New Delhi: The colder, shorter days could mean spending more time indoors than outdoors, making you more susceptible to weight gain during the winter months. And that’s the reason why many people struggle through the winter to lose weight and keep it off despite their best intentions.

Read: Breast cancer caused by genetic mutation gets first approved treatment

But don’t be disappointed! Winter is actually the best season to lose weight. Turns out, keeping cool can help you slim down and shed kilos even without much efforts – from sleeping in a cold room to shivering for just 10 minutes. And here’s the proof!

The brown fat factor

Some studies suggest that cold temperatures activate the body’s stores of brown fat, the ‘good’ type of fat that actually helps you burn more calories and eradicate harmful ‘white fat’ from the body. In other words, your body uses more energy/calories in cold weather than it does in warm weather to keep you warm, therefore, using up a lot more calories than in the warmer months.

According to the scientists at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, being mildly cold – that is, not to the point of shivering – can increase the rate of energy burnt by between 3 and 30 percent.

The shiver workout

Research has shown that shivering with cold may be as effective as exercise when it comes to staying fit and slim. Scientists found that shivering for 10 to 15 minutes can burn as many calories as an hour of moderate exercise. They identified two hormones that are stimulated by cold – irisin and FGF21- released from shivering muscle and brown fat respectively. These hormones produced when we are cold fire up the energy-burning rate of brown fat cells.

Perhaps, if you have the right diet plan that helps you shed kilos, you can lose body fat fast without having to exercise during winter. So, why not embrace a healthier lifestyle this season, which will naturally help you burn off extra calories, to stay fit and improve overall health?