Can you really shed unwanted fat with ice pack therapy?

The theory goes that our bodies do not burn as many calories to keep warm as we typically would have in earlier times in human history.

Contrary to certain social media posts, there’s is nothing positive about fat. It makes our clothes fit tight and our thighs jiggle, and then there’s the increased risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. For decades, researchers have tried to find ways to combat all of these issues.

A quick science lesson

People have two types of fat cells: brown and white fat and to understand the differences between the two of them means to help yourself to lose weight.

“White fat” is a thin layer of blubber that we see on a human body — on the thighs and the backs of the arms. This certain fat acts as a thermal insulator, which keeps the stability of the body temperature.

“Brown fat” is less abundant in a body and makes heat, rather than tricking it as the white does. In fact, brown fat warms cold body by burning calories or energy.

Where do we have brown fat?

Brown fat could be really difficult to study, because it’s hard to find it in adults, and usually can be found in random locations in the body, and not always in the same region on every person. There is an area in the shoulders and the neck, where you can find it most of the times, but again not on every person. The researches have shown that particular groups of people have more brown fat than others do. For instance:

  • Younger people have way more brown fat than older people.
  • Slender people have way more brown fat than overweight people.
  • People with a normal blood sugar levels have way more brown fat than the ones with high blood sugar levels.
  • Researches Have Shown Exposure to Cold Causes Fat Cell Death

Using ice pack therapy at home to shed excess fat

Experts claim that because people spend so much of their time indoors in offices and overheated homes, our bodies do not burn many calories to keep warm as we typically would have in earlier times in human history.

The experts have a practice that is known as “cold thermogenesis,” which could double the volume of metabolically active brown fat, an increase in insulin sensitivity, and burn more calories.

  • A moderate intensity of cold thermogenesis could sit in 50 to 60 degree room, just by wearing shorts that is very significant for the formation of brown fat.
  • A hardcore intensity of cold thermogenesis could be achieved just by wearing an ice vest and a pair of some firm shorts that are filled with an ice packs. This particular practice makes the body to shiver and burns massive amount of calories.

The author of the book The Four-Hour Body, Tim Ferriss, states that you could increase the fat burning potentials by adding ice therapy to your workout routine and healthy eating.

More tips in this YouTube video:

A warning re: ice pack therapy

An incorrect usage of ice packs could cause skin burns, which can vary from mild burns of second or third degree, to serious burns of the first degree.

Symptoms of cold induced burn injuries include:

  • Needles and pins sensation, followed by numbness and tingling
  • Pain and redness in the affected place
  • Waxy of firm skin that is white and totally numb
  • Skin blisters

Treatment of ice pack burn:

You will notice an ice pack burn if you develop the signs and symptoms of a cold induced injury, such as feel burning, developing blisters, itchiness, numbness, and pain sensation in the affected place. The color of your affected place can turn yellowish-gray. The affected area should be re-warmed.

  • The warming procedure should be GRADUAL not to burn yourself and cause more damage to your skin.
  • Soak the affected skin into warm water. The National Institute of Health claims that the temperature of the water should be from 104 – 108 degree, for about 20 minutes (never use a hot water).
  • You could use warm compresses or wrap the affected area with some blanket.
  • Avoid massaging and do not move the damaged area, because this could cause even more damage.
  • Avoid a direct usage of dry heat to warm the affected place, as hair dryers or radiator, because these areas are really numb and could burn very easily.