Want to lose weight, but too cold to brave the frigid outdoors for exercise? Try lowering the thermostat in your office or home a couple of degrees. New research published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that mildly chilly temperatures could help you naturally shed more pounds, CNN reports.

So, how does it work? The researchers found that when we’re a little bit cold, but not quite to the point we’re shivering, our bodies actually burn calories to warm up. This process, called nonshivering thermogenesis, could be the key to activating healthy brown adipose (a.k.a. brown fat) tissues in the body.

Brown fat is different than the white fat most of us associate with being overweight. Instead, it’s a type of fat cell that actually helps burn calories. Several studies show that thinner people tend to produce more brown fat than people who are obese, and also that losing weight can actually stimulate more of these fat cells.

Researchers say feeling chilly may have a similar effect. A recent study found that when subjects spent six hours each day in 59-degree temperatures during a 10-day “cold acclimation period,” participants felt more comfortable in the cold over time. What’s more, the time subjects spent “chilling” also increased their ability to achieve nonshivering thermogenesis and generate brown fat cell production.

That means feeling cold could actually stimulate our bodies’ brown fat to burn more calories. This might make us not only more resistant to the cold, but also more naturally predisposed to losing weight.

But “more frequent cold exposure alone is not going to save the world” from obesity, said Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt, PhD, the study’s lead author. “But it is a serious factor to consider for creating a sustainable environment along with a healthy lifestyle.”

Scientists suggest testing out this chill theory by varying temperatures in your house and office by a few degrees over time. This will allow your body to adjust accordingly and increase the amount of energy it expends at the same time.

For more tips on losing weight this winter season, click here.