Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Diet and Nutrition

Weight loss and feeling cold.

11/18/1998

Question:

I have lost 15 lbs and have 20 more to lose. I have been so cold. Will I ever adjust? Why am I so cold?

Answer:

Congratulations on your weight loss success! I am sorry to hear that you are cold (especially with the season change upon us!). The reason you may feel cold, is that you have lost body fat, and fat functions to insulate the body and keep it warm.

When a person loses weight, they lose both lean body tissue (muscle) as well as fat that was previously in storage. Fat functions to protect and insulate your organs. If you are on a very low calorie diet, this may be contributing to your cold intolerance. You may not be eating enough calories (which are a measurement of heat) to keep your body warm.

Your body adapts to dieting by lowering energy output and metabolism, and by decreasing body temperature. I do not know how long you will feel cold, but it may depend on how long you continue to diet. Since I don't know your height and weight, I cannot tell you whether or not you have "20 more pounds to lose." If you continue to feel cold, you may be losing too much weight. I recommend you consult with a Registered Dietitian to review your dietary habits and assess the adequacy of your diet.

A weight loss diet should contain at least 1200 calories per day in order to meet the minimum RDAs for nutrients. This means the lowest number of servings of food groups from the Daily Food Guide pyramid. Crash diets that restrict certain food groups or are way too low in calories may be contributing to your condition. For more information about weight loss, see the American Dietetic Association website at www.eatright.org. Good luck!

Related Resources:

American Dietetic Association

For more information:

Go to the Diet and Nutrition health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati