Do you realize that we have different types of fat in our bodies and that they have different properties? White fat, which tends to stretch your pants to their limits and spill over your waistband, stores energy. No surprise there. You also have some brown fat, which gets its color from its iron content. Brown fat also contains more mitochondria, which are known as the “cell power packs.” You can think of them as the “engines” in brown fat that burn calories and generate heat.
So while the white fat becomes a kind of insulation, the brown fat is active. Babies have a lot of brown fat. Most adults have different amounts but not so much. Slimmer people tend to have a larger amount of it than heavier people, but whether it is genetic or not is not known.
According to a study, 15 minutes in the cold can only be the metabolic equivalent of an hour of exercise. Researchers, in this study, observed healthy men and women while exercising in a 65 ° F lab. Later, the same study participant lay on a bed when the temperature dropped to 53 ° F. In both of these tests, these people’s muscles contracted (they shivered!), Releasing the hormone irisin, which is produced in the skeletal muscles. This hormone raises body heat and creates brown fat cells from existing white fat cells.
This finding puzzled the researchers. They speculated that because the ancient biological survival mechanism of chills, caused by cold, helps us maintain our core temperature and prevents hypothermia, it might stimulate the release of irisin. The designed tests to find out if chills rather than exercise were the primary driving force for iris secretion. It turns out that irisin is produced by muscle contractions. So whether it’s through exercise or chills doesn’t really matter. Once produced, it circulates through the bloodstream and turns white fat cells into brown ones.
What is encouraging about this information is that researchers found that the response to cold exposure can be activated even by very minimal temperature changes. In this study, they showed that simply lowering the thermostat from 74 ° F to 68 ° F was sufficient to generate a measurable increase in energy consumption. Thirty seconds of cold water on the upper back and neck after a hot shower, if you do not have any heart problems, is also an easy way to accomplish this.
Or maybe just keep active and exercise, lower the thermostat a bit and go out in the lively winter weather a bit every day for a walk (properly dressed of course) to take advantage of a little colder air and hopefully a little sunshine as well.
Another study found that curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, can induce browning of white fat cells. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, this research indicates that curcumin appears to be an anti-obesity drug due to its ability to support brown fat as well as by reducing inflammation, which is involved in obesity as well as diabetes and heart disease. This is a huge find.
There are many ways you can add turmeric to your meals as well as take it in dietary form or even drink it as tea, thereby taking advantage of its many benefits, including stimulating brown fat.
Here are some simple ways to stimulate and support the activation of your fat burning brown fat. Choose the method that is right for you and in the process reap these health benefits.