Apparently shivering off your fat is the next big weight loss trend. And though I’m not a fan of temperatures below 50 degrees, I’m always looking for the next best way to get my fitness on!
The Journal of Clinical Investigation did a study that tracked people who spent a minimum of 2 hours a day for a 6 week period in temps below 63 degrees vs. those who didn’t and found that those who caught a bit of chill burned more energy.
Another study done by researchers in the journal Diabetes, found that controlling your bedroom temperatures below 66 degrees at night can increase the levels of healthy brown fat your body produces. According to James R. Lyons, MD, a plastic surgeon and author of The Brown Fat Revolution, “Yellow fat makes you look soft, flabby, and old before your time. Brown fat is the good, healthy fat that keeps your body firm and youthful”
“It’s possible that, in response to chilly temps, your body works to increase your internal temperature both through shivering and other internal processes”, says Christopher Ochner, Ph.D., nutrition expert for USANA and weight-loss expert at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “After all, your body doesn’t want to freeze to death, and the higher internal temperatures burn more calories.”
Apparently cold temperatures help you to shed water weight as well. “since your body is not preoccupied with offsetting water lost from warm temperatures, says Brian Quebbemann, M.D., a bariatric surgeon with the Chapman Medical Center in California.
Is This A Practical Weight Loss Strategy?
Most science and research agrees that this is not a sustainable way to lose weight, and therefore can’t be depended upon. Dr. Quebbeman explains that, “The effect is relatively small, meaning it doesn’t cause you to burn enough calories to make a huge difference for weight loss efforts. Further, cold temperatures are uncomfortable and relatively difficult to orchestrate consistently throughout one’s life. Your coworkers would likely complain if you turned the thermostat down to 65 degrees.”
The trend of cool sculpting is all the chatter right now, especially since the rise of bikini season! The technical term for this treatment is called cryotherapy. It takes this idea of “shivering off the fat” to an extreme. A cryotherapy session involves placing parts of the body under sub-zero temperatures. It is said that this treatment helps to reduce cellulite as well as heal skin conditions, give joint relief, ease anxiety, and boost your metabolic health.
I think the overall message that research gives though, is that this is not a permanent fix, and it’s definitely not a replacement for regular exercise and healthy dieting. This may be a temporary assistance to your weight loss goals, but don’t forget about the longevity of your health.
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