Saturday, 13 April 2013


It is of great interest to me why some people find it harder to lose weight than others.  Some people seem to be able to eat what they like and never put on weight and others only have to look at a cream cake and they have put on three pounds.

In my quest for answers, a recent trip to the Apple store threw up some interesting ideas, stemming from the not totally necessary purchase of two Nike fule bands for my husband and me.  They are a fun way of tracking your movements throughout the day and encouraging you to hit your activity targets you set yourself.  And when you win, you get a RAINBOW!

The Nike fuel bands give you a daily graph of your movements.  Interestingly, my husband's and mine varied remarkably during a normal working day.

My husband's graph goes up suddenly when he walks to the station and then drops back to virtually nothing while he's on the hour and a quarter train journey to work and then spikes again when he walks from the station to his work and then drops when he sits down at his desk.  There are further spikes when he walks at lunch time and walking to and from the station on his way home and when he hits the gym when he gets home, apart from that, it's pretty flat line.

Mine, on the other hand goes up, not as high as his, when I get up in the morning and hovers around the same point throughout the day as I rarely sit down.  I'm either up and down the satirs, doing housework, shopping, in the gym or with a client in the gym.  My activity level, as a result, generally don't hit the highs that ny husband's do, as I rarely do cardio but it stays consistently high meaning that over a day, I burn as much Nike fule, sometimes more than him.

The most interesting thing, though, is what happens when we kept the bands on all night.  Between midnight and 6.30 am, I had burned 654 Nike fuels.  By the same time in the morning, my husband had burned...

wait for it...


I'm thinking this could shed some light on why my husband finds it harder to shift weight and keep it off than I do.

Of course, masses of research has been done into how 'naturally' slim people seems to manage to stay 'naturally' slim and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that fidgety people (of whom I am annoyingly one) can burn up to ten times more calories a day than their more laid back counterparts!

Fidgeting: toe tapping, finger drumming, wriggling, jiggling, shifting position, all these things are known as NEAT or non-exercise activity thermogenesis, where we burn calories unconsciously.  Lots of tiny movements carried out consistently regularly can add up to as much as rigorous exercise done less frequently.

Unfortunately, people are either fidgets or they're not - it's very difficult to turn a non-fidgeter into a relentless toe-tapper.  Neurotic, anxious and stressed individuals are more likely to be fidgety as fidgeting can act as a soother.  Relaxed, laid-back, calm people are less likely to be wrigglers!

So, if you discover you are not one of the fidgeters but you still want your Nike rainbow, you are going to have to hit the gym a little harder!


Actually, I've been thinking about this and if you are not naturally fidgety then you can fake it!  You can fake it by never sitting in the comfy seat, literally!

Never sit when you can stand.   
Never park close to where you are going.  
Never get off the bus at your stop.
Never take the lift when you can take the stairs.  
Never drive when you can walk, never walk when you can jog and never jog when you can sprint.

Add all this extra activity into your day really easily and you will soon be burning calories like the most hyperactive of us!


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