Recently, a series of papers in the New England Journal of Medicine have highlighted the importance of what is called brown fat. This is a special type of fat that is involved in thermoregulation or heat generation for the body. More commonly present in infants, “baby fat” and in some kinds of animals.
One of the more interesting ideas to emerge from brown fat research is that a method for losing weight may be found by simply turning down the thermostat in our homes. The idea is that when the thermostat is down and the ambient temperature drops, our brown fat revs up and goes to work increasing our body temperature. It’s our own sort of internal combustion engine. It also burns quite a lot of calories.
So while more research will need to be done, the idea of lowering the thermostat in our homes may very well be a simple and yet effective way to increase significant calories burned by our bodies. (As long as you don’t eat more when the room temperature is lower!).