Feeling Cold & Tired While Taking Medical Weight Loss Medication?

by | Feb 1, 2024

Weight loss journeys are unique and complex, involving not just changes in body weight but also in how we feel and function. For patients undergoing medical weight loss treatments, it’s common to experience side effects such as feeling unusually cold and fatigued. But why does this happen? And more importantly, how can we manage these side effects effectively? This blog aims to delve into the reasons behind these sensations and provide practical advice for overcoming them, ensuring a healthier and more comfortable weight loss experience.

Why Do I Feel Cold and Tired During Weight Loss?

The Thermogenic Nature of Food:

Food doesn’t just satisfy hunger; it also plays a crucial role in regulating our body temperature. This process, known as diet-induced thermogenesis, helps in generating heat within the body. When we cut down on calories, particularly during weight loss treatments, our body’s heat production can decrease, leading to a sensation of being colder. This effect is more pronounced in diets that significantly reduce caloric intake, making it a common experience while taking Semaglutide and Tirzepatide.

Adjusting to New Homeostasis:

Our bodies are finely tuned to maintain a state of homeostasis, a stable equilibrium in physiological processes. Weight loss, especially when aided by medication treatment, disrupts this balance, requiring the body to adjust to a new normal. During this adjustment period, the body’s metabolism and energy production can fluctuate, leading to periods of fatigue and a feeling of being cold.

Role of GLP-1 and GIP in Weight Loss:

GLP-1 and GIP are incretin hormones that play a vital role in regulating insulin secretion and appetite. Semaglutide contains GLP-1 as its active ingredient. Tirzepatide contains both GLP-1 and GIP. When used in medical weight loss, these treatments help reduce hunger and food intake, leading to a caloric deficit and, consequently, weight loss. However, they can also influence how our body metabolizes energy, sometimes resulting in reduced internal heat production and lower energy levels.

Dietary Strategies to Feel Warmer and Energized

Protein’s Role in Nutrition and Muscle Building:

Protein is a powerhouse nutrient, essential for muscle maintenance and growth, which in turn supports a healthy metabolism. During weight loss, it’s crucial to maintain muscle mass to keep metabolic rates from falling. Including protein-rich foods like lean meats, fish, legumes, and dairy in your diet not only helps in muscle retention but also in feeling more energetic and warmer, as protein metabolism generates more heat compared to fats or carbohydrates.

Balancing Caloric Intake with Physical Activity:

Weight loss isn’t just about cutting calories; it’s also about finding the right balance between what you eat and your physical activity. If you’re engaging in more exercise than usual, your body’s caloric needs may increase. It’s essential to adjust your diet accordingly, ensuring that you consume enough calories to support your increased activity levels while still maintaining a deficit for weight loss. This balance is key to avoiding excessive fatigue and keeping your energy levels stable.

Lifestyle Changes for Improved Well-being

The Importance of Adequate Sleep:

Sleep is a critical component of weight loss and overall health. It’s during sleep that our bodies repair themselves, hormones are balanced, and energy is restored. Lack of adequate sleep can disrupt these processes, exacerbating feelings of fatigue and coldness. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support your body’s recovery and energy levels.

Exercise: Generating Warmth and Endorphins:

Physical activity isn’t just about burning calories; it also helps in generating heat and boosting mood through the release of endorphins. Engaging in regular exercise, especially activities like cardio and strength training, can help you feel warmer and more energized. It’s important to choose exercises that you enjoy and can sustain long-term, making them a consistent part of your lifestyle rather than a temporary phase.

Managing Expectations and Listening to Your Body

Every individual’s body reacts differently to weight loss treatments and lifestyle changes. It’s important to listen to your body and recognize when something isn’t working for you. If you’re feeling excessively cold or fatigued, it may be a sign that your diet or treatment plan needs adjusting. Consulting with your provider is crucial in these instances, as they can provide personalized advice and modifications to your treatment plan. Remember, the goal of weight loss treatment is not just to lose weight, but to do so in a healthy and sustainable manner.
Understanding the reasons behind feeling cold and tired during weight loss, and implementing dietary and lifestyle strategies to mitigate these effects, can significantly improve your weight loss experience. Remember, weight loss is a journey that involves both physical and psychological well-being. Please reach out to your treating clinician if you have any questions or concerns with your body and medical weight loss.

Learn more:

Weight Loss Medication Tip Sheet

This blog post is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice.

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