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cold weather requires more calories?

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i'm not sure if this is true but i have heard that if you are exposed to the cold your body burns more calories because it has to try to keep your body temperature up.

is there any truth to this?

i ask because i live in michigan and frequently walk in this weather as well as live in it. (we don't heat my house higher than 58. but i doubt it's even that warm. we all have space heaters for our rooms but common rooms aren't heated.)

does anyone know anything about this?
sorry if i posted this in the wrong forum. i wasn't sure where this should go.

Edited Feb 09 2009 16:32 by nycgirl
Reason: 1/27/09: Stickied for a week; 2/9/09: Unstickied
17 Replies (last)

Yes, you probably do use a few more calories keeping your temperature up if you're outside in the cold.  As for how many, who can tell?

I think the difference is very significant. It's not like you need much more calories in the cold..

You're body does expend more energy when you are cold trying to keep warm so you would burn more calories. Some good reading.

http://www.drmirkin.com/public/Ezine030605.ht ml


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interesting...makes all that freezing that I complain about (like today) while jogging or wlaking outside worthwhile I suppose hahaha....now if you told me slipping around on the ice did something extra to boost my metabolism I owuld be even more motivated! lol

assuming that you dress for the weather, i don't really think it makes that much difference.  if you're running around in a bikini, now, that's different ;)

If you're having to shovel snow for an extra half an hour a day because it's cold and windy and all the neighbours' snow keeps blowing onto your path, you burn extra calories that way . . .  Smile

half an hour?  how about 90 minutes, three days in a row.

wow you only keep your heat to 58????thats crazy! mine is always at least 70..well i guess im from florida too..lol

http://www.thatsfit.com/2007/12/28/cold-clima te-calorie-burn/

Dont know how accurate this article is..but I have read ones like it before.  If you get to the point of shivering, then you are definitley burning more calories.  Also the extra weight of winter clothes can make you burn more calories....but seems like it would all be negligible.

Who knows?


EDIT:  This article is interesting too:)

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index .php?topic=3326

BUT THIS ARTICLE SAYS THE OPPOSITE!!!  lol.  Says we burn less calories in the cold????

http://www.drmirkin.com/public/Ezine030605.ht ml


if yu consume ice cubes before bed, you bill burn extra calories maintaining your body's core temperature

If you consume ice cubes at any time, you'll burn the same number of calories - but it's a really teeny tiny number so not really worth doing unless you just happen to enjoy snacking on ice cubes.

I don't remember where I read it, but some article said that for 40 minutes or so after drinking 20oz of cold water metabolism sped up by a bit.  They couldn't tell if it was the water or the temp though.

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Original Post by susiecue:

If you consume ice cubes at any time, you'll burn the same number of calories - but it's a really teeny tiny number so not really worth doing unless you just happen to enjoy snacking on ice cubes.

Although your body will burn calories heating itself backup from the ice cubes, eating ice cubes will carry with it unintended consequences (same with drinking ice cold water).  I don't recommend it.  Traditional Chinese Medicine has a lot to say about it in regards to digestion and the spleen.

Whether you agree with TCM or not you might want to listen a little more closely to your body, and how it responds to something like this.


yeah you burn more calories in the cold, but you also tend to exercise less especially in winter


Ha ha...try living in Northern Ontario... by north I mean Timmins. The weather here is so cold, but somedays when there is no or little wind and the sun is really bright it's nice to go for long walks around the lake. But yeah....it is definatly chilly. I do think that your body does burn more calories to try to stay warm, which is why in some places where it's really cold you will notice that people are bigger because they need the body fat to stay warm, but you do exercise less in Winter. It kind of evens out, I guess.

^ right, I thought that the body tends to store fat in prolonged cold conditions because of the extra energy needed to keep its temperature.

I have never heard that, but it sounds like it's probably correct. Now I am actually curious as to what the answer is. ha ha

17 Replies