Does the Body Burn More Calories in the Cold?

Does the Body Burn More Calories in the Cold?

Winter is here, and red noses are aplenty. Big coats shield us from the icy cold, and boots work their hardest to keep our feet nice and warm. Still, the chill of winter wind sends a shiver through the body every time a breeze blows by just the right way. Logically speaking, it makes sense to think that between our bodies constantly working to keep us warm in the winter months, that the body would obviously burn more calories in cold weather – right?

Not exactly, but kind of.

Cold weather is not the sole deciding factor dictating whether or not our bodies go into calorie-burning mode. It’s more so the process our bodies undergo once we start shivering from a temperature drop. This process is called thermogenesis. One way of this happening is to shiver, which is when the muscles contract involuntarily in order to create warmth and help maintain a healthy body temperature.

Or, your body could go into non-shivering thermogenesis. This is where the body’s brown fat breaks down to release heat and, again, help warm the body up. Both shivering and non-shivering thermogenesis increase the body’s energy expenditure, which helps burn calories. This is why your body may burn more calories in colder weather.

However, those two energy-expending and calorie-burning processes only kick into high gear when the body is truly cold. Once exercise begins, and the body naturally warms up from it, the body isn’t going to burn any extra calories just because of the weather. But don’t use that as an excuse to not exercise this winter season, sitting around and being sedentary is no way to keep the body healthy during the chilly months.

The Caloric Burn Breakdown

  1. BMR: Your basic daily caloric burn, known as BMR, or basal metabolic rate. That’s how many calories your body needs just to function at rest. (~60% – ~80% total energy expenditure)
  2. FOOD BREAKDOWN: The energy needed to break down all that yummy food consumed throughout the day. (~10% total energy expenditure)
  3. EXERCISING: Lastly, the energy needed when engaging in physical activity. (~10% – ~30% total energy expenditure)

The calories burned during thermogenesis plays a substantially small role in overall expenditure, less than 5% – 10% actually.1 In one study where individuals were put in cold rooms for an entire day, subjects burned an additional 150 to 200 calories.2 That’s not ideal or healthy, and not a smart way to burn extra calories.

So, if you’re looking to burn extra calories this winter season, then up your fitness routine rather than your time freezing in the cold. And for those of you looking to take your workout season indoors, get a 5-day LA Fitness guest pass here.

Sources:

  1. Belluz, Julia. “Do You Burn More Calories Exercising in the Cold? Here’s What the Science Says.” Vox, Vox, 6 Feb. 2018, www.vox.com/2017/12/23/16774320/exercise-in-cold-burn-more-calories.
  2. Ibid

Resources:

  1. Praderio, Caroline. “If Your Office Is Freezing This Summer, You Might Be Burning Extra Calories.” INSIDER, INSIDER, 3 July 2018, www.thisisinsider.com/does-being-cold-burn-calories-2017-8.

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“Eating healthy means making more decisions that crowd out items you know intuitively don’t make you feel good while increasing foods that give you energy, enhance your mood and drive for life.”

Hanna Gregor, founder and CEO

OH! Juice Café

Photography provided by: OH! Juice


OH! Juice Café is located at the following location:

OH! Juice Café

OH! Juice Café is located at 90 N Coast Hwy 101, Ste. 212, Encinitas, CA 92024. Open Monday – Friday from 7am to 6pm. For menu and additional details, please visit ohjuicecleanse.com.


Photography provided by: OH! Juice


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Ingredients

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Serves 4-6

Note: We recommend using all organic, locally sourced ingredients, just like we do at our Café!
·       1 ea medium butternut squash (Peeled and Cleaned)
·       1 oz coconut oil
·       1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
·       1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
·       Himalayan Sea salt
·       ½ loaf Walnut Bread
·       1 1/2 1lbs. crimini mushrooms (sliced)
·       3 T olive oil
·       6 cloves chopped garlic
·       12 sage leaves (chopped)
·       2 tsp Himalayan salt
·       1 tsp. Black Pepper
·       Optional garnish: goji berries or dried cranberries

Method

Part 1: Mashed Butternut Squash

1 ea medium butternut squash (Peeled and Cleaned)
1 oz coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch pink Himalayan sea salt

Toss ingredients and place on a sheet pan. Roast at 400 degrees for approximately 40 minutes or until soft. Rough mash of ingredients.

Part 2: Sage Mushrooms

1 1/2 lbs crimini mushrooms (sliced)
3 tbsp. olive oil
6 cloves chopped garlic
12 sage leaves (chopped)
2 tsp. Himalayan salt
1 tsp. Black Pepper

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Part 3: Balsamic Vinegar Syrup

This is simply a reduction of balsamic vinegar by approximately 75 percent then cooled.

Part 4: Assembly

Step 1: Toast walnut bread (we source ours from Prager Brothers!) and smear a couple of tablespoons of squash mixture on toast.

Step 2: Add a couple more tablespoons of sauté mushroom mixture on top of squash as the next layer of goodness.

Step 3: Finally, drizzle with your balsamic vinegar syrup. Garnish with goji berries or dried cranberries.


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Dietitian Debbie James, Joins the Show 

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Fitness Strategy Heading into the Holidays 

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