April 9, 2009

How to lose weight with brown fat: Stay chilly!

Turn down the heat. Go out underdressed. You must be "at the verge of shivering, for prolonged periods."

18 comments:

molly said...

Wow. Does this mean that lovely upper Midwest excuse about "fattening up for winter" is totally legit?

downtownlad said...

Stevie Nicks needs to try that.

Peter V. Bella said...

This is something new? They could have saved a lot of time and money by asking mountain climbers, Navy Seals, and Special Ops people who train or participate in operations in cold climates.

The miitary probably has documentation of this too. I have read stories of people wo climbed Everest. They could actualy feel their bodies burning calories due to the cold.

Cedarford said...

I'd call BS on that one. I visited the Ukraine the spring after the winter the Russians cut off then severely rationed the heating gas pipelines Dec- late Feb over Ukraine's stiffing them on bill payments. Fat Ukranians abounded, telling our group that they made it through a -10 Deg winter by being in 5 layers of clothing, burning their own furniture to cook, and eating 4-5 kilos a day of potatos. And of course vodka. Lots of vodka.

There is a reason why Somalis and Filipinos and jungle Africans are skinny. It's hot and getting fat is no advantage..
And why Russians and Eskimos are insulated in folds of fat and why in N America obesity tends to increase with every 100 miles you go from Central America up to Alaska.

rhhardin said...

Bermudas.

Bissage said...

I've avoided brown fat ever since Woodstock.

john said...

Cedarford said - ...and why in N America obesity tends to increase with every 100 miles you go from Central America up to Alaska.

What's the formula? I think I weigh too much for my latitude.

bearing said...

I lost 40 pounds last year, and one thing I noticed is that the whole time I was losing weight, I felt freezing cold ALL THE TIME. Even in July. I had to wear a hat in late summer, even indoors.

When I hit my goal, turned up the calories, and began maintaining weight (in November), I stopped feeling cold. Today, when I start feeling cold, I notice my weight'll be down a pound or so in the next couple of days.

I assume that when I was heavier (and ate more), my body got rid of extra calories just by burning them for heat. Now that I eat a lot less, the first thing that happens when I run a slight deficit is the "thermostat" seems to go down. I can only assume that I hardly ever ran a deficit when I was heavier.

mcg said...

Here's a sure-fire way to lose fat: hike the entire Appalachian Trail.

kentuckyliz said...

My favorite brown fat is the Wendy's Baconator. You have to eat it from the wrapper and hold it with extra napkins because of the grease drips.

campy said...

obesity tends to increase with every 100 miles you go from Central America up to Alaska.

I'm not fat, I'm just too far south!

William said...

Further research will show that ingestion of high quality chocolate helps in the production of good brown fat.

EDH said...

So, the next time I'm told "chill, dude" I should take that as a crack about my weight?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

As always, I'd watch out for the second order effects. Most likely, in addition to burning more calories for heat, exposure to the cold will also increase appetite more than enough to compensate, allowing the body to add more insulating fat.

Still interesting research, which may lead to a way to trigger the fat burning without increasing appetite.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

I saw a lot more obese people in Memphis than I do here in Florida.

Tina said...

Probably not worth it. Cold triggers the stress steroids, in particular cortisol. chronic elevated cortisol levels are a breeding ground for psychiatric "issues".

Kensington said...

Yeah...I'd rather stay fat than be on the verge of shivering all the time.

Influence Yourself To Mastery said...

Althouse:

That was a very short and sweet post:)

You don't have to torture yourself in the cold, though. Fidgeting is another way to keep burning calories.

Or, how about just building some muscle with simple resistance exercises and burn fat 24/7? You'll look sexier, too:) Better than a "shivering workout" (IMHO)