You're just sitting there innocently cozied up on the couch: cup of hot tea in hand, fire roaring nearby, a heavy throw in your lap. There are no cookies or chips around. No snacks to be seen. But there you go and gain weight anyway. What's the problem?
Well, according to a new study, that weight gain might be a direct result of all that heat, specifically the increased indoor temperatures not only at home, but also in the car, at work, and many of the places you spend your time in the winter.
The new study claims a direct link between "reduced exposure to seasonal cold and increases in obesity in the UK and U.S."
If the body is already warm, it does not need to convert a ‘brown’ fat known as adipose tissue into energy to generate heat. Brown fat was previously thought to be present only in infants, playing a vital role in keeping them warm, but recent research found it also in adults.
The study even suggests that prolonged exposure to comfortable warm temperatures may permanently reduce the body’s ability to burn this brown fat.
Got all that?
All is not lost! Just take it down a notch. Turn the thermostat a degree or two lower. Trade the heavy throw for a lighter one. And yes, stop carrying that electric blanket room to room all winter long.
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Image via Heather/Flickr