Here’s an unconventional way to shed those extra pounds: A new study featured on The Huffington Post reports that spicy food and a cool climate may help you burn more fat.

According to researcher Takeshi Yoneshiro from the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, constant exposure to colder climes and chili-based food may increase the activity of brown adipose tissue more commonly known as "brown fat." This kind of fat is said to contain many mitochondria, which are responsible for burning energy.

As part of the experiment, eight volunteers with little to no brown fat cells were exposed to the low temperature of 17 degrees Celsius for two hours daily. By the end of six weeks, the volunteers managed to burn more energy and had 5 percent less body fat than members of the control group who were exposed to regular conditions.

Yoneshiro's team also observed that individuals who ate spicy food for the same amount of time burned more energy but didn’t lose any more white fat. By the end of the study, researchers concluded that those who regularly ate chili-based food managed to burn more energy and fat than those who didn't.

Luckily, the -ber months are here so you don't have to worry about the weather. Just add a bit of spice to your meals, and you may be well on your way to burning more calories.

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(Photo by Jennifer Rafieyan via Flickr Creative Commons)

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