Be Cool, Lose Weight

Did you know that being exposed to cold temperatures could help you lose weight?
There is now mounting evidence supporting the concept that exposure to cold temperatures can promote fat burning, which in turn, can help you lose more weight.
We all have a temperature-regulating center of our brain located in the hypothalamus that works constantly to keep our core body temperature steady. When we are exposed to a cold environment, the hypothalamus directs our bodies to power up our internal furnace to keep our body temperature stable.
The hypothalamus, by the way, is the pea-sized structure in our brains that also regulates our appetite and controls our weight.
Scientists have been studying this phenomenon for the last decade, after having discovered that humans have brown adipose tissue, or BAT. Previously, scientists thought that only hibernating animals such as bears were the only mammals to have brown adipose tissue.
Recent studies have proven the fact that if we allow ourselves to be in cold environments for a few hours a day, that in fact, our bodies will burn fat to maintain our core body temperature, and thereby help us to lose weight.
Everyone agrees that drinking water all day can promote weight loss, and part of this may relate to thermogenesis as well. Room temperature water or cold water is at 45-70 degrees F, while our bodies are kept at around 98 degrees F. So with a constant introduction of an internally cooling fluid, our bodies have to work to raise the temperature of the water that we drink up to 98 degrees F. This requires burning of calories to achieve the heating of the water.
So, a few practical tips to use the cold temperatures that we have to endure in the Northeast to your advantage are as follows:

  1. Drink water as cold as you can tolerate throughout the day
  2. Wear lighter clothes as much as you can tolerate
  3. Keep the thermometer in your home set a few degrees lower – this will save you money on heating bills as well
  4. Take a walk outside in the winter with light outerwear as much as you can tolerate, while obviously protecting yourself from frostbite in severe cold

Here is a link to a recent news article for you to read more about thermogenesis:

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