Winter is here and there is a chill in the air. You feel cold in your house so you walk over to the thermostat and turn up the heat. This is what most of us would do right? Would you keep that thermostat where it was and suffer a little chill if you knew that it could help you to lose weight?
A study was performed on 51 men for 10 days. It was led by Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt and a team of researchers from the Maastrict University Medical Center in the Netherlands. They found that when the men were put into a room that was temperature controlled at 62 degrees they produced more brown fat which helped to lose white/yellow fat and helped them lose weight. Brown fat is a layer of adipose tissue that helps you to regulate your body temperature. It is the layer of fat that bears have to help them hibernate. When the body temperature dips below a certain point the body uses the brown fat and burns it like its own fuel source so that you do not get too cold. The body will then adapt to the colder temperature and the shivering will stop.
Another study was conducted in Japan that showed that when people were exposed to colder temperatures such as 62 degrees for short periods of time each day, their bodies adjusted more quickly to lower temperatures. They found that their brown fat increased and they shivered less when they were cold.
Increasing brown fat may sound like a bad thing, but it is actually good for you. The more brown fat that you produce, the more white fat you lose. The white fat is the layer that is unhealthy for you to have. These results do not mean that you should go out and give yourself frostbite by sitting out on the porch in negative degree weather, but it does show that if you turn your thermostat down just a few degrees for a while during the day you not only save heat but you could help your weight-loss along too.