Okay, so you want to shed a few pounds in preparation for spring. We all know the importance of eating healthy and exercising regularly if your goal is to achieve fat loss and live a healthy lifestyle. But did you ever think about whether or not the temperature had an impact on your waistline?
Whether you live in a country where winter stretches on for months or simply have a great a/c system, you may want to read on!
According to a research team in the Netherlands, the secret tool that can help people get closer to reaching their fat loss goals is … the cold. Don’t jump to conclusions. You won’t have to move to the Arctic to see results. A biologist at the Maastrict University Medical Center, Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt, suggests that all it takes is a little mild cold, between 62°F (16.7°C) and 77°F (25°C).
It’s pretty simple, really. When you keep your room at a cooler temperature, your body has to burn more calories to maintain a body temperature of 98.6°F (37°C).
Lichtenbelt doesn’t make the case that dropping your room temperature will instantaneously increase your fat loss and reduce your body weight. But he contends it can make an impact in the long-term. In January, the findings of Lichtenbelt and his co-researchers were published in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism.
The Science Behind Lower Temps and Fat Loss
Seemingly, colder temperatures seem to covert “white fat,” which stores energy, to brown “brown fat,” which burns brown fat. This type of body fat contains mitochondria that generate heat. When it’s cold and your body needs to warm up, brown fat kicks into gear and burns calories to keep you toasty and warm.
While 50 g of white fat stores approximately 300 kilocalories of energy, 50 g of brown fat can burn up as much as 300 kilocalories daily. This news should perk up the ears of those eager to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The trick to activating brown fat is that you have to keep your body working to keep itself warm, at least sometimes. That means that to achieve fat loss, you’ll need to spend more time outside or turn down your thermostat at home or the office.
To avoid feeling like you’re permanently in need of a sweater, make sure to decrease your room temperature gradually. Through a process called “cold acclimatization,” you can actually adapt yourself to slightly colder temps!
Remember, the cold alone won’t cut it if you want to achieve fat loss. But it can support your efforts to live a healthy lifestyle when you combine it with a sustainable exercise regiment and nutritious diet. Get chilly!