BUMMER ALERT, HAIRLESS PRIMATES! New research suggests that keeping yourself warm might be making you fat. You see, when the external temperature drops, your body burns more calories in order to warm itself—6% more calories, to be exact, according to Dutch researchers—but when you crank up the central heating to 72, your body is all, "WOOOOOO, REAL MAMMALS HAVE CURVES!!!" and unfurls outward like a gravy-filled bouncy castle. That's why those who live in the hottest regions on earth are the fattest, and people from more frigid climes are uniformly slender as a willow wand. FACT.
For more, here's Salon:
Controlling body temperature externally, instead of allowing our bodies to control their temperature themselves, results in our burning fewer calories, the researchers argue. They recommend "mild cold" — about 66 degrees Fahrenheit — as the optimal temperature: You won't freeze, but according to their research, would end up burning about 6 percent more energy in order to keep warm. Their other recommendation is just to try going outside more.
Of course, spending more time in the cold might just prompt people to eat more, canceling out any potential benefits of that extra energy expenditure. And this new report goes against some existing science: one study of 100,000 households found that people tend to be thinner when their homes are kept over about 73 degrees. Michael Daly, who conducted the study, explained to BBC News that sweating uses up energy, too.
In other words, you won't believe this One Weird Trick to burn belly fat! Simply exist eternally in an airless, climateless chamber, subsisting entirely on your own sweat, until you transform into spirit incarnate and return to the human realms in the form of a sentient fog that lures travelers to their doom. JUST IN TIME FOR BIKINI SEASON!!!
Alarmed by the news that being too warm was making me fat, but being too cold was also making me fat, I decided to do some research into what other seemingly innocuous environmental factors might be contributing to our collective butt-circumference. Turns out, there are a lot.
If you don't want to get fat, do not do ANY OF THESE THINGS. (But if you slip up, no worries—I've got foolproof weight loss tips covered over here!)