A busy social life with lots of friends could be helpful in being slimmer than spending hours on a treadmill, scientists have found.
According to scientists, who conducted their research on mice, socialising and meeting with friends helps boost levels of 'brown fat' in the body which burns calories to generate heat.
Living in a stimulating, social environment was found to reduce abdominal fat in mice by half over four weeks, even if they ate more, Daily Mail reported.
US researchers say that social stimulation aids weight loss by converting white fat into brown. White stores calories and makes us fatter, while brown burns energy to generate heat.
Converting white fat into brown is notoriously difficult, normally requiring long term exposure to cold conditions or activating part of the body's nervous system.
Scientists from Ohio State University now think that having a busy social life is an even more effective way of changing white fat into brown.
The team came up with their theory by studying the effects of various living environments on mice. Those, who lived alongside a greater number of mice, had more space and toys to stimulate them lost far more weight over the course of the study than their 'couch potato' counterparts.
Study author Matthew During, whose team's findings appear in journal Cell Metabolism said: "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."