Yearning to be slim without hitting the gym? Then have an active social life, says a new study.
Scientists from Ohio State University found that socializing and meeting with friends aid weight loss by converting energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat.
Lead researcher Dr. Matthew J. During and colleagues used mice to study the effects a socially and physically engaging environment has on weight loss and obesity.
They found that mice in an ‘enriched’ environment with friends and stress expend more energy and lose weight even as they eat more.
They said that the animals’ abdominal fat decreased by 50 percent after four weeks in the enriched environment.
Scientists believe the same process probably occurs in humans.
“I’m still amazed at the degree of fat loss that occurs. The amount that comes off is far more than you would get with a treadmill,” said During.
Co-author Lei Cao said that the new result might offer insight into studies showing a link between loneliness and ill health.
The findings appear in the September Cell Metabolism.