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Shivering can help you lose weight: Study

Written by: Dale Carruthers, QMI Agency
Feb. 7, 2014

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LONDON, Ont. ─ The old saying about freezing your butt off, could have some truth to it.

For Canadians shivering through the cold winter could have an unintended plus ─ weight loss.

New research by scientists at the U.S. National Institutes of Health suggests shivering has the same benefits as exercise when it comes to slimming down.

A study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found 15 minutes of shivering and one hour of moderate exercise are equally capable of converting energy-storing white fat into calorie-burning brown fat.

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"In many ways, cold exposure is a bit like exercise," said lead researcher Dr. Paul Lee, from Sydney University in Australia.

Brown fat cells protect humans against the cold. People with more brown fat are slimmer than those with less, say scientists.

About 1.7 ounces of brown fat can burn up to 300 calories ─ the same amount of energy stored in white fat.

So does that mean ditch the gym and head outside without a parka instead?

Not so fast, says Lee.

"While it's true that one will burn more energy (shivering), but it's also a stress to the body," he said.

dale.carruthers@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @DaleatLFPress

 

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