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Turning down the thermostat may help you lose weight

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An upside of your freezing cold office: Dutch endocrinologists argue in a new report that exposure to mild cold temperatures around 64 to 66 degrees can help you lose weight.

The theory goes like this: Weight is determined by energy intake (the calories you consume) and energy output (the calories you burn).

The authors of this new paper hypothesize that setting the thermostat to a cooler temperature will make our bodies work harder to warm themselves, which means more calories burned.

Keeping the thermostat turned low is not the solution to the problem of obesity – because there is, of course, no single answer, says Dr. W. D. van Marken Lichtenbelt, lead author of the paper.

But Dr. Jeffrey Mechanick, a New York City endocrinologist who was not involved in this report, says it’s a “reasonable” hypothesis.