Over this past holiday season, I picked up a copy of Tim Ferris’s new book, The Four Hour Body.
For those of you unfamiliar with Tim, he is an avid self-experimenter in all things lifestyle, business, health, and fitness. The Four Hour Body is a compilation of all his experiments in fat loss, muscle building, increasing sleep, improving sex, preventing injuries, and running further and faster.
It was an awesome read! There were tricks and tips he used and experimented with that blew my mind. I can’t wait to try some of his suggestions!
Naturally, one of the most interesting chapters to me was the ones on losing fat. A lot of great and very surprising info.
One of the most surprising tips Tim offered was the concept of cold exposure for fat loss.
Cold Exposure For Fat Loss?
Tim talks about a guy named Ray Cronise in his book. Ray wanted to lose weight but could not believe losing fat was as simple as calories in-calories out.
One of the main reasons why Ray was having a hard time buying into this common myth was because of swimming great, Michael Phelps eats 12,000 calories per day and is ripped. Ray knew that Phelps was certainly not able to exercise enough each day to support the excessive amounts of calories he consumed on a daily basis. So why could Michael eat that much food and not gain weight?
Phelps spends 3-4 hours per day in a pool. Water apparently is 24 x more thermally conductive then air. And if you have ever been in a public pool to swim laps, then you know they keep that water damn cold!
Anyway, this guy Ray in Tim’s book figured this out and then did a little self experimentation himself. In the first 12 weeks he attempted to lose weight before realizing what he did about the water, he lost 21 pounds. That’s 1.75 lbs per week. Not too bad.
After he realized cold exposure was the key to Phelps’ lean body, he lost an additional 27 pounds….but in only 6 weeks! That’s 4.5 pounds per week!
And he could owe it all to thermodynamics. Ray was losing energy in the form of heat, by exposing himself to the cold. Apparently, exercise and energy storage are not the only too ways you can utilize energy.
Check out this video with more details:
So, if you have to have fat you want it to be brown fat, the “fat burning fat”, not white fat. And if there was a possibility of actually controlling the amount of brown fat one had then it could theoretically be done using cold stimulation.
5 Reasons Why Cold Exposure is Healthy
According to Tim…..
1. Cold exposure makes your body release fatty acids to fuel your shivering.
2. Cold exposure increases adiponectin, a hormone secreted by fat cells and responsible for fat burning, and glucose uptake by muscle that may last long after you warm up.
3. Cold exposure stimulates brown fat, the “fat burning fat” to increase in quantity and activity.
4. Cold exposure improves immunity.
5. Cold exposure may be an effective treatment for depression.
5 Ways To Use Cold Exposure To Lose Fat
According to Tim…..
1. Lay on your back on the couch with an ice pack under your lower neck and upper back for 20-30 minutes, preferably in the evening.
2. Drink 500 ml of ice cold water immediately upon waking. I wrote about this yesterday when I discussed 3 healthy eating habits.
3. Take 5-10 minute cold showers, focusing the water on your lower neck and upper back. Best times for a cold shower is before breakfast or before bed.
4. Take 20 minute ice baths that induce shivering.
5. Do some of your exercise in a pool! Swim laps, take an aqua jogging class, or even aqua aerobics!
6. Go for shiver walks. That is, go for a walk with the most amount of clothes on that will make you shiver slightly.
I will be doing some self experimenting with cold exposure and thermodynamics for fat loss in the coming weeks. I will most likely be swimming, and using ice packs on my neck and back. Except for the occasional cold shower, I have no desire to sit in a tub of ice.
Questions For YOU!
- What do you think of using cold exposure for fat loss?
- Do you think you will try any of these cold exposure methods?
Let me know the answers to my questions in the comments section below.
Freezing in 2011 to help you burn fat,
Susan Campbell, MS, CSCS