Turn Down Your Thermostat to Lose Weight?

Are you struggling with your weight? You might want to check your thermostat. A new study featured in the International Journal of Obesity found an association between obesity and certain lifestyle behaviors. Beyond the established contributors to obesity (too many calories consumed and insufficient exercise), researchers aimed to determine the effect that other lifestyle choices may have on the waistline. They looked at things people do daily — some of which you would never think would be associated with your weight. 

Over a six-year period, researchers found that those who consumed more meals at restaurants, those that kept their homes at warmer temperatures, and those that skimped on sleep tended to be obese and/or have high blood sugar. They also found an association between inadequate fiber intake and obesity.

This makes a lot of sense. When you go out to eat at a restaurant, the meals tend to be higher in calories and fat; and the portions are often unnecessarily large. Being mindful of these things will help you choose healthier options when dining out. Inadequate sleep is associated with impaired processing of blood sugar. And a colder room temperature results in a greater caloric expenditure.

While these findings are interesting and valuable, they do not replace the fundamentals. The obesity and diabetes epidemics don’t have one solution, but it is important to examine various contributing factors in order to properly treat them. The foundations to good health remain the same: eat well, get adequate sleep and exercise regularly. If anything, these lifestyle modifications are ancillary. Let me put it this way: if you keep your home at a cool temperature, but you still eat Pop Tarts and drink soda, you’re not going to be offsetting the calories consumed by keeping the thermostat at 50 degrees. While it’s still important to look at the whole picture, getting off the couch for a walk and staying away from fattening foods is still paramount to staying trim and healthy.


2 Comments

  • Interesting! I always try to eat a mostly whole foods diet and drink lots of water and green tea! I am also trying to eat smaller more frequent meals through the day and making sure to take my Vidazorb probiotic for good digestion. I am hoping that with these small healthy choices, it will help huge!

  • The reasoning behind why people are obese totally makes sense. There can be other factors that go into obesity though. I’m trying to get used to living a <a href=”http://www.optimalife.net/”>diabetes lifestyle</a> since I was diagnosed, and I can definitely see that I was doing all of these things. I hope I can lose the weight that I need to so that this isn’t something I’ll be living with forever.

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