Brown fat is fat that is metabolically active and helps your body burn more calories. It is typically found along the neck and upper back region. We used to think that it only existed in infants, but we have learned recently that it is also found in adults. This is in contrast to the typical white fat that is not metabolically active and is found everywhere else. Brown fat levels typically decline with age. Research indicates that having more brown fat will boost calorie burning and will make it easier to keep your weight down.
The body uses brown fat to raise the body temperature when it is cold. In fact, exposure to cold temperature seems to increase brown fat activity. Some researchers in the health and nutrition field claim that exposure to cold stimulates brown fat production. Another reason to think twice before turning your central heat on, besides the heating bill. Other research indicates that exercise can cause white (regular) fat to be converted into brown fat. Regular, vigorous exercise at least 3-4 times per week is your best best to boost your brown fat, along with all the other benefits of exercise. And, if you feel up to it, take a cold shower afterwards.
But if cold weather makes more brown fat that helps you lose weight, what about all those overweight folks in the midwest?
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