Is Shivering a Good Way to Lose Weight?

You might be able to drop a little weight by shivering, but that’s not a recommended way. According to studies, persons who shiver in the cold release two hormones: FGF21 from their brown fat stores and irisin from their muscles. These same hormones are released during moderate activity.

man shivering for weight loss

Unlike white fat, which stores calories, brown fat burns them instead and generates heat. According to the study, 50 grams of brown fat can burn up to 300 calories daily, compared to 50 grams of white fat’s capacity to store over 300 calories.

The two hormones can change stored fat into healthier brown fat when they come into contact with white fat. This implies that jogging or shaking off the cold can provide the same possibilities for burning fat.

Does Shivering Help You Lose Weight?

A 2014 study found that shivering can actually encourage the transformation of white fat, which stores energy, into brown fat, which burns energy. The researchers think that an added benefit of having more brown fat is that it may be used as a therapeutic target to combat obesity and diabetes.

Our bodies produce heat when we shiver in the cold because our brown fat gets activated. This occurs because our muscles contract mechanically in reaction to temperature changes in our surroundings. Our muscles create the hormone irisin, which is triggered by shivering. 

Harvard scientists discovered irisin in 2012. This hormone has two main functions: It encourages fat to brown and release energy, reducing body weight. It enhances the body’s ability to withstand glucose, potentially averting diabetes.

The irisin hormone is released when you exercise, but you don’t need to move to benefit from cold exposure! As a premium benefit, irisin can also delay aging by extending our telomeres.

Related: Can Your Body Help You Lose Weight?

How Many Calories Can You Burn From Shivering?

Shivering, while often considered just an uncomfortable reaction to the cold, can actually be a surprisingly effective way to burn calories. When your body shivers, it generates heat to maintain its core temperature, which requires energy. In fact, you can burn up to 400 calories per hour just by shivering.

This calorie-burning rate is comparable to what you might achieve during some forms of moderate exercise. 

Although it’s not typically recommended as a weight-loss strategy, shivering shows how your body works to keep you warm and how this involuntary action can consume a significant amount of energy.

Next time you find yourself in a chilly environment and start to shiver, remember that your body keeps you warm and gives you a bit of an unexpected workout. However, it’s always better to dress appropriately for the weather and stay warm rather than rely on shivering to burn calories.

Related: Does Shaking Your Legs Help You Burn More Calories?

Do You Burn More Fat, Shivering or Sweating?

When you shiver, your body produces heat, an involuntary muscular activity that helps you feel warmer. Since this process uses more energy in the cold, you actually burn more calories during the colder months.

Burning calories is important whether one is playing sports or just chilling. Additionally, shaking in extremely cold conditions burns more calories than exercising. Thus, shivering seems like a really good technique for burning calories. If you get too cold, you will get hyperthermia, stop shivering, and eventually pass away.

Does Shivering Count as Exercise?

According to a study, shivering for ten to fifteen minutes a day could be the same as exercising for an hour. For the experiment, researchers from Sydney University exposed volunteers to temperatures below 15C. They discovered that the procedure caused hormonal changes that produced brown fat, which uses energy to stay warm.

A recent series of intriguing studies suggests that shivering in the cold triggers a cascade of molecular changes deep within the body that, like formal exercise, modify fat cells and boost metabolism. The results suggest a newly undiscovered relationship between exercise and shivering.

Does Shaking Reduce Fat?

The researchers judged 280 participants from seven trials appropriate for analysis. They discovered that in tests lasting less than six months, whole-body vibration significantly reduced body fat but had no discernible effect on body fat percentage. 

Proponents claim that whole-body vibration, performed three times a week for as little as 15 minutes a day, can help reduce body fat, increase blood flow, improve flexibility, lessen post-exercise muscle stiffness, increase strength, and lower stress hormone cortisol.

Is Shivering Healthy?

Usually, exposure to the cold or the onset of a fever causes trembling. However, shaking can also be brought on by other situations, such as low blood sugar and panic. Without conscious awareness, your body adjusts to heat, cold, stress, infection, and other situations.

Irisin, sometimes called the “exercise hormone,” is released when the body trembles in the cold. This hormone causes adipose tissue to produce heat so the body can maintain its core temperature. Two years ago, the hormone known as isisin was found. It is a type of messenger hormone that informs bodily tissues of information that is useful.

Does Shivering Increase Metabolism?

Yes, shivering does increase metabolism. Shivering is the body’s natural response to cold, involving muscles’ rapid contraction and relaxation to generate heat. This process engages numerous muscle groups simultaneously, significantly increasing the body’s overall metabolic rate.

Essentially, the contractile activities of these muscles during shivering can boost the metabolic rate by four to five times, which means the body burns more calories and produces more heat.

When we’re sick, even without a fever, our metabolic rates can soar as our bodies work hard to fight infections. This increased metabolic demand requires more energy, meaning we need more calories to sustain the heightened metabolic state.

Thus, whether due to illness or cold, any factor that ramps up metabolic activity, like shivering, necessitates additional caloric intake to meet the body’s elevated energy requirements.

Is It Good to Shiver to Lose Weight?

Shivering can lead to weight loss, but it’s not a recommended or healthy method. When you shiver, your body generates heat through muscle contractions, which burns calories. This process can increase your metabolic rate temporarily. However, relying on shivering for weight loss can be harmful and uncomfortable, potentially leading to hypothermia and other health issues.

Instead, focusing on a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle is a safer and more effective way to achieve and maintain weight loss. Shivering-induced calorie burning is not a sustainable or practical approach to weight management.

The Bottom Line

Shivering can be a way to lose weight. But this method is not considered good for health. If you want to burn some calories and reduce fat, you should choose healthy ways to help you lose weight without harming your health. 

Medical Discalimer: The information provided here On Geeks Health website is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you have or suspect a medical problem, promptly contact your healthcare provider. Reliance on any information in this response is solely at your own risk.
Jennifer Singleton
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