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Winter is coming … and did you know you can use those cold temperatures to change your fat type and help melt off excess pounds?
Sounds remarkable, but a short “turn” can help you convert white fat into a different type of fat that turns you into a calorie-burning furnace and cause your body to spontaneously drop weight.
The secret is to turn down the heat and leave your house a little colder this coming winter.
One compelling study shows that if you are exposed to cold temperatures, some of the white adipose tissue that can accumulate in areas we hate to see it – thighs and belly – can shift into beige fat. This is a type of tissue that burns off calories to produce body heat.
Beige fat is sort of a hybrid form of fat that shares the characteristics of both brown and white fat. Brown fat, also called brown adipose tissue (BAT), is a specialized type of fat that burns energy and sugar to help heat the body. Babies use their brown fat to stay warm, as do bears and other hibernating animals, for example.
While white fat normally can’t burn calories to heat the body. But under some circumstances, such as when you are exposed to chilly temperatures, it can assume some of the features of brown fat.
“(In this study) we wanted to investigate whether human adults had the ability to transform some white fat deposits into beige fat when they were exposed to cold,” says researcher Philip A. Kern. “Browning fat tissue would be an excellent defense against obesity. It would result in the body burning extra calories rather than converting them into additional fat tissue.”
The research showed that belly and thigh fat that was analyzed in the winter months had genetic markers showing that it was functioning as beige fat. In the summer, the body fat displayed lower levels of these genetic markers.
The researchers believe that excess inflammation caused by large amounts of fat tissue when you are overweight hampers the conversion process.
“Our findings indicate inflammation can hinder the conversion of white to beige fat,” Kern says. “When we analyzed tissue samples in the lab, we found that exposing white fat to macrophage cells from the immune system inhibited the transformation.”
To counter this effect, it’s best to partner turning the temperature down this winter with anti-inflammatory nutrients like vitamin C and ultra-powerful krill oil, which is the most absorbable source of omega-3 oils.