Sticking to that New Year’s resolution? Well, you might consider turning down the thermostat.
A study (pdf warning) published in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism has found that a lower ambient temperature can help spend those daily calories. The authors found that, whilst people can pretty easily adapt to a range of 17°C -25°C, people get uncomfortable outside those ranges. Lower than that, and the body has to work harder in order to maintain a healthy internal temperature. Researchers had a group of volunteers spend six hours a day at 15°C for six weeks, and at the end of it found that there was a significant decrease in body fat content in their subjects.
That’s very little cold for a loss of about a hundred calories a day—basically, you’d just need to lower your thermostat for a few hours to reap the benefits of cold. Don’t try and stay cold while exercising though; you’ll want to stay warm for that.