Take a curious ex-NASA scientist and a forward-thinking pop culture author, and the result may be a revolutionary (and perhaps a bit uncomfortable) weight loss method.
Using the laws of thermodynamics, Ray Cronise has hypothesized that strategic exposure to cold will accelerate weight loss. He credits this method for his 30lbs weight loss in 6 weeks. Says Cronise;
Our body temperature remains constant and it takes a lot of energy to keep it that way, no different than heating your house… I treated my body like a thermostat… to see if I could run up the utility bill and get the furnace (my metabolism) running at full blast. Source
A seed of curiosity was planted in Cronise upon hearing of Michael Phelp’s prolific caloric intake. It dawned on him that it was the cold water forcing Phelps to fight to keep its temperature.
Using swimming and something called thermal loading, where the body is exposed to cold in various ways, Cronise applied some old military research and found that he could lose up to four pounds a week. Techniques include ice baths and chugging ice water.
Therein lies a paradigm shift – while traditionally we think of heating the body up to induce a metabolic boost – Cronise suggests focusing on cooling it down.
The theory will come to fruition in the form of a book by “The 4-Day Work Week” author Tim Ferris, where Cronise is a case-study and contributor. Among Ferris’ extensive research, he discovered a technique that uses temperature manipulation to improve fat loss by 300 percent.
Bring on the Skepticism
Dr. David Katz, founder of the Integrative Medicine Center and professor at Yale University, had this to say about the concept;
Being cold is uncomfortable. Frankly, if people are willing to be that miserable to lose weight they might as well try eating well and exercising.
A valid point and one of the best quotes I’ve heard in a long time. And while the old military research offers some reason to be optimistic, most of it focused on keeping weight on soldiers and not weight loss, per se. I haven’t seen a clinical trial with a control group to support the anecdotal experiences of Cronise.
Moreover, I live in Canada – I’m cold here 8 months of the year. The last thing I want to do after coming home from a cold rainy day is soak in a cold tub, or crush glasses of ice water.
So while the theory makes complete sense, I still recommend guarded optimism – sounds like a potentially moderately helpful adjunct strategy, to the standard eating better/less and exercising more. At best I would say this strategy is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary.
Would you try this out as a fat loss method?
Image Credit: horiavarlan