As I understand it, our Paleo ancestors lived in much chillier times. I simply cannot fathom one of my predecessors sitting, huddled under a Wooly Mammoth pelt by the fire, cold-feeting anybody who tries to share the heat with him.
However, here I am: wearing a thermal undershirt, a long-sleeved overshirt, and a heavy sweater, under a fleece blanket, sipping hot peppermint tea...and it's something like 45 degrees out and raining, but not exactly an ice age out there.
Are you a cold person, or do you burn hot? Has your body's ability to regulate and adjust its core temperature gotten better or worse now that you're Paleo, or has it stayed about the same? What has been your experience with weather extremes and your own personal comfort level?
I don't really like to answer with a link, but a blog I follow had an interesting post and discussion about cold weather exposure.
I hope you'll find it relevant.
As a minor follow-up (which will only make sense if you read the blog and the comments) I now still intermittently take cold showers and through the winter I never wore a coat or jacket (though I did keep one in the car in case of emergency).
I take my ability to thermoregulate as a sign of health. One way I can tell I'm fighting off a cold is when I can't seem to regulate my body temperature.
Things that I've found correlate with increased ability to tolerate the cold:
Just throwing this out there, but on days that I don't take a significant amount of magnesium I am colder. It is essential for thermoregulation and tons of other things which might take more priority than increasing temperature, and HGs got more of it than most people do. I'm talking like 600mg of the stuff.
For many years I was chronically cold. I suspect my thyroid was not functioning quite right - at one point I had about ever symptom of hypothyroid except the weight gain. On a primal diet, I now burn warmer than many people I know (most of whom are 50 lbs at least heavier than me). My weight has only changed by a few pounds.
If you are losing/have lost a lot of weight, are eating at a moderate to large calorie deficit, or practice fasting - you're probably going to have a problem with feeling colder than you should at cooler temps. With a lack of resources the body redirects heat to vital internal systems like the organs and leaves your skin and limbs out in the cold. I eat a lot, and it keeps me warm. If I feel colder than usual I often realize I haven't eaten much recently, and a meal with fat and protein heats me right back up.
I have a lot more problems with heat in the summer now, but I would much rather get overheated sometimes than live through the long, freezing, miserable winters I used to have. God that sucked. Right now it is 52 degrees in my apartment and I am perfectly comfy in yoga pants and two thinnish tops.
I've always been a bit of a human battery; my hands and body in general were always warm, even in relatively cold weather; my mum, who is hypothyroid and always cold, uses me as a supersized hot water bottle whenever she's with me on the sofa. However, it's not like I never got cold; I'd still wear a scarf and jacket in the winter. However, when I went Paleo - specifically when I increased my fat intake - I became a lot more resistant to cold. I find I get too hot wearing layers, so I dress much lighter now.
That said, I find my cold tolerance decreases when I fast intermittently. For me, its the only unpleasant side effect of fasting.
I do think that paleolithic peoples used the hides and furs of animals they killed for insulation; I don't think they had babor gear and goreTex in those days...:-)
Well I've been Paleo for over a year. The drop in bodyfat has sent me under whatever coverings I can find. In the gym, I'm the one hogging the heater! In the winter I'm cold! I layer to regulate my body temp. I like the sun and the 100f temps!
Check this stuff out:
Tibetan monks can raise their body temps by meditation alone: http://media.abovetopsecret.com/media/911/The_Sushumna_-_Tibetan_Monks_Melting_Ice_Meditating_in_Himilayas/
The ICE MAN! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=madoDvtKEes
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