Weight Loss
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# do we burn more calories when we are cold?

Hi!

I've been freezing in my apt, esp. at night. Do I burn more calories-and how many more-at rest if I'm cold? Thanks!CB
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Yes, your body has to burn more calories anytime you are hotter or colder than it wants to be. I don't know how many more, though. You might try googling it?
Found this article, check the second paragraph - claims that if we are cold enough that we are shivering, we can burn up to 400 calories an hour trying to keep our body warm!

This was the only article I could find about burning calories while your body is cold - most of the articles that came up in the google search was about calories burned drinking cold water!

Hope that helps!
What an awesome article! Thank you so much! CB
So the moral of the story is, if you turn down the thermostat and then wrap yourself in a warm blanket you're not burning any extra calories... but if you stand there naked jumping around then you will burn extra calories... hehe.

According to some papers I googled, the heat transfer coefficient for a person with clothing (e.g. a man with socks, briefs, pants, underpants, l.s. shirt and shoes) is about 12 kcal/ (hr m^2 deg C). So....

If you did nothing different but just lowered the thermostat by 9 deg F. You would lose  this many more Calories to the environment (= kcal):

12 * (2 m^2 is a humans surface area) * (10 hours - assume that in sleep you are much better insulated) * (5 deg C which is equal to 9 deg F) = 12*2*10*5= 1200 Calories!

Coefficients vary depending on what you are wearing, humidity, etc. but you get the idea. If you are doing nothing else, on the order of 1000 Calories for 9 deg F, or more or less 100 Cal per deg F, as a rule of thumb.

I think I was at the American History Museum, or one of the Smithsonian institutions and I saw an exhibit on Antarctic expeditions. One of the models was two people standing in front of the tent, and the caption claimed that they had to eat three times the normal amount of calories just to maintain their body temperature in those conditions.

So yes, being cold definitely puts stress on the body to keep warm.

If it was really that significant then there surely wouldn't be so many fat people in Scotland. In extreme cases though, yeh I'd assume so, but why put yourself in an uncomfortable environment (and weaken your immune system) in order to burn a few extra calories? Like my mum says: Vanity feels no pain.

And.... oh my jeeze, it's just started snowing     finally!

Maybe I'm confusing this with drinking freezing water, but I didn't think it made much difference.

It does sound like a pretty torturous way to lose weight, as fun as jumping up and down naked sounds. I prefer the warm blanket, even if I miss out on losing an extra 2 ounces a day.

Wait!

...jumping up and down naked isn't fun??

*stops jumping and puts clothes back on*

It makes complete sense as to why that is.  Shivering is caused my fast muscle contractions. In order for muscles to contract  they need energy (ATP) which we have to make, so that is why we burn calories. Also this is why when you ever come across a person who has severe burns, you need to try to cool their body temp down by cold compresses but you need to make sure that you don't cool them down too much or they will start shivering (producing ATP) and the energy will actually start making them warm again. Just some interesting facts... I thought

O_o ?

Interesting o_O

i guess i am going try to get back to lighter clothes when am on my evening walks.( i started wearing more thick clothes due to the cold weather afraid of catching a cold )

but i guess i would have to walk at a higer intensity to keep my self warm O_o.

OK.. So I am wearing a sweater, and I am STILL cold... Not to the point of teeth chattering but I am definitely not comfortable, so what then?

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