the advantage compared to doing more cardio?

Boosts Daily Energy: 

Increasing NEAT keeps your energy levels up throughout the day. 

It's like giving your body a gentle nudge to stay awake and active.

Supports Mental Focus:

NEAT activities can clear your mind and boost your mood. 

It's like a mini mental reset during your day.

It's easy

Incorporating an extra hour of movement throughout the day is effortless compared to grinding out a run after an exhausting workday.

You won’t feel the fatigue that often accompanies cardio, leaving you with more energy for accomplishing your vision.

It fits your busy lifestyle

Juggling a business and workouts can be tough. 

NEAT fits seamlessly into your routine:

It doesn't need a special time slot.

You can sprinkle it into your day without setting aside a chunk of time like you do for cardio.

It’s sustainable:

NEAT activities are things you do naturally, so they're easier to stick with. 

It's like making a habit out of moving without even thinking about it.

Here are some ways to increase NEAT:

Walk more:

You’ll not just use more calories, but increase your lifespan, mental clarity and reduce your stress.

You can even take video calls and meetings outside:

Steve Jobs was known for his walking meetings. 

He understood the benefits of combining business discussions with physical activity.

Jobs believed that these walks not only fostered creativity but also promoted healthier lifestyles among his team members.

Carry groceries:

Park your car a little further away from the store and turn grocery shopping into miniature workouts.

You’ll do mini Farmer’s walks without having to go to the gym.

Active commute:

If you have the option, take a bike to your office.

Get off at the station earlier for a walk before you get to work if you use public transport.

Active work breaks:

No matter how productive you are, at some point you need to recharge your focus.

It’s shown that your ability to do deep work is limited to approximately 2 hours, before you need some rest.

Use this rest to get up from your chair and move.

Do light stretches, go for walks, walk stairs, do some bodyweight squats.

If you need more inspiration, read this article.

Work standing:

Major companies like Google and Facebook have embraced the standing desk trend. 

Employees have reported increased energy, focus, and even better posture. 

The standing desk movement showcases how small changes can lead to big improvements in overall well-being.

I divide my work into 2-hour blocks:

One hour sitting, another standing.

If standing for that long causes you back pain, get a motion board.

It keeps your muscles active and prevents your lower back from tightening up.

Active family time:

I’m grateful to be among the last generation that had a childhood without smartphones.

I used to love being outside: 

Playing football, hiking, skiing, etc.

Sadly, it’s normal today to see families sitting together, everyone glued to their phone.

Don’t do that - spend the precious time you have with your family outside.

You’ll bond closer, enjoy your time more deeply and improve your health.


NEAT is a critical puzzle piece for a successful weight-loss journey that often gets overlooked.

It packs the same calorie-burning punch as formal exercise, making it a cornerstone of lasting weight loss, along with building muscle.

Keep in mind, 60% of your energy use comes from resting energy, which hinges on muscle and organ mass.

Pull those levers to reach your fitness goals sustainably, so you don’t have to rely on hour-long cardio and starvation to stay lean.

Ready to transform your physique in just two hours a week? 

Say goodbye to calorie counting and fad diets - click this link to book your free 1:1 call for a clear strategy, tailored to your busy lifestyle.