Fat tissue is something most people don’t want to have or deal with. It makes it harder to get into the clothes you like, but on a more serious note, it can increase the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease or type 3 diabetes. But is it possible to lose weight only using ice packs?
Source: Andrew Raposo
In case you didn’t know, people have two types of fat: white and brown. In order to eliminate them easier, it’s important to know the difference between the two.
White adipose tissue is a thin layer visible on the human stomach, on the back of our arms and on our thighs. This acts as a thermal insulator which maintains a stable body temperature.
Studies show that exposure to cold temperatures eliminates fat cells
Prolonged exposure to cold encourages the conversion of white fat into brown adipose tissue that helps in weight loss. According to researches, it’s recommended to lower the temperature on the thermostat for a few degrees and a couple hours a day during winter months.
During an adipose tissue biopsy, they found out that abdominal and thigh fat gets a brown color in winter. This means that the cold promotes the conversion of white fat in brown.
In the winter, most homes are heated up to 21 °C (69.8 °F), but the university “Maastricht University Medical Centre” recommends lowering the temperature to 17 – 15 °C (62.6 – 59 °F) for a few hours.
Experts claim that because we reside in premises that are too warm in the winter our body doesn’t burn many calories.
A group of men who slept in a metabolic chamber at a temperature of (64.4 °F) after 4 weeks of sleeping at this temperature, they almost doubled the amount of brown adipose tissue. In this way they increased their insulin sensitivity and burned way more calories.
This practice is called thermogenesis.
- Moderate cold thermogenesis would be sitting in a room at a temperature of 10 – 15 °C (50 – 59 °F), wearing only a pair of shorts, which is important for the creation of brown fat tissue.
- Intense cold thermogenesis would be achieved by wearing ice vests and trousers filled with ice packs. This would cause tremors and burning a lot of calories.
Ice therapy for better fat-burning
Tim Ferris, the author of the book “The Four-Hour Body”, describes the concept of burning brown fat tissue exposing oneself to low temperatures.
According to him ” the potential of fat burning can be increased by 300% by adding ice therapy to a healthy diet and exercise.”
This statement is confirmed by an astronaut from NASA for ABC: “In studying the effects of temperature on astronauts, he saw people’s metabolism boost by 20% in environments as mild as 15 °C (60 °F).”
“90 grams of brown fat tissue can release 400 – 500 calories a day, which is equivalent to a one-hour intensive workout.”
Freezing the fat tissue in targeted areas
The burning of body fat can be stimulated by applying ice compresses for 30 – 60 minutes on areas of the body that have fatty tissues. This can have a better effect combined with a healthy diet and daily exercises.
How to apply ice packs?
Wrap the ice with a thin cloth and place it on the affected area. Leave it there for 30-60 minutes. Repeat this daily for 12 days.
The downside of this therapy is frostbite so be careful while using compresses. The symptoms that characterize frostbite are:
- Tingling and numbness of the skin
- Redness and pain;
- Strong and taut skin insensitive to touch;
If you notice these signs then warm your body slightly with a blanket or warm compresses.
If you notice any of these symptoms you mustn’t immediately warm the area of your body and massage it, but simply warm it up slightly with a blanket or with warm compresses.
Of course, the wisest thing to do will probably be to consult your physician on this.
*People who use beta-blockers, have peripheral vascular disease with a lower blood flow, peripheral neuropathy, are smokers or diabetics, should be careful with ice therapy.