Skip to comments.Lower the thermostat, whittle your waistline?
Posted on 01/24/2014 7:57:46 AM PST by smokingfrog
You may want to program the thermostat in your office down a couple of degrees today, despite the more-than-chilly temperatures outside. A paper published Wednesday in the scientific journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests doing so could help you lose weight.
Regular exposure to mildly cold temperatures help people burn more calories, according to the paper's authors, who have been studying this phenomenon for more than a decade.
"Since most of us are exposed to indoor conditions 90 percent of the time, it is worth exploring health aspects of ambient temperatures," lead author Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt said. "What would it mean if we let our bodies work again to control body temperature?"
Over the last 10 years, Lichtenbelt and his team have discovered several key factors related to this link between fat and temperature.
In 2009, the researchers, and others around the globe, found something called brown adipose tissue -- or brown fat -- in human adults. Scientists had previously believed that functional brown fat was only found in infants. Brown fat is different than the white fat most of us associate with obesity.
Brown fat is thought to play a role in nonshivering thermogenesis, a form of heat production that happens in your body when you're not shivering -- i.e. when the temperature is cool, but not cold. Animal studies have shown that nonshivering thermogenesis activates brown fat cells, which burn calories to create heat.
Lichtenbelt and his team have found that nonshivering thermogenesis is weakened in obese people and in the elderly. And that obese people have less brown adipose tissue than people in the normal weight range.
They've also found that losing weight can help obese people increase their brown fat activity.
(Excerpt) Read more at nbcmontana.com ...
Don’t you just love it!
A new “Study” (Just in time) about lowering our thermostats; just in time for the EPA to drive our energy costs through the roof through Crap and Trade.
All for our new glorious hope and change!
Well, if you freeze to death, you won’t be eating anymore. Thus, reducing your caloric intake . . . . .
Well.... that explains all those skinny Eskimos!
Okay if being obese is a health issue and if ObamaCare is going to cut healthcare availability for everyone(except possibly the elite), and if being cold helps us lose weight then by extension shouldn’t we stop the war on AGW so the world cools? Just sayin’.
Are Canadians thinner than Mexicans? Norwegians skinner than Spanish? New Yorkers skinner than Floridians?
Really the only thing new here is the specifics. It’s been pretty well known that the big calorie burner when at rest is keeping warm, make your body work harder to keep warm burn more calories.
I would think that the skinniest people would be found in areas with a mild climate. If it’s too hot or too cold, you’re going to want to stay inside.
When I get cold, I feel like taking a nap. I would be impressed if that helped me lose weight.
Basic thermodynamics at work here....the bigger the difference between your body’s core temperature and room temp, the greater the rate of heat transfer from your body...the more energy your body has to expend to maintain your core temp....the more calories your body has to burn.
Same reason drinking one quart of ice water burns at least 68 calories.
I remember an old Mike Douglas show over 40 years ago when he had some obscure health advocate pushing this very idea. His protocol was to start by turning the heat way up, and go naked around the house. Then slowly turn the temperature down over a few weeks to get used to the cold. Eventually you’d get used to sub 60 degree temps and the pounds would shed. At the time it made sense, even though the guy seemed to be a nut of sorts.
There was at least one pundit guy who would take cold showers everyday. He claimed it induced shivering that burnt calories. He weighed 350+ pounds.
Likely cold does have an impact BUT the body compensates for it.
LOL. That reminds me of the old Rosanne Barr joke (back when she used to be somewhat funny) that she was told she could lose weight if she ate while naked and looking at a mirror. She said it worked great until she tried it at a restaraunt.
Not sure about the turning it way up and running around naked, but the core idea is pretty solid. It’s why gyms that want to do things right run cold, making your body do just a big more work (gyms that want you to feel good run hot, making you sweat faster). Because for most of us weight is a matter of just a couple of calories here for there (the 2 pounds a year Americans gain on average equates to about 75 calories a day) small changes can have pretty significant effects. Even if all you do is burn an “extra” 2 calories per resting hour, that’s 2/3 of the average American’s overage.
Except the body will simply want to consume more calories to account for the extra ‘burn’. The ONLY way this would work is if the caloric consumption remained static.
Well yeah, that’s always part of the equation, you can’t replace the extra calories you’re trying to burn. And it goes in the other direction, reducing intake is no good if you reduce activity also.
Excellent idea! Human resources in offices can have their unsightly obesity trend reversed by responsible policymakers locking those thermostats lower and enforcing the settings. So what’s the lowest temperature that hefty human resources can stand? No pain, no gain!
[Little irony and sarcasm there. Please, boss, don’t do it! Oh, please don’t!]
True, before the invention of clothing.
Insulation modifies the equations pretty dramatically.
But really cold weather, you're right. I've camped out in Rocky Mountain winters for as long as a week. 7000 calories a day and still lost 1 to 2 pounds a day.
Shivering burns calories.