Cold gets fat? What to do to control weight in winter?

In theory, the cold can give a boost to weight loss. This is because the body expends more calories to maintain the proper temperature. But in practice the story is usually different.

After all, it is not uncommon to hear someone say that, with the arrival of winter, the clothes got tighter. And, in fact, both statements are correct – the cold favors weight loss, but also weight gain.

Although it seems contradictory, there is a good explanation for this, and it has to do with habits during the cold seasons:

Index – in this article you will find:

  1. Does feeling cold burn more calories?
  2. So does winter help you lose weight?
  3. Why do we get fat not cold?
  4. How to maintain a healthy weight and not get fat in winter?

Does feeling cold burn more calories?

Yea! It is a fact that the cold makes the body spend more calories – but this increase in energy expenditure is small. In other words, being cold is not enough to cause significant changes in the balance.

Under normal conditions, the body works to maintain body temperature around 36.5 ° C. To generate heat, you need to convert calories into energy.

For example, in the heat, perspiration occurs, which helps to soften and control body heat. Likewise, in the cold the body raises the metabolism, so that it produces more heat. In general, close to 20ºC, or less, the body already starts to work on thermal regulation.

So does winter help you lose weight?

It depends. Directly, the body needs to spend more calories to maintain the temperature. This means that, in theory, it is easier to lose weight. But then, why do a lot of people get fat during the winter?

The answer depends on other factors, and many have to do with the habits adopted to circumvent the cold.

First, it is worth remembering that the energy expenditure caused by low temperatures is subtle. This means that reducing the amount of clothing will not lead to significant decreases in measurements or in the balance. But it could even be a help when it comes to losing weight – that is, if there are no habits hindering weight loss.

Among the villains in the healthy weight are sedentary lifestyle and more caloric food, which become more common during the winter.

Why do we get fat not cold?

In winter, it is common for there to be a decrease in physical activities. With low temperatures, those walks in the park or going to the gym early becomes less common for many people. In addition, even going to the market on foot or cleaning the house (activities that generate energy costs) are less common due to the cold.

In other words, it is common for people to be more lying down or standing in general.

In addition, it is normal to have an increased appetite, and often the choice for food involves more caloric foods – not everyone chooses fruits or vegetables to kill hunger during the cold.

It is not difficult to realize that having a salad in the summer is refreshing and attractive, but doing so in the winter already gives you a feeling of cold, exactly because they are low calorie foods and, in general, served cold. Therefore, the foods chosen in the winter are those that are warmer and that are often also more caloric.

Ah, it is worth remembering that even when the choice of lunch or dinner is healthy, like a vegetable soup, it is necessary to pay attention to complements, such as cheese and sauces. Although tasty, they tend to increase the calorie content of the dish.

In the end, this is what makes winter synonymous with overweight.

How to maintain a healthy weight and not get fat in winter

Avoiding gaining too many pounds is important for the body to continue to function properly. In other words, it has more to do with health than just the numbers on the scale.

So, here are some tips that are important for those who want to spend the winter in a healthy and balanced way:

Keep your body active

Maintaining physical activity is essential for health and weight maintenance. In general, it is common to find it more difficult to exercise during the winter – it is easy to see how the gyms become more empty in the cold.

But it is important to adopt or maintain an active routine. This may include persisting in going to gym classes or exercising at home , for example. Walking on the treadmill, cycling or taking aerobic classes are some possibilities.

If the cold is moderate, you can keep running on the street or walking to work. The important thing is to keep the body moving. This maintains energy expenditure, stimulates circulation and improves physical disposition. In fact, doing activities is an excellent way to ward off the cold as soon as it helps to warm up the body.

Make healthy choices

Winter is an inviting time for those more caloric meals – hot chocolate, pasta and well-prepared soups are some of the options that come into the menu during the cold.

Although they are good ways to warm up the body, it is necessary to include them in moderation, preventing energy consumption from rising too high.

There are several ways to do this without having to exclude these options. For example, moderate the amount ingested or take care of additional ones that make the dish more caloric.

If the option is a soup, it is worth investing in those based on vegetables and without ready seasonings (such as vegetable broths). Also, using olive oil and cheese, especially those that are more yellow (and therefore more greasy), are tips that help to control the caloric amount of the meal.

Adapt meals

There are ways to make meals healthier and more nutritious even with those foods that seem unattractive for the winter. Soups, for example, are quite versatile and can be added with vegetables and grains.

Broths and creams can be made from very nutritious foods, such as peas, lentils, chickpeas, corn and beets. In addition, cakes and breads can also contain ingredients that reinforce the nutritional value, such as flaxseed, almond flour or amaranth.

These foods, in addition to being rich in vitamins and minerals, contain large amounts of fiber, which help to give satiety – which reduces that urge to eat a lot or make snacks between meals.

The fibers also help in the proper functioning of the intestine and contribute to a balanced dish as a whole.


The cold is an inviting time to venture out into the kitchen. But to make it possible to enjoy the flavors of winter and still keep your body healthy and your weight regulated, it is worth betting on a few tips on a daily basis.

Want to know more information for health during the cold? Follow the Healthy Minute!

Loading...