Winter Metabolism Is Your Body's High Gear


Winter Ahead Sign

Does the idea of going outdoors in cold weather appeal to you? If you are like many people, you might prefer to stay home in front of a cozy fire rather than brave the elements. But, if you are on a mission to shed some pounds, that cold weather may be your new best friend.

Shivering due to cold can burn about 100 calories in 15 minutes. When you are cold, your body has to work harder to keep you warm, and this speeds up your metabolism, burning more calories and effectively turning you into a fat-burning machine.

What Kind Of Fat Is Your Body Burning?

Did you know that your body has more than one kind of fat? The most prevalent type of fat is white fat, but the body also produces brown fat, which is stored within the white fat, and is what your body burns for fuel. When you are physically active in cold weather, your body not only burns brown fat, but white fat will take on characteristics of the brown fat, making it easily burned.

This system is what helps your body stay warm in cold temperatures, and is an efficient, effective example of how the body adapts to less than ideal circumstances. So, as nice as that cozy fire is, when it comes to burning calories and shedding pounds, look outside. Those cold temperatures are ideal for helping to boost the body's metabolism and burn those calories. Even a brisk walk can help things along. Also consider running, skiing or snowboarding, sledding or just running around and playing. Even if you sat on your porch and shivered for a little while you would burn more calories, but that doesn't sound like fun!

The Metabolic Research Center is dedicated to helping clients live healthier lives and achieve their fitness goals through education, activity and healthy eating. Contact MRC for more information.

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