Can keeping your house at colder temperatures help you lose weight? A recent study from Britain has linked central heating with the rise of obesity, suggesting that warmer temperatures may be hindering weight loss.
Fighting Fat With Cold
Few people realize that cranking up the heat when the winter hits may prevent you from losing weight. Conversely, sleeping with cooler temperatures may help you shed pounds. This is because cold temperatures activate brown fat (also known as adipose tissue). Located in your neck and upper back, brown fat works like an internal furnace but instead of burning wood to keep you warm, it burns calories.
According to former NASA scientist Ray Cronise, “We can use thermal temperature to supercharge weight loss…In environments as mild as 60 degrees, some of these people saw metabolism rates boost by as much as 20 percent.”
But in order to work, brown fat needs to be activated by colder temperatures.
How Does It Work?
Starting in 1960 when central heating became a mainstay in American and British homes, room temperatures and obesity have simultaneously risen. The main room in the home was usually the only room with a wood burning stove or fireplace, making the bedroom stay cooler. This combined with hours commuting in heated cars and fewer hours spent outside have led our bodies to shed their brown fat. “It’s kind of ‘use it or lose it,’” says Johnson. But Johnson also says it’s not too late to get it back.
Various books and resources such as “The Brown Fat Revolution,” discuss dieting techniques and strategies to develop brown fat.
While thermal dieting, which consists of drinking ice water, taking cold showers and taking walks in the winter, can burn calories, the best way to drop pounds remains to stay focused on a healthy diet and exercise.
But at night, it couldn’t hurt to keep your bedroom cooler. If you don’t lose weight, it at least saves on energy. Do you have further weight loss tips to add? Feel free to comment below!