The hot new diet fad may be in your freezer. Strike that, it might be you — freezing.
Not literally. Researchers in the Netherlands say that an often-overlooked tool in losing weight is the surrounding temperature. No, we're not talking about standing naked in a polar vortex, but rather getting comfortable living and working inside at temperatures between 62 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
The researchers found that over the long term, human bodies work a little bit harder in cool weather to maintain their toasty 98.6 F internal temperature. This extra work translates to extra calories burned.
The secret isn't added shivering, but rather activating a form of fat called brown adipose tissue, which contains a lot of heat-generating mitochondria. When your body needs revving to become or stay warm, brown fat becomes active to do the job — and the only known trigger of brown fat is cold.
However, this is no miracle weight-loss remedy, caution researchers. You only have so much brown fat (far less than the more common and unsightly white type), and it takes time to burn up calories. Indeed, researchers say the "cold diet plan" (not really a plan, actually) works best when combined with plenty of exercise and healthy eating habits.
Why do they always have to include those things?
BODY OF KNOWLEDGE
The average life span of a human taste bud is seven to 10 days. By age 60, most people have lost half their taste buds.
GET ME THAT. STAT!
In the United States, the World Health Organization estimates that 95 percent of Americans have access to drugs essential for good health and well-being. The worldwide average is 63.5 percent.
An Arby's Jr Roast Beef Sandwich (126 grams) contains 304 calories, 78 from fat. It has 8.7 grams of total fat, or 13 percent of the recommended total fat intake for a 2,000-calorie daily diet.
It also contains 36 milligrams of cholesterol (12 percent); 782 milligrams of sodium (33 percent); 36.2 grams of total carbohydrates (12 percent); 1.4 grams of fiber (6 percent); 4.3 grams of sugar; and 17.4 grams of protein.
Aphonia — the inability to speak
PHOBIA OF THE WEEK
Enochlophobia — fear of crowds
NEVER SAY DIET
The Major League Eating speed-eating record for chicken-fried steak is six 11-ounce steaks with country gravy in 12 minutes, held by Cookie Jarvis. Warning: Most of these records are held by professional eaters; the rest by people who really should find something better to do.
Blue Rubber Bleb Nevus Syndrome is a condition in which persons suffer from extremely painful, constantly bleeding lesions inside and outside of the body.
"All the things I really like to do are either illegal, immoral or fattening." — American writer and critic Alexander Woollcott (1887-1943)
"The earth is suffocating. Swear to make them cut me open so that I won't be buried alive." — Polish composer Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), who was dying of tuberculosis
To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.