Every one of us has that buddy in our group who does not miss all the beer binges, pizza dinners and yet stays pretty lean. Much to our envy and with no visible reasons what so ever. The answer is NEAT – non exercise activity thermogenisis. Plain speak this is the calorie burn associated with physical activity other than planned exercise. Research shows that individuals who are able to activate NEAT are able to dissipate as much as 69% of the excess calorie load as heat. Those who cannot end up storing a higher proportion of these calories as fat.
So what are the activities that fall under NEAT? Simple activities like posture, fidgeting and other physical movements that we subconsciously incorporate in our day to day routine.
16 non-obese volunteers were fed 1000 Kcal above their maintenance requirement for a period of 8 weeks. Changes in NEAT within the group accounted for a 10 fold difference in fat storage!! Fat gain varied from only 0.36 Kg to a gain of 4.23 Kg. Variable activation of NEAT in response to overeating explains the wide variation in weight gain within the sample set.
Now we all know why that one friend does not seem to put on despite being a regular at all the weekend booze binges.
Read more here - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11310775