The question on everyone’s lips lately is, ‘do you burn more calories when sick?‘ Spoiler alert – the answer is an eye-opening yes! In this fitness packed adventure, I’m going to reveal seven mind-blowing facts that will show you exactly how sickness can increase your calorie burn.
Unmasking the Connection Between Sickness and Calorie Burn
First off, let’s dive into the science! You see, your body is a well-oiled machine, functioning at a constant average temperature. However, when you get sick, that vital engine needs to find ways to fight the invaders, which can increase its operating temperature. This rise in body heat means more burn, baby, burn! In fact, with every increase of 0.5 – 1°C or 1°F in body temperature, you can sizzle up 7 – 10% more calories!
Let’s put it straightforward, when your poor body is under attack, your metabolism goes haywire! According to Abramson (2016), sickness sends your metabolic rates skyrocketing, causing your body to desperately need more calories. Even if you don’t have a fever, your caloric burn is through the roof, making that bikini body a nearer reality.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to munch down more food. In fact, Harvard Health Publishing (2020) explains there’s no need to overeat when you’re ill. Your diet should remain balanced, with a special focus on essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and zinc.
Fact #1: Sickness Revs Up Your Metabolism
Ever notice how you get super hot when you’re sick? Well, my friend, that’s your body’s first line of defense against infections. If you catch a fever, your body cranks up the heat to conquer the virus, and this amplified metabolism comes with an augmented calorie burn. High five to our bodies for putting up such a fierce fight!
Now, this does not mean you eat all the pizzas in town just yet. While your body is on overdrive when you have a fever, it does not necessarily demand huge amounts of food. All that extra calorie burning is more a byproduct of a higher metabolic rate rather than a signal that your body actually needs those additional calories.
Fact #2: Increased Body Temperature Means More Calorie Burn
Your body’s internal heater isn’t just good for fighting off nasty bugs. It’s also a veritable calorie-frying machine! Rising body temperature, as mentioned earlier, could help your body shed 7 – 10% more calories. Essentially, your fever is your own personal Influencers GoneWild in your battle against belly fat!
Fact #3: Sleep Is Still Important
Alright, we’ve discussed how sickness might lead to an increased burn of calories. However, let’s not forget the crucial role of rest and recovery. When you’re tuckered out, you’re likely to burn fewer calories, creating a setback to your weight loss journey. Prioritize quality z’s to keep your metabolism humming, and if sickness causes you to lose some shut-eye, ensure to catch up once on the mend.
Fact #4: Not All Calories Are Equal
When you’re under the weather, your body craves nutrients to fight off the bug. Here’s where a diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and zinc comes into play. So, if you’re thinking of munching on ice cream to take up those extra calories your body’s burning, think again. Stick to nutritious food choices for best results.
Fact #5: Burn More Calories Sleeping When Sick
The burning question (no pun intended), how many calories do you burn sleeping? Well, more than you’d think, and even more when you’re unwell! Remember the enhanced metabolism and higher body temperature we discussed earlier? That can skyrocket by up to 10%! This could mean that a bout of the flu could cause you to burn more calories, even in your sleep!
Fact #6: Optimal Hydration Can Boost Recovery
Hydration is key when you’re sick. Water is not just essential for flushing out toxins but also aids in maintaining your increased metabolic rate. Sipping on water throughout the day can speed up your recovery and keep your metabolism chugging along nicely.
Fact #7: Your Body Needs More TLC When Sick
While getting sick can boost your metabolism and burn calories, your body will still need a little more Tender Love and Care (TLC) than usual. Remember to rest, hydrate, and feed your body nutrient-rich foods. Even with the increased calorie burn, it’s still important to give your body what it needs to recover and bounce back stronger!
Do You Burn More Calories When Sick? Conclusion
In essence, being sick comes with an unexpected perk – burning more calories. However, before you start planning your ‘flu diet,’ remember that the priority when you’re unwell should always be recovery. The additional calories burned while being sick may contribute a tiny bit towards your sexy sports bra goal, but it’s well-being first, always.
Remember to eat healthy, sleep adequately, and take care of your body. And when you’re in good health, push those workouts, striving towards your ripped six-packs dreams. Because there’s no better way to burn calories than having a good, intense workout session. So, get well soon, and let’s continue sweating it out!