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Thermal Diet?. Yeah. It’s from the book “The 4-Hour Body” by my favorite author Timothy Ferriss.
Everyone knows the basic fact that our body temperature is maintained at 98.6 °F. When the outside temperature falls below that, our body does quite a few things like goosebumps, shivering, burning more calories to produce the additional heat to bring the core temperature back to normal. The hypothalamus in the brain controls the body temperature with the help of the temperature receptors in the skin. We are interested in leveraging the option of “burning more calories for heat” to our weight loss program.
There are two types of fat tissues found in mammals.
White Adipose Tissue (WAT) - which stores fat, also called as white fat. The excess calories that we consume are converted into energy reserves as white fat around our waist and thighs.
Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) - which burns fat to produce heat (also called as brown fat). This is present around the lower neck and supraclavicular regions.
When our body is exposed to cold, the brown fat is activated to burn more calories (mostly from white fat) to produce heat until we reach the point of shivering, which takes over to produce more heat. Studies shows that our body burns 50% more calories when exposed to cold conditions. Babies don’t shiver because they have approx. 5% of their body weight composed of brown fat. We lose most of it as we grow. The high amount of brown fat replaces the need to shiver. Contrary to the popular belief, thinner people has more brown fat !.
Thermal Diet - is the concept of leveraging our body’s natural ability to burn fat to effective weight loss. Please remember, brown fat works best at the threshold of shivering. If you find yourself shivering, it may be too cold for you and it is possible to slip into the state of hypothermia, if you are not careful. So, always have an option of getting to a warmer condition, if required.**Extreme cold could cause complications for people with cardiovascular problems. So, Please consult with your physician before attempting any of the suggestions below. Please consult even if you don't have any health problems.**
Drink Cold Water: Drink a glass of ice cold water as soon as you wake up followed by a breakfast in next 30 minutes (refer Tip 1: Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up !). Through out the day, drink a lot of ice cold water.
Use Ice Packs: Place and Ice Pack on the back of your neck and top of your chest for 30 minutes, while reading or watching TV. Use the idle time to lose weight !
Go for “Chill” walks: In cold climate, walk in the streets with normal dress (may be summer dress) for 10 - 15 minutes. Be sure to cover your head, neck, hands and feet as they become numb, in extreme cold. I suggest to carry your jacket or coat with you, should you get yourself warmed immediately.
Take Cold Showers: Tim Ferriss suggests a 30 minutes of cold shower for maximum benefit, but shorter showers also help. Gradually reduce the temperature in the shower and stand in the cold water for 3 - 5 minutes, before getting out. People living in warmer countries or do not have the access to temperature controlled showers, can try to shower in normal / cold water (without heating).
Take Ice Baths: Fill your bath tub with cold water and put as much ice cubes as you can. Immerse yourself into the water up to your waist for 10 minutes, then up to your neck with your hands out for next 10 minutes. You can change the time & temperature as it works for you. Tim Ferris takes three ice baths per week.
Go Outdoors for Exercise: If you live in cold climate, try to exercise outdoors where you can burn more calories. Go for running, jogging or biking etc.
Water Exercise or Sports: If you can, involve in any sport or exercise that is done in water.
Luckily, I am in UK and the winter season just started. I am gonna try most of the above tips. I am in the right place at the right time. I will posts the results, as soon as I see them on my body :)
If you are new to this blog, you may want to read the other tips that we discussed so far …
Tip 1: Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up !
Tip 2: Lose weight out of the blue !
Tip 3: Lose Weight with Laziness
Tip 4: Weight Loss with Mind Movies
Tip 5: Weight Loss with Horse Gram
Tip 6: Weight Loss with Burpee