Self Experimentation: Ice Age

23 05 2012

Over the weekend I seriously cheated on my diet.  I went to SF to help my friend move back to Orange County and basically had a mini vacation of eating and drinking.  Anyway I’m back and the damage isn’t too bad, 177 pounds at last weigh in, up from about 175.

Although my weight loss is progressing, I decided to add a couple things from Tim Ferriss’s book “The Four Hour Body“, the chapter on “Ice Age.” The basic premise is that if your body is cold it must burn calories to heat back up.  There is some extra science in there, stuff about brown fat and how cold may stimulate it etc, but all that really matters is that introducing a little cold can catapult fat loss results results.  He has some crazy suggestions, but I am looking to add just a little extra “umph,” not to go crazy with it, so all I’m going to add is:

  • drinking 0.5 liters of ice cold water in the morning
  • switch to cold showers

I should note that I have taken cold showers before, but that was mainly to see if I could do it to save energy.  Once you get used to it, they’re not that bad.

To adjust, simply take normal showers, then at the end of each one add 30 seconds of as cold as you can take.  Once you can stay in for 30 seconds at the coldest setting, you’re ready to switch to a complete cold shower.  A small tip, when you first start, have the water hit your lower back, where your tramp stamp is.  I noticed that I don’t really feel the cold when it hits that spot and it helped me adjust.  If you really want to save the planet, switch to navy showers which are cold.  A step further would be to not shower every day.

The idea that cold can catapult weight loss shows a missing piece of the puzzle that is fat loss and human health.  People always talk about diet and exercise, but they don’t think about how most of the 1st world is temperature controlled and that this might play a roll.  There are some interesting implications.  A good observation is that morning cup of hot coffee you drink.  That cup of coffee helps warm your body up, which is the opposite of the ingesting ice cold water tactic.  Since I will be drinking 0.5 liters of ice cold water in the morning, I will not be drinking hot tea or coffee, at least not until a few hours later.

 

 


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