Can you lose weight by turning down the thermostat? According to researchers, if you metabolically activate your brown fat in your body by exposure to cold temperature, you can burn more calories.
Brown fat, or brown adipose tissue, was originally thought to exist only in babies, but absent in adults. In newborn babies, active brown fat helps maintain their core body temperature. In adults, the common fat, known as white adipose tissue, stores excess energy. Basically if people eat too much, they accumulate white fat. We all know this fact too well, as obesity is a worldwide epidemic.
More Brown Fat in Lean People
In 2009, researchers demonstrated that brown fat was present and metabolically active in healthy human adults. They were able to detect and activate the brown fat in the research subjects by exposing them to cold ambient temperature. In addition, they estimated if all the brown fat in one’s body is metabolically activated, it would burn the equivalent of 9 pounds (4.1 kg) of fat (white adipose tissue).
In addition, another study showed that brown fat was metabolically less active in overweight individuals, compared to lean individuals.
What does this all mean? Brown fat, when metabolically active, burns calories. In addition, you can increase brown fat activity by lowering ambient temperatures.
The take-home message? Stay cold and burn more calories, and lose weight.
So next winter, you can experiment by turning down the thermostat. You’ll not only save on the heating bill, but you may also lose weight.