Blasting Your AC Isn’t Helping Your Weight Loss

Air Conditioning Bad For Weight


There’s nothing better than using ALL of your blankets in a chilled room for sleeping during the summer. The problem is, though, that if you’re trying to maintain or lose weight, this could be adverse to your progress:

Changes in temperature, either up or down, can be perceived by your body as a stressor to which it must respond. This response requires energy and also influences our hormonal balance. For instance, when our body temperature drops, our sympathetic nervous system releases adrenalin, our blood vessels constrict to prevent heat loss (good for keeping us warm, not great for a glowing complexion in the long run) and we may also start to shiver. When we are hot, more blood flow is directed towards our skin to allow heat to radiate into our surroundings. Sympathetic stimulation causes us to start sweating, which also requires calories. In fact, I found one source noting a study showing that women who lived in a constant 80 degree climate burned almost 250 more calories per day at rest than women in a 70 degree environment.

Lame. But there’s nothing we can really do about that. So how do we help ourselves?

Don’t eat a carb-filled dinner, as the body getting to work on carbs has to heat up — and will stay heated up for 8 hours after consumption.

Here are some more:

1.) Keep your house slightly cool in the winter and a little on the warmer side in the summer. These adjustments will increase the number of calories your body burns daily just to maintain its constant thermostat set point. They can also help stimulate thyroid hormone, so be sure your environment is not cold enough to boost your appetite.

During hotter months, avoid cranking up the air conditioning at night, so your body has to work just a bit harder to remain cool while you sleep.

2.) When our temperature increases, our appetite usually decreases. That said, activities that boost your body temp can be a nifty way to beat a craving. So instead of reaching for a fattening snack, have a hot shower, sit in the sunshine or do a quick set of push-ups to get your heat generators pumping.

3.) Supplements of chromium and 5 HTP can support the production of serotonin, which influences our body temperature, manages our mood and controls our cravings for carbohydrates or sweets.

4.) Finally, exercise in a room set at a comfortable temperature, around 68-75 degrees F (20–24 C). A workout environment that is too cold will interfere with your hormonal balance and could potentially reduce the fat-burning effects of your exercise sessions.

Well, that doesn’t sound to bad. We just hate sleeping when it’s super hot. We’re glad to hear that it doesn’t have to be blazing in the room, but it shouldn’t be ice cold either.

Keep it equalized, guys!

[Image via AP Images.]

Aug 29, 2011 5:30pm PDT

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