Having trouble shedding that extra layer of fat around your belly? Maybe the temperature in your home is too warm. According to experts, you may burn more fat if you keep the temperature indoors a little cooler. Is it time to turn the thermostat down?
Cooler Indoor Temperatures Boost Fat Burning?
It feels good to have a toasty home and a blazing fire in the fireplace, but it may not do much for your waistline. In a paper published in the journal Obesity Reviews, the authors looked at evidence that warmer indoor temperatures are contributing to the rise in obesity.
They point out that temperatures indoors during the winter months have increased over the past few decades and have paralleled the rose in obesity rates. They emphasize that mild thermal stress that comes from being exposed to colder temperatures causes the body to burn more fat to stay warm. Shivering also forces the body to burn more energy. The overall amount of extra energy burned may be small, but it adds up on a daily basis.
Another Way Cooler Temperatures Boost Fat Burning
Recently, there’s been focus on brown fat. Brown fat is energy-rich fat that contains more mitochondria than ordinary white fat that pads the hips and tummy. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells and are involved in energy production, and the mitochondria in brown fat generate extra heat to keep the body warm.
Newborn babies have the greatest amount of brown fat for extra warmth. Kids lose much of their brown fat as they age, but even adults still have some, mostly around their back. This brown fat is normally dormant, but it becomes activated in cold environments. When it does, it promotes weight loss. Colder indoor temperatures help to activate this normally quiescent fat in adults.
Overall, the body burns more fat to help the body maintain body temperature in a cooler environment. Spending too much time indoors in higher temperatures turns off this fat-burning process, and, over time, can lead to weight gain.
Burn More Fat in Cool Indoor Temperatures: The Bottom Line?
Exercise is the best way to heat up your fat-burning engines and burn more fat, but keeping your home a little cooler can help too. As you might imagine, our thinner ancestors didn’t spend much time warming their hands by the fire in the winter. They were constantly moving and had no fear of braving the elements. To boost your fat burning capabilities, take more winter walks and cut back your thermostat a little. It’ll save on your electric bill too.