Lowering Your Thermostat Could Trim Your Waistline

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COLUMBIA - In these chilly temperatures turning down your thermostat might be the last thing you do.  But a new paper published Wednesday in the scientific journal, Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, said turning down the temp could help you lose weight.

The paper's authors said regular exposure to mildly cold temperatures help people burn more calories.  Our bodies have to work harder at cold temperatures in order to try and warm up.  While it's trying to warm up the body is also burning calories.

But dietitian Megan Kemp is weary about how much help turning down the heat will do.

"It's not going to have a big enough impact on your weight that it would be worth turning your thermostat down," Kemp said.

Kemp said obesity is a huge problem in the United States but said freezing in your home won't solve that problem.

"It all just comes down to portion size and exercise," Kemp said.

Wilson's Fitness member Kevin Gill said he likes his house cold anyway.

"We're always trying to save a few dollars on the energy bill anyway.  So if this helps support more weight loss then it's one more good reason to lower the thermostat," Gill said.

Frequent exposure to cold is not going to be the answer to all your weight loss problems but it could help you cut the calories while cutting your heating bill as well.