We all want to be lean and thin, to have toned muscles and the perfect six-pack but we know how difficult it can be achieved. It requires maximum effort and dedication and very few of us are prepared to go the extra mile to do it. Aside from causing us appearance insecurities, fat deposits can cause serious medical problems as well, like diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. That’s why many medical experts are trying to figure out the best and easiest way to eliminate that excess fat.
But firstly let’s get something cleared up and you need to know this if you want to lose weight and burn fat. There are two types of fat: white fat and brown fat. The thin layer of white fat is located on the thighs, belly and backs of arms. This fat balances the body’s temperature, acting as a thermal insulator.
The brown fat gets activated once the fat cells are exposed to cold and this starts to kill off the cells. According to experts, it’s advisable to turn off the heating every few hours in the winter if you want to burn fat.
The scientists who explored this theory took biopsies of fat deposits and discovered that there was more browning of the fat in the winter than in the summer, meaning it’s triggered by the exposure to cold, turning white fat cells into brown. That’s why people are advised to turn their thermostats to 17-15 Celsius degrees (62-59F) for several hours in winter instead of keeping them on 21 Celsius degrees (69F). The fact that the majority of people stay in heated rooms during winter explains why we tend to put on some weight in this period.
A study was conducted to examine this theory in details which included a couple of subjects which slept in metabolic chambers with a temperature of 66F for a month. During this time their bodies burned more fat, their brown fat cells nearly doubled and their insulin sensitivity increased significantly.
This process of increasing brown fat, increasing insulin sensitivity and burning calories is called cold thermogenesis.
If your plan is to burn more fat, in addition to eating healthy and exercising you should use ice to make this process quicker by 300%. This practice is confirmed by scientists who saw this effect of cold exposure in astronauts.
Freezing fat to reduce fat deposits on the problematic areas
The scientists behind this study strongly believe that if you apply ice on the problematic area for 30-60 minutes in addition to a healthy lifestyle you’ll be able to increase the browning process and burn fat faster.
The ice will cool down the skin and destroy the underlying fat cells, reducing the thickness of the fat deposits. There’s even a treatment designed especially based on this theory, called CoolSculpting, which is expensive, but very effective. This machine reduces the thickness of the fat with a session that last for one hour. The frozen fat cells are afterwards metabolized by the body naturally. After just one session you can lose half an inch off your waist while after a month or two you can notice significant improvements.
If you wonder how this machine works exactly we’ll explain. It sucks the fat and cools it down. This causes inflammation of the cells and leads to their destruction. The inflammation appears 3 days after the treatment, it reaches its peak at the 30th day and the fat cells continue to die for the next months. The side effects are only small temporary bruising and redness. Exercises and healthy diet are needed because other fat cells can still expand and make the treatment ineffective.
If you’re scared of frostbites you needn’t worry because they happen at much colder temperature, meaning that this treatment is completely safe.
However, if you’re reluctant at spending so much money on this you can try an ice pack therapy at home and we’ll show you how to do it.
Home ice pack therapy
Ice packs can be used to get the same effect as the CoolSculpting machine just apply them on your flanks, stomach, thighs or back and keep them for 30-60 minutes each session. Repeat the procedure 3-4 times a week and you’ll notice the fat burning away pretty soon. According to research, it will yield similar results and you’ll soon get rid of the fat deposits in the problematic areas.
Side-effects of improper home ice therapy
If you don’t know do this treatment correctly you can cause mild to severe skin burns, so be careful and follow the instructions we give you. You should never apply the ice packs directly on the skin from the start. Always use a cloth or a couple of layers of paper towels between the skin and ice pack for a few minutes. Don’t use something too thick it will decrease the effects. Remove the towels once your skin is used to the clod temperature.
The factors that increase the chances of skin burns are:
- Taking pills that reduce the blood flow to the skin like beta-blockers.
- Having peripheral vascular disease since this disease reduces the blood flow.
- Suffering from peripheral neuropathy – decreased ability to feel an injury.
Signs of skin burns
- Pins and needles sensation and then numbness and tingling.
- Pain and redness.
- White, waxy or firm skin that is numb.
How to treat skin burns
If you notice any of the symptoms we mentioned earlier you’ve probably caused a skin burn, which you need to tend to properly. You need to reheat the affected skin area in order to avoid more severe consequences.
Start reheating the skin burn gradually. You can soak the area in warm water for 20 minutes (temperature of 104-108 F). You can also use warm blankets or compresses. But don’t massage the affected area, it can cause further damage. Also avoid direct dry heat from a radiator or a hair dryer, it can only worsen the situation.