Is this what Brown Fat activation feels like?



Hi folks. I’ve recently been feeling surges of heat in the evenings and was wondering if others have felt this too. I was wondering if it has to do with having converted some of my White Adipose Tissue (WAT) to Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT)? When I start to feel hot, I find that the heat is coming from the top of my torso, just over the breasts. Also from the slides, just above the waistline.

I find that it doesn’t matter if it was a weight lifting day or a rest day, if I was eating at a caloric surplus (I’m usually at a deficit for fat loss), if I ate OMAD or TMAD. Some nights, I get really hot.

Last night it was -3C (~28F) and I stood outside, topless, and didn’t feel cold at all. I stayed out for 3-5 minutes before heading back inside.

Not sure if this helps, but what’s changed for me is that I’ve upped my protein consumption to ~1g per pound of body weight in the last couple of months. I also started taking creatine about a month ago (7 day loading phase). These changes helped me to lift more and I noticed that my muscles are noticeably bigger than they were a month ago.

A Calorie is Not A Calorie - A Discussion of Thermodynamics
(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #2

The increased protein intake is probably not responsible for much of the heat you are experiencing. However, it is entirely plausible that your metabolism has increased in order to cope with an increased energy intake, and the browning of adipose tissue (metabolic “uncoupling”) is part of that response.

Be careful not to overdo the protein. I believe it was @richard who calculated that ammonia toxicity starts to become a concern around 3.0 g/kg of lean mass, as the uric acid cycle gets overwhelmed. One gram per pound of total body weight is equivalent to over 2.2 g/kg of lean mass, the overage depending on your percentage of body fat.


If I look at my weekly calorie intake, I’m usually at a deficit of 1500-2000, but eating to satiety. I find protein very satisfying. I through in some days of caloric surplus, and typically have a surplus every 3rd week or so of 500-1000 calories, just to keep my body guessing and don’t go into starvation mode.

Maybe with more muscle, my metabolism got revved up and is using up my ample fat stores? I dunno.

I’m 6’4", 245-250lbs (I gained ~3-4 lbs after taking creatine). My Omron BIA scale has me as 28% BF as of this evening. My DEXA scan from last October had me at 32.8%. I usually eat around 225-250g of protein a day.

I don’t smell ammonia in my urine. Back when I did a high protein, low carb diet, years ago, I certainly did.

I did a quick search on symptoms of elevated ammonia levels and found these:

  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Pain in the back, sides or abdomen
  • Weakness (loss of strength)

Thankfully none of them apply to me at this time.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #4


(Doug) #5

I’ve had that feeling, very much the same - above the breasts, up past the shoulders, and part way up the neck. Very pleasurable, and oddly enough it was after 3 or 4 days of fasting.


Funny, I’m the opposite. If I fast for over 24h, my hands and feet tend to get cold.

Mind you I haven’t done a multi-day fast since I’ve been experiencing these sensations of heat. I think I might try a multi-day fast in the next month and see if I do.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #7

Something interesting is happening as I write. Several days ago I responded to another topic with the link to a Thomas DeLaur video about fixing your metabolism. One of the things he talks about in that video is eating turmeric to boost your metabolic rate. That got me curious so I did some research about turmeric and BAT - which then led to my posting several topics related to BAT.

Saturday on the way home from work I bought a bag of powdered turmeric. I added 1 gram to my keto coffee both yesterday morning and today. Nothing of note yesterday, but today around 2:30-3:00 pm a hot flush started. For me that means my torso gets so warm that I actually start to sweat not only on the torso but arms, legs and head as well. Usually, this happens during the night while I’m sleeping and awakens me, lasts for a less than an hour or so then passes. No matter how cold it is in the bedroom, I throw off all covers for the rest of the night.

I had some shopping I wanted to get done today since it’s a day off work, so I went out hoping the cooler outdoor air would cool me down. Didn’t. I got home again around 5pm. Still hot and sweaty now at approx 5:45. I’m drinking a cold Fresca in the hopes of inducing a cool down. But hasn’t happened yet.

Key word: turmeric. I intend to keep adding it to my morning keto coffee and will keep you informed of any developments.

(Keith) #8

Hi Mavro,

The creatine will give your muscles a “fuller” look due to the water retention as this is what the creatine should do.
This added water also pumps out the slow twitch muscles and therefore gives you that added strength gain (the placebo effect will help too) your hot flushes maybe due to you stoking the metabolism furnace after a heavy training session.

(Bob M) #9

Maybe I should break out that bottle of Tumeric I bought and never used (or did I toss it?).

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #10

It would be an interesting experiment. I had my semi-typical night hot flush last night but I didn’t get as hot as usual. I’m curious to see if I get an afternoon flush today like yesterday. I’ll be working if I do, and that should be exciting!

(Joey) #11

This is fascinating - thanks for sharing your experience. I’m still not sure whether the nighttime hot flashes are a good thing or a bad thing… what’s your take?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #12

I think you’re asking whether or not I think they’re a symptom of something and my answer is I don’t know. My dad had hyperthyroid as a young man and it progressed to the point where no matter what or how much he ate he lost weight. By the time he was ‘treated’ he was emaciated to the point of seeming end starvation. I’ve seen a photo of my dad with his eyes bulging out of his head. My dad was in the Air Force and the ‘treatment’ of the day (early 1950s) was simply to nuke the thyroid. It worked! For the rest of his life no matter what or how little he ate, he gained weight. He finally started losing weight again for the last couple years of his life by going low carb. Not keto by any means, just way lower carb than SAD.

I don’t have hyperthyroid but I think I have a very active thyroid. I’m happy about it, too! I think my active thyroid protected me from the major negative consequences of eating SAD all my life. Now without all those excess carbs/glucose to manage, maybe my thyroid is just ‘blowing off steam’ during the night every few days. If it’s dissipating a couple hundred calories of unneeded fat, I’ll take it.

I think I’ve always had active BAT. Since childhood I’ve always gravitated more towards the cold of winter than the heat of summer. Cold invigorates me whereas heat melts me. Maybe now that I’ve been keto for 4 years some interesting metabolic stuff is beginning to happen.


I am a curious one who likes experiments. I will have a little turmeric experiment then, I still have a quite big bag, we use it in soups and I made golden milk sometimes as well (not the sweet kind. I can’t even imagine turmeric and anything sweet together, well sweeter than milk though I didn’t use actual milk, that’s too sugary). I probably can come up with recipes. Turmeric and eggs, turmeric and meat :smiley:
Turmeric in coffee sounds odd but I never tried it, it just sounds a bad combo to me :smiley:
I don’t expect absolutely anything. I am never cold or hot without a serious reason (temperature, tiredness, movement… food never seemed to have any effect), why would some turmeric change this but one can never know what will happen…

(Joey) #14

Very good to hear you’re on top of your thyroid situation given your family history. I wonder whether there are any studies - even perhaps significant anecdotal narratives - about the interaction of turmeric and thyroid function.

Best wishes :vulcan_salute:

EDIT: A quick google search suggests there are a LOT of hits on “turmeric” plus " thyroid"

(Robin) #15

I have had night time hot flashes for many months, and I am beyond the time of “hormonal” hot flashes. I just chalk it up to my metabolism getting to work. I throw off the covers and go back to sleep, grateful that my metabolism is chugging right along whilst I sleep. Maybe that’s naive and overly simplistic. But everything else is on track keto and weight wise, so I’m not concerned.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #16

While I suppose it might possibly indicate some sort of problem, my first thought would be that you ate a few more calories than necessary, and your system is burning them off in the form of heat. I sweat a lot at night whenever I yield to my food addiction and eat past the point of satiety.


Thanks for reminding me… I did watch that video and bought turmeric as a result. I put it in my nightly decaf for a couple of weeks but stopped doing it over a month ago. I didn’t noticed a change then but maybe it contributed to what I am feeling now.

Turmeric. Who knew? :slight_smile:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #18

Only one thing slightly unusual today. At Walmart we all get our forehead temp measured with an infrared thermometer gun at the start of each shift. Prior to today my temp was generally in the range of 35.5°C - 36.3°C (95.9°F - 97.34°F). My previous high was 36.3°C (97.34°F). Today my forehead temp was 36.6°C (97.88°F). Other than that, I did not experience any ‘excess’ heat today, warm but not sweaty.

On another note, today was one of those days when due to shift timimg my meal at work was my last meal of the day since I got home too late to eat afterwards. So I’m into a 15 hour overnight IF.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #19

As mentioned earlier I’ve been adding a gram of turmeric to my keto mix each morning since Sunday. The stuff doesn’t dissolve completely even in the hot coffee and getting blended. So as an experiment I added turmeric powder to the coffee grounds in the pot of coffee I started to seep last night and will decant shortly. I just discovered that the active ingredient in turmeric, namely curcumin, is fat soluble and not water soluble, so little to none is likely to have been extracted into my cold brewed coffee. It is also not particularly bioavailable, but dissolving in fat increases its bioavailability significantly! More than half of my keto mix is fat, so maybe add the turmeric to the fat mix the night before mixing the other dry ingredients (whey and collagen). The intrepid experimenter stumbles on.


Turmeric never mixed very well in my golden milk either. I felt it very much but I ended up with turmeric pasta in the bottom… Maybe I added much. I remember such a thing and it was only a glass of liquid and way more than 1g turmeric for sure. I didn’t experienced anything after that but I only drank that sporadically.

It’s good I came here, I already forgot I wanted this experiment. But I start it today then.