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When it comes to burning calories, most people automatically think “exercise”. However, there are additional ways to burn calories throughout the day by utilizing NEAT, or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. NEAT can be the missing piece of the puzzle for those who have a hard time losing weight, despite having a healthy diet. It’s also important for people who want to maintain their healthy weight.

In Chapter 15 of Dr. A’s Habits of Health®, Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen offers some NEAT pointers for reaching or maintaining your healthy weight. By making small healthy choices and implementing exercise at your own pace, here are some ways you can make the most of NEAT in your daily routine:

  • Stand when you can. Get out of your chair as much as possible. Instead of sitting at work, stand while you're at your desk. If you need to share a message with a colleague, get up to talk to them instead of sending an email.
  • Actively relax. Instead of sitting on the couch, try active relaxing activities such as yoga or taking a casual walk. If you do choose to sit and relax, take note of your posture and focus on your core position. Try to get up and take a few steps every 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Use the stairs. Climbing one flight of stairs is equivalent to walking 100 steps. Instead of taking the elevator at work, use the steps to burn some extra calories.
  • Have fun cleaning. Chores don’t have to be boring. Turn on the music and get moving while you clean! Or try simple exercises such as bicep curls while taking out the trash or lunges as you vacuum to enhance your motion and burn more calories.
  • Create a wellness challenge with colleagues. Form a walking team or have a push-up competition with your colleagues. Make it a friendly competition by setting a goal, such as target number of steps or push-ups each week.
  • Go manual. Do things by hand instead of using a machine. Instead of loading the dishes in the dishwasher, take the time to wash them by hand. Instead of going to the car wash, do it yourself on a warm spring day.

Ask me, your OPTAVIA Coach, about other ways to get moving on your journey to Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time™.

Join this week’s Habits of Health® Webinar, NEAT, on Wednesday, May 22nd at 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT/5:30 p.m. PT, hosted by Certified OPTAVIA Coach, Melinda Kochman.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll):

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And Enter the Pin: 113312513#

Meditation and mindfulness can benefit your health and wellbeing by training your mind to observe your thoughts as they flow through your mind.  While many assume that meditation is sitting quietly with your eyes closed, there are actually many other ways to practice this technique that you incorporate in your daily routine. Here are some different ways to practice mindful activities throughout your day:

  • Breathe. This technique is the easiest of all because you can practice it anywhere! Try inhaling for four counts, holding the breath for four counts, and exhaling for eight counts. This practice helps calm your mind and centers your body.
  • Journal. Take a moment to write about what you are feeling or whatever thoughts are on your mind. Notice the amount of pressure you put on the pen as you write and how the ink bleeds on the paper. This technique helps you to be present with your thoughts.
  • Be creative. Set aside time to work on an art project, such as painting, drawing, or coloring. Be fully engaged with your project by turning off any potential distractions as you completely focus on your piece.
  • Take a walk. Taking a walk helps to release endorphins that relieve stress while also giving you an energy boost. Spending time outside in nature can also be meditative. Inviting a friend is also beneficial as social interaction also helps to reduce stress.
  • Drink hot tea or water. Dedicate five minutes to enjoying a hot cup of tea or water. Close your eyes and try to focus on feeling the warmth of the liquid.
  • Cook. Cooking can be a very powerful creative outlet to help relieve stress. Focus intentionally on the task at hand whether it’s chopping, grinding, or sautéing. Cooking with certain herbs and spices can also have an aromatherapy effect.
  • Listen to music. Listen to every word in the lyrics and try to decipher every instrument you hear. Sing along and let your body move to the rhythm. This technique can be combined with other techniques—you can listen to music while you’re taking a walk, cooking, or working on your creative project.

For more stress reducer suggestions, see Chapter 25 in Dr. A’s Habits of Health®. When you add mindfulness and presence into your daily activities, you’ll find that the stress of the future and the past will dissipate. Try experimenting with each of these techniques to learn what works best for you.

1 Leaner | 3 Green | 1 Condiment | 1 Healthy Fat

Yield: 4 servings, 12 pepper halves per serving

Total Time: 20 minutes


¼ cup diced jalapeno pepper

Cooking spray

1, 12 oz can low-sodium chicken breast (in water), drained

6 oz of avocado, mashed

½ cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt

2 cups low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 tsp chili powder

24 mini bell peppers, halved with stem, seeds, and membranes removed

¼ cup chopped scallions

  1. Sauté the diced jalapeno in a lightly greased skillet until tender.
  2. Mix the jalapeno, chicken, avocado, yogurt, one cup of cheese, and chili powder in a medium bowl.
  3. Arrange the mini bell peppers in a single layer in a large casserole dish. Fill with chicken mixture, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and broil until cheese has melted---about 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Garnish with scallions and serve with salsa, if desired.

Per Serving: 330 calories | 35g protein | 21g carbohydrate | 13g fat

Visit our OPTAVIA Pinterest page for an extensive assortment library of Lean & Green meals.

Never Too Late for Change

 “My transformation has been truly incredible over the last several years. After I had my two beautiful children, I gained 80 pounds. Shortly after my son was born, I was involved in an accident that shattered my knee. I had to learn to walk again and this caused me to gain another 10-15 pounds. By the time I knew it, I had gained over 100 pounds.”

Being overweight was a battle that Tiffany had dealt with throughout her entire life. She was tired of hiding behind her kids in every photo and being embarrassed to put on my swimsuit to take them to the beach during the summer. She really wanted to be that fit, happy mom.

“I took action and joined OPTAVIA. I started by eating five Fuelings every two – three hours and having a lean and green meal each evening. I was losing weight* and I had so much more energy!”

Tiffany then started incorporating healthy motion by walking every other day and working out at the gym a couple days a week. After 14 months, she lost 120 pounds.* She was so inspired by her own health journey that she decided to help others by becoming an OPTAVIA Coach.

“My life has changed in more ways than I could imagine. My goal is to inspire others to take control and own their health because it’s never too late for change. Let’s enjoy every minute and learn to love ourselves and our bodies. It took me a while, but I am so glad I started because now I get to live a healthier and well balanced life.”


Kathy Glazer
3 Washington Circle N. W. #303, Washington,D.C. 20037, Also Falls Church,VA

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