One of the requests from nearly everyone that comes to me is, “help me lose some fat.” Even those who don’t have any to lose don’t want to have any more. And, at this time in history – with nearly half of our population in this country considered OBESE, who could question them?
What if I told you that there IS a fat in your body that would be a good idea to increase?
Before you get excited, you don’t get to eat more to obtain it! It’s called BROWN fat. It’s brown because it has a lot of iron rich mitochondria in it which helps color it.
Babies are born with a much higher percentage of brown fat than adults. It’s because they can’t shiver yet and brown fat helps to keep them warm by providing heat. Adipose tissue (white fat) is the kind everyone is familiar with, and it will insulate to some degree, but it doesn’t actually PROVIDE heat like brown fat does.
Most brown fat is accumulated around the neck and shoulders and was thought to be largely gone by the time we turned 3 or so years old. The research today is showing that, not only does it [usually] not completely leave, but you may be able to increase it and/or help some of your white fat to convert to brown fat. Brown fat is good. It has mitochondria and is active. It actually BURNS fat and provides energy. It even can help to increase your HDL (good cholesterol).
One of the tests conducted a few years ago had a dozen young men sit in a room that had a temperature of 62 degrees for 2 hours every day for 6 weeks. The researchers examined the young men and found that they were burning an average of 109 extra calories each day per person at the beginning of the experiment, and this energy was being expended by their bodies trying to keep warm. At the end of the testing period, they tested the participants and found that the average calorie burn had climbed astoundingly to 289 calories for the same activity and same duration! They had accumulated more brown fat and it was burning more calories to keep them warm.
Well, there you go. All you have to do is practically FREEZE yourself! Obviously, this isn’t something that many people are going to want to endure, but there’s a takeaway. Get outside as much as you can during the colder times of the year. Going for a walk when it’s cold will benefit you in numerous ways including burning fat IN TWO WAYS! You might also consider lowering the temperature on your thermostat … or at least bringing it down at night when you’re sleeping. There’s also ongoing research about sirtuins which help improve insulin sensitivity and might help increase brown fat production, but that’s at least 10 years away from becoming something available to the public. The easiest one to accomplish is to take advantage of the cool winter weather.
In a nutshell, gaining more of one type of fat can help you get rid of another!
Dave – Your Harford County, Maryland Personal Fitness Trainer
Results are what you’ll get when you train with me. I’m conveniently located in Forest Hill near the center of Harford County, Maryland. I’ve got the experience, the ability, the knowledge and the success stories of my students to testify that my training is result driven and result based. Visit my webpage for more information.