While the run-up to Christmas isn’t usually viewed because the best time for weight loss, it’s been speculated that turning down the heating could help people change state. So will we burn more calories when it’s cold and is ‘brown fat’ ought to have the hype?
If you are looking to slim, you’re probably acquainted with the basics: eat less and move more. A diet, limiting alcohol intake, and keeping active is key to weight loss, and this ‘calories in vs calories out’ formula will help many of us shed the pounds reliably.
You might have heard the strange-sounding theory that exposure to the cold can help with weight loss. As the theory goes, cold exposure activates a sort of fat in our bodies, called brown fat. This mysterious substance acts as a thermal engine, generating more heat and burning more calories than the other body tissue.
The notion that brown fat was confined to babies is what scientists thought for many years. Newborn babies are very susceptible to the cold, and their brown fat deposits, which structure about 5% of their weight, are nature’s way of protecting them from hypothermia.
As we mature, we lose most of our brown fat. What makes our jeans feel tight is ‘white fat’ that sits beneath our skin. However, within the late 2000s researchers confirmed the presence of brown fat in adults, albeit in small quantities and strange locations – it’s often found within the neck and shoulders, within the chest, or down the spine.
Professor Paul Trayhurn, an obesity expert at the University of Liverpool, says that “We know that brown fat is present and active in adult humans. It is a smaller amount active in those that are obese. Its activity falls with age. It helps to stay newborns warm, and can make a little contribution to heat production in adults.”
What does the science say about brown fat?
One of the foremost exciting parts of this discovery was the potential link with weight loss. For one thing, people with more brown fat tend to possess lower overall body fat, although it is not necessarily clear what causes what. for an additional thing, brown fat is understood to torch calories, burning energy over and over the speed of white fat.
There are other potential health benefits too. Brown fat could help stabilize glucose and interact with gut hormones to assist the body know when it’s full.
As for where cold temperatures are available, a variety of studies has found that spending time within the cold can make our brown fat more active. In one 2012 study, volunteers wore a chilly suit that reduced their temperature slightly. They burned an additional 250 calories over a three-hour period, despite the very fact they weren’t cold enough to shiver.
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About the mechanism responsible, researchers at the University of Nottingham discovered something in 2018.
Turning down the thermostat should theoretically raise your brown fat levels, which should successively burn more calories.
The chairman of the National Obesity Forum, Tam Fry, says “To varying degrees, it’s been found in adults, although it was once thought that only infants had it naturally to stay warm and alive in prehistoric caves. The newest theory suggests that a rise in the conversion of ‘bad’ white fat to ‘good’ brown fat may well be genetically engineered and cause a true reduction in obesity.” This also makes Exipure, which helps convert white fat to brown fat, very effective. You should check out Exipure reviews from customer to get a glimpse of how good this product is.
To lose weight, should you turn down the heating?
However, this does not mean you must sideline your exercise program in favor of cold showers. there’s plenty we do not realize brown fat, and lots more research is required. On top of that, it is simple to offset any additional calories burned, as you will likely feel hungrier.
As a weight-loss strategy, Professor Trayhurn says he wouldn’t recommend cold exposure. While he considered the chance himself as early as the 1980s, he describes it as ‘fraught with concerns.’
In years to come back, we might even see drugs designed to spice up brown fat activity, harnessing its benefits with no need to brave the cold. However, whether these approaches “are within the realms of the practicable, “Trayhurn isn’t sure – and it probably won’t happen for ages if anything does happen.
It’s also important to say that deliberately making yourself cold isn’t a decent idea for lots of individuals. Especially in older and more vulnerable people, the chance of hypothermia shouldn’t be understated. For now, it’s going to be best to stay to tried-and-tested modes of weight loss.
“For the nonce – and definitely with an icy winter forecast – increasing your exercise and eating fewer calories might produce the identical result and plenty more pleasantly.”