Would you take cold showers if you thought it would help you lose weight? Find out here how to tap into the fat-burning power of cold!
By The Weekly | April 30, 2017
Although a healthy diet and regular exercise will give you the best chance of losing weight, there are other things you can do as well. Science has been looking at how exposing ourselves to cold temperatures can activate bodily processes that make us more efficient fat burners. If you are struggling with a few stubborn kilograms or just want to improve your shape, cold therapy may be worth a try. People with heart conditions should seek medical advice before commencing cold therapy.
Here are five ways that can help you harness the fat-burning power of cold.
Spending time in the cold can speed up your metabolism. In a Swedish study, people who spent an hour a day for six weeks exposed to the cold increased their metabolic rate compared to a control group who kept warm. Participants kept their bodies cold by wearing lighter clothing when outside, sitting by an open window and taking cold showers and baths.
If you’re going to try a cold shower, studies have shown optimum results occur under 15°C. Wim Hof from Netherlands, world record holder for the longest ice bath, says cold exposure has many health benefits including fat burning, but he advises to start slowly. “Start with 30-second cold showers building up to 10-minute cold showers after five-weeks,” he says.
Wear The Cold
Former NASA scientist Dr Wayne Hayes has developed a vest which, he says, can burn up to 2000kJ when worn for one hour, twice a day. Frozen gel packs, placed in pockets in the vest, draw heat away from the body which responds by burning kilojoules.
Dr Hayes explains that after wearing the vest for one to two hours a day for few days, the body acclimatises and it becomes comfortable to wear. “Although there is a small niche of people who practise extreme and uncomfortable forms of cold exposure, I wanted something that was easy to use and comfortable,” he says. “The vest becomes more effective the more you wear it, not less, because your body gets used to the idea of turning on your internal furnace to burn kilojoules.”
Freeze Yourself Thin
Cryotherapy offers a unique way to lose weight: by subjecting your body to sub-zero temperatures. One method involves being submerged in liquid nitrogen fumes up to the neck, with the head help above the chamber. The temperature is regulated to -140°C with a treatment lasting between 30 seconds and three minutes. This short exposure can burn up to 2000kJ: the equivalent of running for about 45 minutes.
Scott Forrest, from cryotherapy studio Cryo, emphasises that cryotherapy is not a quick-fix solution. “It’s useful for people who are trying to lose that last bit of weight. It’s not a short-term immediate fix but should be used alongside diet and exercise to supplement weight loss.”
Target Your Fat Cells
CoolSculpting is a fat-freezing procedure that used controlled cooling to eliminate fat. By targeting specific fat cells under the skin, the treated fat cells freeze and die. The procedure targets areas such as the abdomen, the side of the body known as the muffin top, and the inner and outer tighs. While the patient initially feels itense cold in the targeted area, it becomes numb within 10 minutes. Other sensations such as pulling, tugging and mild pinching are also commonly reported.
Cold As Ice
A US gastroenterologist, Dr Brian Weiner, has discovered that consuming ice increases the rate at which our body burns energy. It works because your body has to burn more kilojoules to bring the ice to body temperature than it does with the warm food or drinks. In the study, a litre of shaved ice led to an energy expenditure of 500kJ.
To get the effect, load up your water bottle with ice cubes or go for a sorbet instead od ice-cream for dessert.
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