Did you know there are more than 500 million people in the world suffering from obesity and weight gain issues? After hours of exercise, cutting down on caloric intake and abstaining from all kinds of delicious dessert, they might be able to lose fat to some extent but, possess a great tendency to put it back on once they are off diet and exercise program. Reason? Losing is weight is far easier than maintaining it at a healthy range.
According to a recent research, “Temperature training” could be a missing piece of the puzzle here. Now, what is temperature training? In short, its a weight loss tip for the lazy ones.
Creatures of comfort, we humans, rush to switching on thermostat whenever the weather makes a shift. That poses risk of a plethora of obvious health issues, along with weight maintenance struggles.
Wanna lose fat? Ditch thermostat!
Researchers found a “significant decrease” in body fat in people who were exposed to temperatures of 17 degree Celsius for two hours a day over six weeks.  It means, if performing Bikram Yoga in heated room is ‘bad’ for your fat, so is spending some time office hours without thermostat. Lets find out how.
Biology of fat informs existence of two kinds of fat cells – brown and white fat. And also, that fat helps substantially in insulating our internal organs from the extreme weather outside – whether hot or cold. In simplest of terms, its the white fat all around your belly, thighs and butt that actually makes you look fat. Brown baby is the friendly one. It covers your internal organs and protects them from temperature variations.
Now, the story doesn’t end here. Brown fat does not store energy and when necessary, it forces its white cousin to melt down for release of energy. This energy is then used up for producing sweat in hot weather and cause shivering in cold.
What happens to our weight or fat when we use thermostat to regulate the ambient temperature?
We Maximize comfort to minimize energy expenditure on thermo-regulation. Simply put, we snatch our body with the opportunity to burn fat. (Read Thermo-regulation on wiki)
This raised a question in my head:
If cold can make you lose inches, how come polar animals have so many fat layers?
To that, the science answers as something we know as, “Adaptation.” The animals have adapted to that weather conditions and presence of white fat layers is that very adaptation tactic. Hence, there is no need to unnecessarily torture yourself with extreme cold temperature too, as you’ll end up gaining more weight. Not to forget making yourself more susceptible to diabetes and heart diseases.
Basically, staying in extreme heat will make you fat. Extreme cold will make you fat too and so will thermostat. So, how do we go about it?
How can we use body temperature in our favor?
The answer is “Temperature training.”
Make use of Non-Shivering Thermogenesis. Order brown fat cells to put white one to work. For few hours a day, expose yourself to a temperature hotter than the outside. Well, that can be done while exercising, so, you don’t need to devote separate time for it. Next, spend some time in a little chilly ambiance than outside. That way, you keep your system running and your fat cells continuously at work. (Read more about Non-shivering thermogenesis on wiki)
This also boosts blood vascular system, and helps in maintaining a good amount of brown and white fat.
The research concludes this as, “Maximal thermal comfort in the built environment may increase our susceptibility to obesity and related disorders, and in parallel requires high energy use in buildings. Mild cold exposure increases body energy expenditure without shivering and without compromising our precious comfort. Hence, rethinking our indoor climate by allowing ambient temperatures to drift may protect both health and bank account.” 
That’s the easiest way of maintaining lost pounds and inches – the LAZY way!!
References  Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt, Anouk van der Lans, Lisje Schellen. Cold exposure – an approach to increasing energy expenditure in humans. Department of Human Biology, School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism (NUTRIM). School of Built Environment and Infrastructure
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