Well, you are reading this now because it might have raised your eyebrow and have piqued your interest. I would not be surprised if this is the first time you are hearing this, but yes, essentially temperature has something to do with your body weight.
This article is for my readers who are living in colder areas, those of you who rely heavily on thermostats because of the cold outside.
As it is typically cold outside your house, you tend to stay indoors and rely heavily on your thermostat for that warm, cozy, and fuzzy feeling. What you might not know is that this is limiting you from relying on your body’s natural mechanisms to keep warm – such mechanisms that burn calories.
According to studies, scientists have noted that the most comfortable indoor temperature humans feel have gotten upwards over the last 30 years or so. In addition, we are moving towards the direction of ‘thermal monotony.’ Meaning, we tend to keep indoor temperatures pretty stead at all hours instead of letting it dip at night as naturally, they would do. So, we have increased our average living room temp by a couple of degrees and bumping our average bedroom temp at night even more.
This study has discussed the role of brown fat. This particular kind of fat has been known to playing a major role in generating heat – at least in babies and small animals. As we grow older, we tend to lose our brown fat, accumulating white fat instead that acts as a holding tank for extra calories. Recently, adults have little to no brown fat has been the assumption. Those who have it do not do much when it comes to producing heat or burning.
In a review and with the advent of recent advances in technology, researches have identified brown fat deposits in adults pretty readily. In the same study, in 23 of 24 subjects where the ambient temp was dropped by about 6 degrees Celsius, they found out the presence of metabolically active brown fat. When calculated, it suggests that on the conditions that brown fat could be activated fully, subjects have the capacity to burn the calorie equivalent to about 4 kg of body fat in a year.
Note that not all adults are equipped with brown fat and you can’t determine easily if you have it or not. Humans don’t shift their food intake and energy expenditure when temperatures differ. Humans will be happy to sit in their heated homes in comfort.
So no, chilling out isn’t necessarily the answer to shedding off weight. You may still want to rely on proper and consistent exercise coupled with a healthy diet.