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Embrace the Cold: It May Help You Slim Down and Lose Weight

Cold to Slim Down and Lose Weight

Get out there and embrace the cold to slim down and lose weight faster than ever before.

Losing weight and exercising can be stressful, especially in this chilly weather when you just want to snuggle in your warm blanket and snooze through the evenings. This cold weather may actually help you slim down and lose weight. But in the winter months, when it is snowy outside, it can be tough or even unfeasible to exercise, and staying indoors more than usual may contribute to waistlines. Shorter days make you feel exhausted earlier, putting off a trip to the gym.

You don’t need a spine-chilling temperature that will make you shudder, but a mildly cool environment would be helpful to burn more calories and keep the body warm, although being physically active is the easiest way to accomplish and sustain weight loss. In cold weather, our metabolism is what helps to keep us warm.

According to a research study at the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, exposure to cold increases the number and activity of brown fat cells, which burn energy rather than store it as typical white cells do. Brown fat is located in your chest and back, and it shields your vital organs in the winter to generate additional heat for them. Another study, at the University of California, Berkeley, found that cold temperatures stimulate a protein that makes white fat behave like brown fat in order to keep you warm and will help you slim down and lose weight.

A study at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine compared tummy fat taken from 55 individuals during the summer and winter. Researchers also inspected thigh fat collected together from 16 people after they held an ice pack on their skin for 30 minutes. Tummy fat taken from people in the winter had a higher stage of two genetic markers for brown fat than did belly fat collected in the summer. The thigh fat taken after people placed an ice pack on their skin also had increased levels of three genetic markers related to brown fat. This would result in the body burning extra calories rather than changing them into additional fat tissue.

It takes a little while for the cold to work up the brown fat, but it doesn’t have to be nerve-chilling cold to slim down and lose weight. When individuals were exposed to temperatures of 59 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit for two to six hours over 10 consecutive days, they found abrupt increases in brown fat activity. In another study, men who slept in rooms for a month at 66 degrees increased their brown fat and its activity by 30 to 40 percent. When the nighttime temperature was increased to 80 degrees for another month, their brown fat stores reduced below guideline levels.

So, if you want to lose weight, it is time you embrace the cold.

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