Temperature Training by Lower Thermostat to Lose Weight?
As a part of a program including excercise and diet, yes.
Lower the thermostat, whittle your waistline? is a question being asked in the news worldwide today after the recent publication of a paper by scientists who have been studying how regular exposure to mild cold can burn more calories by increasing metabolism. One method they recommend is as simple as setting a lower thermostat to lose weight. It also is a benefit to your wallet and the environment if you are in the heating season indoors.
Modern life has nearly eliminated human exposure to cold and our bodies have changed by losing a natural ability to burn more calories to stay warm. “Since most of us are exposed to indoor conditions 90% of the time, it is worth exploring health aspects of ambient temperatures,” wrote author Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt. “What would it mean if we let our bodies work again to control body temperature?”
Just a lower thermostat to lose weight you ask? How would that work? Exposure to mild cold has recently been proved to activate brown adipose tissue in humans. Also called “brown fat,” this specialized tissue is used by mammals to maintain body temperature during cold exposure without shivering by turning glucose into calories or heat.
There is a lot of confusion about brown adipose tissue and how it works. Here is one comment from a reader of a story about the published paper on CNN:
“SA” commented:”It doesn’t say you burn fat generally. You will burn brown adipose tissue only, which, if you are not in great shape, you don’t have much of. So, you won’t burn much fat if you have a lot fat to burn. I usually gain a bunch of weight in the winter despite exercising. In the summer it is easy to lose weight. You burn many calories (all types of fat) because it is really hot, you burn some calories because it is really cold.”
What “SA” does not understand is that Brown adipose tissue or “brown fat” does not “burn” away. Don’t think of it as “fat” tissue really. It is really tissue that behaves like an internal furnace and burns glucose generating heat calories. The white adipose tissue “white fat” is what most of us have too much of because when the body has excess calories those calories are stored for future use. White fat gets “burned off” when it is needed. So if you want to lose weight the bottom line is still “calories in v. calories out”.
The new brown fat research is incredibly exciting because your bodies metabolic rate will jump and burn about 20-30% more calories. Companies like Hyperwear are working on more efficient ways of activating brown fat for weight loss using cold too. This study was conducted in Holland and they fail to recognize that it is not a “green” solution to turn your thermostat down in a cold climate. Who can afford that air conditioning bill? And it is hot climates where obesity is more of a problem as other studies have pointed out.
Is there a better, more targeted way to activate brown adipose tissue instead of a lower thermostat to lose weight? Yes, and Hyperwear is hard at work on its Cool Burn™ cooling vest for weight loss. Follow us as we keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in brown fat weight loss.