Proteins, carbohydrates ...
Sometimes we’re told that cutting proteins is what makes the weight fall off, other times carbohydrates are the culprits. However, numerous studies point out that weight-loss diets actually promote weight gain in the long term. Eating an unbalanced diet damages the intestinal flora, which plays a major role in determining how we metabolise food.
Mysterious brown fat cells
But how can we work with the body instead of against it to lose weight? The secret lies in what are known as brown fat cells. Unlike white adipose tissue, which stores excess energy and thus accumulates fat, brown fat converts the energy into heat, enabling the body to burn fat.
But don’t expect miracles: eating sensibly and getting more exercise are still the most promising ways to lose weight. By the way, people who practise sport also boost the formation of brown fat cells, which not only heat the body efficiently, but also provide it with energy by burning fat stores. Athletes therefore have a higher proportion of brown fat.
Exposure to cold pays off
So it appears that cold plays a key role. When the body feels cold, it needs more energy to keep warm. It’s precisely this process that stimulates the formation of brown fat cells, which generate the desired heat while going for the body’s white fat at the same time.
A Japanese study was able to prove that the heating capacity of brown fat increases significantly if a person spends at least two hours a day in a 17-degree cold room. At the beginning of the experiment, the test subjects burned around 100 additional kilocalories a day; after six weeks, the figure was over 300 kilocalories.
The problem is: by living in heated rooms all year round, we allow the potential of our brown fat cells to fade. Why not lower your heating by two or three degrees in winter?
This would not only save heating costs and protect the environment, but also help get your own energy balance under control.