Yes, it’s cold and nasty out, but it could help you shed a few pounds.

Scientists have known for years that bears, other hibernating animals, even newborn humans, have a substance in their bodies known as brown fat. It differs from white fat in that it exists solely for the purpose of giving off its energy in the form of heat.

That is how bears survive the long, cold winter. They go into their shelter all big and fat, burn off that brown fat to keep their body’s core temperature at the necessary level though the winter, and emerge in the spring sunshine skinny, svelte and ready to go.

New research has found, adult humans have brown fat, too. “Apparently now it also happens to adults to a small degree, and it can be inducible by cold,” Dr. Ashok Balasubramanyam, assistant professor of medicine in the section of diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolism at Baylor University, tells KTRH News.

A study in Japan had a group of participants spend two hours a day in temperatures around 62 degrees for six weeks, and they noticeably lost body fat. It is important to get past the shivering stage, which also burns fat – but white fat – before your body kicks in your brown fat burners and churns off warm calories.

So when we warm up, which we will soon, spend a few hours outside when its just below 62 and melt off the pounds.