NEAT or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is essentially all the activity we do outside of exercise… so step count or your job if it is a manual labour one. This accounts for the biggest contribution to calories expended after our resting metabolic rate – unless we’ve done 5+ hour ride.
Why is this important you might ask?
Well, when trying to drop body fat and get stronger on the bike we may be tracking our calories/food and ensuring we’re training lots but if we aren’t taking not of the other biggest variable we may be losing out on a trick!
1000 steps = ~50kcal – depending on how big you are and how fast it’s done.
Often, we start seeing that fat loss we want but then randomly is plateaus, the reason for this may be a reduction in our NEAT levels which our body does sub-consciously as calories are restricted. You may also see those levels drop as you do a super tough turbo, chat laps in the morning or out for your weekend ride but after working really hard physically, you’re tired, legs ache and in turn you walk less. So, if your turbo session burnt 1000Kcal but you normally burn let’s day 600kcal from walking all day but now you just sit and only burn 200kcal, that turbo session net is actually only 600kcal.
Our 3 main variables in the goal of fat loss are:
These provide the main factors that determine if you’re in a calorie deficit and thus losing fat or if you’re at maintenance/surplus.
My suggestion would be to track your food, monitor your step count on a free pedometer app or wearable device and ensure your training volume and intensity relatively similar each week or is accounted for in your food.