For most people, the fatty tissue is something they don’t want to have. It makes the thighs flabby, the clothes too narrow and despite our efforts to eliminate it, it stubbornly remains on our bodies. Too much fat increases the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease or type 3 diabetes, so researchers have been looking for ways to get rid of it.
People have two types of fat–white and brown–and it is important to know the difference between the two in order to eliminate them easier. White adipose tissue is a thin layer visible on the human stomach, on the back of our arms and on our thighs. This fatty tissue 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 which helps in weight loss. Therefore, researchers recommend lowering the temperature on the thermostat for a few degrees, for a couple of hours a day, during the winter months.
During an adipose tissue biopsy, researchers have found that the abdominal and thigh fat gets a brown color in winter. This indicates 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 say that because we reside in premises that are too warm in the winter, our body doesn’t burn any calories to maintain body heat.
In another study, a group of men slept in a metabolic chamber at a temperature of 18 °C (64.4 °F). After 4 weeks of sleeping at this temperature, they almost doubled the amount of brown adipose tissue, increased their insulin sensitivity, and burned more calories.
This practice is also called cold 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 Ferriss is the author of the book “The Four-Hour Body”, which, among other things, describes the concept of burning brown fat tissue by exposing oneself to low temperatures. He points out that 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 researchers said that the burning of body fat can be stimulated by simply applying ice compresses for 30 – 60 minutes on areas of the body that have fatty tissues. This encourages the process of conversion of white to brown tissue and increases weight loss. This can have even greater effect when combined with a healthier diet and regular exercise.
This method cools the skin and causes the elimination of fat cells, which are then metabolized by the body.
HOW TO APPLY ICE PACKS?
Wrap the ice with a thin cloth and place it on the affected area for 30 – 60 minutes. Repeat the process once a day for 12 days.
The only downside of this therapy is frostbite, so be careful when using compresses and lift them up every now and then. 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 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.
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.