Have you ever heard of that crazy trend where you submerge your body in a tub of ice in order to help lose weight? Are you wondering if this trend really works?
According to journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney, this trend is definitely onto something extraordinary. In Carney’s book, What Doesn’t Kill Us, he investigates this phenomenon with the help of Wim Hof, who practices methods of physical transformation that combine environmental exposure, mostly in the cold. According to Hof, exposing yourself to the cold can strengthen the body and help people heal from injuries and diseases.
What Doesn’t Kill Us: Are Comfortable Temperatures Making Us Unhealthy?
In his book, What Doesn’t Kill Us, Carney talks about how Huf claims that “a method of cold immersion and conscious breathing can give people some ability to voluntarily activate or suppress their immune system.” Carney also investigated others who have dabbled in this idea of adapting to extreme weather change to the body, for instance, Lewis Pugh, an open water swimmer, and certain monks.
According to Carney, as per his investigation, “there’s promising data that suggests cold exposure plays a role in weight loss”. Although many are still skeptical about this method of body and mind strengthening, after all his investigation, Carney is definitely convinced on the idea.
So what is Carney trying to illustrate? In a nutshell, he’s trying to explain how humans were built to learn to survive in any circumstance. That being said, today, humans rely on comfort over survival; we turn up the heat when it gets too cold, we crank up the AC on those hot summer days. Carney claims that this idea of comfort over survival may not be healthy, “With no challenge to overcome, frontier to press, or threat to flee from, the humans of this millennium are overstuffed, overheated, and understimulated,” – Carney.
How Cold Temperatures Help Aid Weight Loss
With this idea in mind, let’s dive right into how extreme temperatures can help us lose weight. Scientists at the University of California-Berkeley report that they have discovered a protein that can increase the production of ‘brown fat’. There are two kinds of body fat, brown fat and white fat, brown fat helps burn its own fat, whereas white fat stores body fat. According to their study, the mice embryos were born with more brown fat due to the exposure of extreme cold weather.
So, what does this mean? Ultimately, you want more brown fat in your body because it helps you burn overall fat. So how can you achieve this? The idea is to increase the ratio of brown fat to white fat by exposing yourself to colder temperatures. For example, being outdoors in the cold air helps you burn more calories because your body is making a huge effort in keeping you warm.
For more information about brown fat watch this two-minute video,
5 Ways To Help You Slim Down in The Cold:
- Spend as much time as you can outside, even in the cold weather
- Participate in cold weather activities such as ice skating, skiing, or snowboarding
- Wear fewer layers of clothing
- Take a brisk walk outdoors every day
- Turn your thermostat down (which saves money too!)
For more information about cold exposure, click here.
Please keep in mind that we do not advise or recommend that you submerge yourself in a tub of ice. Also, please be vigilant with your cold temperature activities. You should talk to your healthcare provider about safe exposure to cold temperatures before starting.
According to CryoTherapy Plus, extreme cold treatment is not recommended if any of the following apply to you: “pregnancy, severe Hypertension (BP> 180/100), acute or recent myocardial infarction, unstable angina pectoris, arrhythmia, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, cardiac pacemaker, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, venous thrombosis, acute or recent cerebrovascular accident, uncontrolled seizures, Raynaud’s Syndrome, fever, tumor disease, symptomatic lung disorders, bleeding disorders, severe anemia, infection, claustrophobia, cold allergy, age less than 18 years, acute kidney and urinary tract diseases.”
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.
- Loria, K. (2017, March 13). There may be a 3rd pillar of physical fitness beyond diet and exercise. Retrieved March 27, 2017, from http://www.businessinsider.com/scott-carney-what-doesnt-kill-us-fitness-environmental-exposure-2017-3
- Pasternak, H. (2017, January 30). How the Cold Weather Can Help You Slim Down. Retrieved March 27, 2017, from http://www.health.com/weight-loss/how-the-cold-weather-can-help-you-slim-down
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