Is cold the secret to fat loss??

Apparently so, according to author Tim Ferriss and his test subjects in his
new book The 4-Hour Body. Although all anecdotal evidence, Ferriss and
others have seen significant fat loss while using cold therapy.

How does this work, you ask?

Simple, really. Cold therapy has long been in vogue for runners and elite
athletes to unwind and boost recovery after a long race or sporting event.

Our government, however, claims that weight loss is a simple
calories in = calories out equation that many of us fail to see play out in real life.
To support this theory, they use the law of thermodynamics. What about other
factors, though? Like cold?

Our bodies like stability and balance. If anything goes too far left or right – acidity,
hydration, calories, or temperature – the body works extra hard to bring it back to
its normal. Several body processes slow or stop with cold, so the body truly does
not want its core temperature much below the average 98.6ºF. To prevent a
drastic drop in body temp, our bodies will give off heat… a.k.a burn lots of calories.

You may have heard of brown fat, which is the type that surrounds our organs.
Brown fat in particular burns the most heat during cold because our organs are the
most vital in our bodies.

How do you use cold therapy?

Ferriss works off the idea that you want to make the smallest change possible to
see the most significant results. Start small and work your way up. You may never
need to move to the most drastic level and that is okay.

***Disclaimer: Get cleared by your doc before starting cold therapy.***

Place on upper back &/or chest for 30 min.

1. Cold Packs.

  • Start by putting a cold pack on your upper back for 30 min. 3x/week in the evening.
  • Then, put one on your chest too.
  • Read or watch TV for the 30 min.

2. Drink Ice Water Immediately Upon Waking.

  • Drink a tall glass of ice water right when you wake up & 20-30 min. before breakfast.

3. Cold Showers.

  • In the morning or evening, turn on the cold for 5-20 min 3x/week before you get out.
  • Start by letting the water hit your legs and slowly work up to your whole body.
  • This process in itself may take several weeks.

4. Ice Baths

  • 15 min. ice baths are Ferriss’ method of choice 3x/week.
  • This gradual process begins with standing in the water
  • Then, stand on your knees
  • Sit on your butt
  • Submerge up to neck, hands out!
  • Each of these steps are sessions in and of themselves until finally submerging for 15 min.

Any of these methods may or may not work for you. If you use your body as a science lab,
though, you can figure out some interesting things without ever consulting a scientist or research

Ferriss’ data suggests that ice packs are 60% as effective as ice baths in most people. That means
that you may never need to take an ice bath! Baby steps.

To track your results, you need something to track. Are you measuring every week?
Do you have a method of tracking your body fat. There’s a hand-held device at Basic Fitness and
although those are +/- 8%, meaning your body fat could be 8% higher OR lower than it reads, if you
use the same method consistently, it will give you sufficient results. Weighing every week can work,
though it is an inaccurate measure of body fat lost as well.

I strongly encourage you to start measuring. It’s easy, cheap if you buy your own tape measure ($1.30),
and you get tons of interesting data for years to come!

To make your own reusable extra cold ice pack:

  1. Plastic Zip Loc Bag – gallon or sandwich, water, rubbing alcohol
  2. Fill bag with 3 parts water, 1 part rubbing alcohol
  3. Place in freezer
  4. IMPORTANT! Before using, place a thin towel, rag, or shirt between the pack and your skin OR you WILL get burned.
  5. Use as needed!

What do you think? Have you tried this? Successful? Comment below!

1 Comment

  • Warren Dostie

    Reply Reply April 2, 2011

    Thats interesting, and I can see how it might work. I have been on a cr diet for a long time now, and one side effect is feeling cold all the time. Perhaps this is one of the methods by which cr works. I’m also a skinny dude.
    tnks Warren

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