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Weight Loss NHS
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Feeling cold?

I am not sure if I have seen something on this site regarding feeling cold, but I'll ask anyway.

Is it normal to feel the cold more when there has been a substantial weight loss, or is this a sign of something more sinister?

I had a quick look online yesterday and was a bit concerned to read some of the sites that were saying this means my metabolism has gone into conservation mode (which would explain the lack of weight loss recently).

7 Replies

Hi notsobigmama,

As risk of stating the bloomin' obvious, might it just be that there is less fat covering you and insulating you from the cold? I mean, fat does have some uses! (It's just that we're rather inclined as a species these days to carry too much of it around with us).

Having said that, I would think the conservation mode possbility unlikely, unless you've been losing weight too fast - and more especially unless you've been doing that for some weeks. Remember what we normally use as fuel, including to maintain our body temperature, is glycogen (stored carbohydrate), so as long as you're taking in an adequate amount of calories and not burning them up on excessive exercise, and as long as your diet isn't carbohydrate deficient, I would have thought that the loss of body fat shouldn't make that much difference.

So if you've taken your calorie input down too low, you might like to bring it back up a bit, or if you're doing lots and lots of exercise, you might like to ease up on it slightly for a few days, or if your diet isn't too well balanced (see also the NHSChoices eat well plate) you might like to correct that.

But many different things can alter whether you burn or store fat, including infections, so you may have a cold or similar virus infection and you may well find that everything normalises in a few days or a couple of weeks time and you just go back to losing weight. Those sorts of things can often make you feel cold too.

I had one a couple of weeks ago and I just felt cold 'from the inside' - I even dug out an old body-warmer that I hadn't worn for yonks - but it's passed.

Good luck with your weight loss journey


Thanks Doikosp, you confirmed what my own initial thoughts had been. I had happened to mention at work (following a compliment about how much weight I had lost) that I was finding a down side to this was feeling cold most of the time. A few of my colleagues then informed me that this was not good and was a sign of my metabolism slowing right down. I then carried out an internet search and found quite a few sites that did confirm this - obviously where they were getting their information from.

As I have been feeling cold since around the two stone down point and am now at five and a half stone lost, I think I can safely say that if my metabolism had slowed down, I wouldn't be at the weight I am just now.

I have had some kind of bug working on me for a few weeks, so that would explain the slow down. Also recently been diagnosed as suffering from Sciatica, so that has impeded the intensity of my exercise as well. I am quite sure that all of the above is also linked with getting older too!

Thanks again. Always good to get sensible advice and to know that I was thinking along the right lines myself.


Wow - 5 and a half stone loss - amazing! You must be so proud of yourself. Ive lost just over 4 stone since the middle of august and have seriously felt the cold this winter. I have reynauds too and this has been much worse this year. Im guessing that its just the fact that im no longer covered in a big duvet of fat! Its been the only down side to my diet and Im hoping that by next winter I'll have adjusted! At least we'll be really happy when the sunshine finally comes out and we get the benefits of feeling warm again AND looking good!


I've lost over 7 stone and feel cold all the time. It will settle dow.


greyhoundmummy and HippyChick79 - thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. It's good to know that there are folk out there who are willing to help and reassure others.

Very well done to both of you on your weight losses.

If feeling cold is the only downside, I can cope with that. I will happily wear jumpers or caridigans in the summer if necessary. Meanwhile, I do have an impressive stock of thermals.

Thanks again and good luck with the rest of your journeys or maintenance.



New to this sight but not to weight loss struggles. It strikes me that feeling cold is most likely one of those adjustments you will have to make, like not feeling constantly full up. There is a plus side to this however that might help you to tolerate it until you adjust. Your body works hard at maintaining its correct temperature, and when you are cold it constantly does this, in extreme cases by shivering. All this work burns calories and is therefore better for you in regard to weight loss. Exercising in cold weather is more beneficial for this reason; mountaineers can eat over 5,000 calories a day and still lose weight. Hope this reassures you to some extent. It also spurs you to move more quickly so go out, enjoy the cold air, breathe deeply and walk briskly. Enjoy. And stick with it, the weight loss will continue if you don’t waver.


Thank you for taking the time to reply. I appreciate your input. Having just turned the theremostat down on the radiator and poured myself a glass of cold water, I will look forward to burning off some extra calories.

Unfortunately, I don't think my boss would be too pleased if I moved away from my computer for too long, so will just have to comfort myself with thoughts of the fat disappearing while I am sitting here cold. Maybe if I type faster...?

Wow, those mountaineers could lose half a stone per week! You are right about reassuring me and spurring me on. I'll be out walking at the weekend. (busy with exercise classes and housework on weekday evenings).

Thank you again, your reply made really interesting reading and its always good to get a further insight in to how all this weight management works.


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