Do You Burn Extra Calories When You Are Cold?


When it is really cold its hard to imagine that you are NOT working harder to keep your body warm. The fact is, you don’t actually start to burn additional calories until you shiver. Shivering is the main sign that your body is trying to keep your temperature steady.

Every body’s bodies and situations are obviously different so the calories you burn will largely vary depending on the outside temperature, how long you’ve been outside and what type of clothing you’re wearing as well as your body composition. When your core temperature drops and blood starts to pump away from your arms and legs and to your core to keep you warm, hypothermia might set in so always be wary of that if you are in extreme cold environments. Other signs on hypothermia might included mild shivering, goose bumps and cold hands.  Uncontrollable shivering, stumbling and difficulty speaking are signs of more severe hypothermia. 

A study came out in the journal “Cell Metabolism” in 2014, shivering is now being examined as a potential weight loss therapy. Like exercise, shivering also activates the hormone irisin. “Irisin prompts brown fat cells to use energy to produce additional heat, which burns extra calories. In the study, participants relaxed in thermoblankets in which the temperature was progressively lowered.  The subjects increased the amount of calories they burned under cooler temperatures, and the harder participants shivered, the higher their irisin levels rose. The researchers concluded that shivering rouses your brown fat tissue to keep your core temperature in a healthy range, even if your skin temperature falls. The study was small, however, and more research is needed before shivering should be recommended to remedy overweight and obesity”  According to Livestrong

In other studies the results were more or less the same, no significant weight loss due to cold temperatures.  I would recommend sticking to training according to a weight loss program and eating plan to lose weight.

 Winter is the best time to do so as they say “Summer Bodies are Made In Winter”

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