Did you know your fat is different colors?!You have both brown fat and white fat. You lose most of your brown fat as you age but you're born with a good amount of brown fat to help you regulate your temperature before your hypothalamus takes over.
Brown fat is somewhat of a hot topic right now because it's been recently (2009) discovered that adults have brown fat! Why is this significant?
Brown fat is an energy burner. It burns energy from white fat to heat your body up. When scientists looked at brown fat they discovered it has way more mitochondria (your body's power plant) than white fat and therefore theorize that brown fat can assist you in losing weight.
You naturally lose much of your brown fat as you age but there are a few things you can do to prevent its loss or promote the "browning" of white fat.
1. Expose yourself to cold. This one makes sense but research doesn't show any practicality unfortunately. Spending 2 hours at 66 degrees Fahrenheit may increase your brown fat because it stimulates the heat producing mechanism provided by brown fat just like it functions in babies. If you have a practical way to do this every day for several months, lemme know.
2. Exercise. There's been a study on men that showed when exercising for a few months some of their white fat turned to a beige color. Promising results and even more evidence that exercise is good for you.
3. Melatonin. Increase its production by avoiding screen time at night, good sleep hygiene and exposing yourself to light in the morning.
In summary, brown fat is an energy burner and white fat stores energy. It was thought that adults don't have brown fat until 2009 when brown fat was discovered in adults. The mechanism of brown fat in maintaining a normal weight is still being studied but researchers have observed normal weight adults have more brown fat. Early studies show that healthy behaviors promote the browning of white fat and retention of existing brown fat.
What does this mean for you? Keep up your healthy behaviors- sleep, exercise, manage stress, avoid sugar, drink water, etc. These are good for your body in more ways than we know!