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Caloric cost of thermogenesis


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This is an interesting anecdotal observation.


In my case, I've noticed a drop in 500 to 700 calories per day due (probably) exclusively to thermogenesis.


During the winter, when I practiced cold exposure, I would ingest that + delta of calories with respect to now, the summer season, with about the same degree of exercise, and with the same bodyweight.

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Do you have a preference for constant cold exposure versus intermittent? My personal preference is for the latter but I can't speak to the health implications.


I can tolerate being a rat with cold feet in a shower for about a minute but then I have to crank up the heat. Though it is about that time of year where I can end a shower with a minute of two of cold (not that cold with the underground temps ~50 F). It is very much a seasonal adjustment between the desire to gain/lose heat. A different mindset to identical conditions:


It's a little cold: crank up the heat.

It's a little cold: good.

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Tim, my exposure was intermittent, with some prolonged periods when I went out. At home I was in shorts, since there is heating. 


I'll be under the shower from a minimum of 3 minutes to a max of 5, and the water is pretty cold and numbing, so I suspect that's a norepinephrine spike which upregulates from the early morning the daily thermogenesis.


Las winter I never used my wintry clothes, donning a thin long-sleeved shirt  or a T shirt. Temps ranged from below freezing to some above, it was not a cold winter.


One secondary reason for burning more is that cold makes you more active, you walk more briskly and sometimes I just felt like running instead of walking, but that sure doesn't justify the delta I observed.

Also, shivering which sometimes I encouraged is a form of physical activity.


Must say that: one night I went walking for an hour with a chilling wind in a T shirt, and it felt like hell, the cold Tibetian hell. Time dilated and it seemed like I was doomed to unending suffering. I had to pretend I was perfectly all right since there were lots of people around, with heavy clothing. Back home it was warm though so it constituted an ntermittent exposure.

Edited by mccoy
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I workout on an elliptical cross trainer with arm motion -- the most modern Precor -- in my gym, for one hour daily. This is a vigorous workout; I drink a bottle of cold water first, and drink another during the workout, to prevent dehydration. I don't sweat much, but I'm quite sweaty after the workout. I then take a cold shower -- I have the cold water fall first on my rear; then I turn around and let it hit my hair. By then, it's easy to get under the cold shower. Then, some shampoo, shampooing my hair, facial hair, underarms, pubic hair and (for good measure) my anal hair. I finish the wash, which by then is easy, dry off with a towel, and I'm ready to go home (or to my next class at the University of Rochester, when not on Summer Break)


-- Saul

Edited by Saul
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