If it wasn’t for a friend who lost a sizable amount of weight – and managed to reverse her Type 2 Diabetes, I wouldn’t have known about Brown Fat Activation.

Brown fat is a special type of fat located in several parts of our body which burns calories at a very fast rate to produce heat. When fully triggered, brown fat produces 300 hundred times more heat than any other tissue in our body. That means 2 ounces of brown fat can burn hundreds of calories per day – actually equivalent to a 30-minute exercise routine/program.

Most people including all adults have small pockets of brown fat in their bodies (white fat comprises the majority of the fat in our bodies and stores any extra calories we eat). These are located in the following areas:

  • Above the collarbone
  • Sides of the neck, usually running down the shoulder and upper arms
  • Along the upper back between the shoulder blades
  • Along the sides of the upper spine

Because these brown fat pockets are quite small and lie deep under the skin, they are hard to detect and, unlike love handles, don’t show as bulges.

So here’s how you burn brown fat cells to help you facilitate weight loss!

Cold temperatures activate brown fat.

Swedish researchers in one study tested 5 subjects after they spent 2 hours at temperatures ranging from 63°F to 66°F (17.22°C to 18.89°C). The study discovered that when the subjects’ body temperatures went down by repeatedly putting one foot in ice water for 5 minutes at a time, and out by another 5 minutes, the subjects developed detectable brown fat deposits. So environments with cold temperatures galvanize brown fat.

To mobilize your body’s brown fat stores, expose your skin to cold temperatures

Cold temperatures send a signal to your brain to stimulate brown fat in 2 ways:

✓      Stimulating your vascular system by increasing blood flow to your brown fat stores, and

✓      By sending nerve impulses to your brown fat cells to galvanize them to do some cellular activity.

So the question is – how cold should you be? Scientists have discovered that by sitting in a room with a temperature of 59°F (15°C) wearing only summer clothes will stimulate brown fat to burn an extra 100 – 250 calories, depending on the person.

A Japanese research study found that half of their subjects under the age of 38 showed indications of brown fat activation at 66°F (18.89°C). The same cannot be said for subjects aged 38 years and above. Ideally, reducing your home’s thermostat to the mid-60s (°F) would be enough to generate some brown fat activity.

Exercise in cool temperatures

Exercising in cool temperatures of 62°F to 64°F (16°C to 18°C) or lower can stimulate your brown fat stores. A tip given by my friend:  make sure your skin is exposed so that when your sweat evaporates as you exercise it adds to the cooling effect.

What you might not want to do: turning up the heat when you exercise so that you sweat more. A hotter environment will turn off brown fat burning.

Brown fat boosts your blood sugar metabolism.

Based on an experience of a friend who had Type 2 Diabetes, it looks like brown fat activation is beneficial for diabetes sufferers. People with lower glucose levels tend to have more brown fat stores than those with higher glucose levels.

Likewise, a group of researchers discovered that a certain protein in brown fat enhances the metabolism of white fat. This was detected in laboratory mice who were lacking in this protein, thus the mice were lethargic, gained weight and developed diabetes.

Brown fat boosts your metabolic set point

A metabolic set point is the level of body weight which your brain automatically triggers to slow metabolic activity, making it difficult for you to lose additional weight. Brown fat is supposed to help fight this metabolic slowdown, especially when people start dieting. It is possible to burn an extra 200-300 calories a day by using their brown fat stores – enough to lose a pound of body fat in just a few weeks. The calorie-burning boost from brown fat can reverse weight gain for older people.

Consider eating healthy.

You can eliminate the rice, bread, and other carbohydrates from your meal but add up on the leafy green and cruciferous vegetables. Eat in small portions and eat only when hungry. Other sources of energy would be organic eggs, fish (the one with scales and caught in the open sea), legumes, beans, nuts and pitted fruits.

Eat more apples with the peel on

Ursolic acid which happens to be in apple peels at high levels, increases brown fat and muscle mass, while simultaneously improving glucose tolerance and decreasing obesity. Just make sure that the apple is organic and pesticide-free since the peel is where the dangerous chemicals land on.

Other foods high in ursolic acid are blueberries, plums, cranberries, prunes, and herbs like holy basil, oregano, thyme, devil’s claw, lavender, periwinkle, mint leaves, and hawthorn. Also, bitter melon (ampalaya) has been tested also to increase brown fat activity.

So, are you convinced to try out brown fat activation? Do you have a similar experience of losing weight through brown fat burning? Share in the comments below.