A new study looking at the science of cold weather and calories found lowering the thermostat by a few degrees may help you burn fat. According to research, slightly lowering the temperature activates an increase in your body’s metabolic rate, which burns calories.
Regular exposure to mild cold may be a healthy and sustainable way to help people lose weight, according to researchers writing in the Cell Press publication Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism on January 22nd. On the flip side, that means our warm and cozy homes and offices might be partly responsible for our expanding waistlines.
“Since most of us are exposed to indoor conditions 90 percent of the time, it is worth exploring health aspects of ambient temperatures,” said first author of the article Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt of Maastricht University Medical Center in The Netherlands. “What would it mean if we let our bodies work again to control body temperature? We hypothesize that the thermal environment affects human health and more specifically that frequent mild cold exposure can significantly affect our energy expenditure over sustained time periods.”
Marken Lichtenbelt and his colleagues started studying the effects of mild cold about 10 …
“If people start out at 70 degrees for their average temperature, if they just lower it by two-degree increments, slowly over time, maybe over a couple of days you sort of get used to it and you almost don’t even notice.”