Intuitively, it makes sense. The colder you get, the harder your body has to work to keep you warm, the more calories you burn.
A study conducted on mice suggested that cold exposure could change the gut microbiota (organisms that live inside us) and subsequently lead to weight loss.
How can cold weather lead to weight loss?
Fat comes in different colours: white and brown, depending on the amount of mitochondria (a cell’s main energy source) present.
White fat cells store fat as an energy source.
Brown fat cells burn calories to generate heat.
Cold weather exposure targets brown fat cells, burning calories and generating heat.
So should you invest in freezing your fat away?
Well, although the mice did lose weight after cold exposure, this only happened for a few weeks. After that, their bodies compensated for the extra energy expenditure and fat loss by maximizing caloric intake.
Rather than investing in an ice vest, go skating, skiing, tobogganing, walking or running outside this winter. Or, if you’re brave enough, find a Polar Bear Plunge near you.
How to lose weight according to science