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01 December 2006 @ 01:34 pm
Cold temperature, Metabolism, Appetite.  
It's no secret that winter is coming up. In fact california just experienced a sudden and relatively severe cold snap the past couple days.

I was in the kitchen the other night, and Jon sidles past me and kind of does a once over at my body. (not in a dirty way, either). Just mildly says: "You look good. Have you lost weight?"
"I've gained a little weight," I said truthfully.
"Really?"
"But I've been working out a lot more, too. I think I gained mostly muscle."

Am I pleased? Yes. Am I showing off? ...Maybe. Am I trying to illustrate a point? Definitely getting to that.

Cold temps do force the body to use its own energy to make itself warm. It can potentially speed up your metabolism. But the downside is that it often stimulates hunger as well. You could stay warm by relying on your own energy. But the body has an easier way. Fat cells. Fat cells are a natural insulator and in nature, if there's an easier more efficient way... Ever notice that a lot of swimmers that don't cross-train are a bit... plump? Ever notice that appetites dwindle in hot, muggy weather? Ever notice that the big holidays revolve around gorging on the bounty of food before the cold harsh months of winter? Okay, enough with the rhetoricals. We're not frontiersmen anymore, and we're not going to starve in the "hungry months" of winter and spring, so its kind of an outdated tradition)

I digress. The cold weather has been stirring up my appetite. While I keep track of my food loosely, I do know that I've been eating somewhat more. But I've been using the cold to my advantage as well. Excercising to keep warm, and exercising in the cold to make my mind more alert and fresh. True, I do feel hungrier after a workout. I indulge a little bit, but measure out the amount of snack I want before I eat it.

If you work out during the winter, and you do so outdoors, try to dress a bit more warmly. If you can, try to work out indoors. Though staying motivated indoors can be challenging at times. If you do worry that feeling chilly will make you ravenous, then it's no better time to try drinking some hot green tea. It will warm up your core temp, and a little egcg will boost the metabolism slightly. Hey, every little bit helps.

Happy post-thanksgiving/pre-christmas.
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