Friday, January 28, 2011

Turn Down the Heat to Up Your Weight Loss

"Americans like to crank up the heat in the winter and some scientists think it’s making us fat. Turn down the thermostat, they say, and you might lose a few pounds. The link between ambient temperature and weight is not completely far-fetched. When we’re exposed to extreme cold, we shiver, an involuntary reaction that makes our skeletal muscles contract to generate heat, burning extra calories in the process. And even in mildly cold conditions, like in a chilly room with the thermostat turned down to the lower 60s, people generate extra heat without shivering. The process, called non-shivering thermogenesis, may involve a substance called brown fat that adults carry in certain areas, like the upper back and side of the neck. Unlike regular fat, which stores excess energy and calories, brown fat acts like an internal furnace that consumes lots of calories, but it has to be activated first and cold temperatures do that. (Central Heating May Be Making Us Fat)"

This makes perfect sense if you really think about it. Our body like a furnace, uses more energy to heat up then to keep something cool. Therefore, it makes sense that if you are in a colder environment, your body would burn more calories to keep your body temperature at ninety-eight degrees, which your body needs to do to stay alive. I've noticed this effect in with myself in the past few years. My parents like to keep our house chilly in the winter to cut the cost of heating, and I'm not the kind of person that likes to wear layers when I'm in my home. For the past few years my weight has gone down ten pounds in the winter as opposed to my weight in the summer; and I give the credit to the chilly environment I live in. So if you're looking for a way to drop a few pounds easily, turn down the thermostat.

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