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Shivering can help burn fat

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It's so cold outside you could freeze your butt off! For real.

A new report in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism claims that exposure to colder temperatures can be beneficial for weight loss.

The author, Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt of the Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, conducted a study using 51 young men exposed to a refrigerated room (62-degrees Fahrenheit) in a lab for 10 days. The men got used to the cold. They didn't even notice when the temperature was dropped a few degrees. According to the researchers, this is because of the brown fat in their bodies.

Brown adipose fat burns your body's energy instead of storing it. The brown fat's processes make heat, and it eats away the white fat. It can burn up to 30% of your body's energy. Exposing people to the cold activates this brown fat.

As van Marken Lichtenbelt says, "Indoor temperature in most buildings is regulated to minimize the percentage of people dissatisfied. This results in relatively high indoor temperatures in wintertime. By lack of exposure to a varied ambient temperature, whole populations may be prone to develop diseases like obesity. In addition, people become vulnerable to sudden changes in ambient temperature."

So if there is a silver lining to this Polar Votex, it might be that we all shed a few pounds.

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