For us winter is the season of opportunity of gaining extra weight to the body. All kind of special winter food,cookies eggnog and exercise in this season means shuffling from the couch to the fridge. But actually this a great opportunity of losing some extra calories. If you live in a cold-weather climate, you have at least one calorie-burning weapon in your holiday arsenal: that arctic blast that hits you when you step outside.

Cold weather burns calories

Yes you heard it right cold temperatures can boost calorie burn. We already knew this, thanks to recent studies on brown fat and the hormone irisin. Both are involved in energy expenditure. Also both are activated by involuntary muscle contractions—like shivering when the temperature drops.

But we love how the American Chemical Society spells out the science for us, it shows us exactly how the process goes down. It’s a great reminder of how hard our bodies are working underneath the surface, even when we’re rarely moving a muscle.

To be clear, shivering on a ski lift or waiting on line outside a movie theater could never provide all the benefits of heart-pounding, muscle-building workout—it can also, by the way, trigger brown fat to burn more calories. But at least we can take heart in knowing that it may help—even in the tiniest way—keep off some of that dreaded winter weight.