Cold Showers to Lose Weight – Do They Work?

Cold Showers to Lose Weight - Do They Work?

An old wife’s tale once stated that to cool off any lustful thoughts, it is best to take a cold shower to shock yourself and redirect your focus on staying warm.

However, a cold shower can do more than keep your libido in check.

If you’ve got some stubborn body fat that will not go away no matter how dedicated you are to diet and exercise – it’s time to freeze it off with a cold shower.

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Thermogenesis

Thermogenesis is the key to how you use cold showers to lose weight. It’s a big, fancy science term for generating body heat.

If your body temperature drops significantly below its standard, certain proteins called ATP’s turn chemical energy into heat energy.

This transfers to your muscles and makes them twitch, like when your teeth chatter after sticking your head in the freezer for too long.

Have you ever come out of a warm house and began shivering because you didn’t anticipate a huge drop in temperature?

That’s thermogenesis at work in you!

Brown Fat

Your body also has different types of fatty tissue. Brown adipose tissue, or “brown fat”, is mostly found in newborns.

We sometimes call it baby fat, as it typically goes away as we age. It houses proteins called thermogenins that produce energy as heat when stimulated by cold or other means of thermogenesis.

Since babies have larger deposits of brown fat, they shiver less in the cold. The beauty of brown fat is that you don’t need to shiver to see the effects of those thermogenins at work.

It’s an internal burn unit, acting like a pilot light for your body.

You can also stimulate thermogenesis by adding certain foods to your diet.

High-fiber foods like celery and some citrus tend to have a negative calorie effect because it takes more calories burned by body heat to break them down versus the calories they contain.

However, not many people can live off of a celery and grapefruit diet for very long.

How You Use a Cold Shower To Lose Weight

There are few significant scientific studies that show exactly how much fat your can burn by taking a cold shower.

People’s bodies are different, just like their environments. However, most studies have shown that significant exposure to cold temperatures does increase caloric burn.

Tim Ferris, author of Four Hour Workweek and Four Hour Body, tested thermogenesis by taking a bath in 10 pounds of ice for 15 minutes.

But before you decide to try something that extreme or take a polar bear swim in the winter, start using cold showers to lose weight.

It’s not just enough to turn your shower knob to the coldest setting and staying under the water. Your body will eventually get used to the temperature and stop generating the heat-burning calories within.

The best way to use cold showers to lose weight is by fluctuating the water temperatures in intervals.

Think of it as shock treatment for your fat cells.

Start off by turning your shower to a cold setting and easing yourself under the knob.

This might take a few minutes, as it’s natural to not go all into something uncomfortable with your body. Start with your neck, since that is where the brown fat resides.

Once you have submersed your entire body underneath the cold shower, see if you can stay under it for a minute, and then turn the knob to a more comfortable temperature.

Sit under that nice, relaxing temperature for two minutes, and then blast yourself again with the cold water for three.

Alternate this for a few intervals for 15 to 30 minutes, but make sure you finish off with a cold blast.

When you step out of the shower, you might be tempted to dry off that cold water and wrap yourself up in a warm towel.

See if you can stave that off and air dry for as long as possible. Sure, you’re going to get goose bumps, but that’s a sign that your body is going to use cold showers to lose weight.

Your body is going to spend a significant amount of time and calories trying to reach 98.6 even after you finally towel off and get dressed. Expect to feel the effects of cold showers burning fat for the rest of the morning.

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14 thoughts on “Cold Showers to Lose Weight – Do They Work?

  1. Hello Chris, I just came across your article and bit amazed to know how cold showers can reduce weight. You have provided very informative content and I never thought that cold shower can aid weight loss. I am aware that there are many foods that tends negative calorie effect but not sure on how long any one can follow such diet. Seems interesting to try Cold shower for the weight loss. Appreciate your efforts and thanks.

  2. As a matter of fact, this is the first time am coming across the idea that one can lose weight by taking a cold shower, this article has added to my need to dos, for wight loss. I will definitely give it a try, and I will report back here with my result.

  3. Hi Chris,

    I am not sure if it’s a good idea to post things like that. In some time, you will get a message that you are a liar! “I am doing cold shower after my pizza, coke and chips, I am still fat!” 🙂
    Cold showers or drinking cold water can give a little boost as the body needs to use power to warm up, but as we all know diet and gym are the best things.

    1. HaHa I already have been called that Simon…on many an occasion! Oh well it’s part of the webmaster gig I suppose – you need to have thick skin! 🙂

  4. I do agree, I use to do the shock temperature when i go to saunas and hot springs. I usually get super warm and then run to the river and immerse myself.

    I honestly can do it only if I know I have a very warm pool full of sulfur water waiting for me.

    The concept of burning fat while taking cold shower is well know, my only question is how many people are willing to do that when they can go have a run or reduce fatty food?

    It would be interesting to do a survey about it.

    1. Yeah I’m not a big fan of being that cold myself Andrea – I think I’d rather stick to eating healthy as a form of weight loss myself! 🙂

  5. Good food for thought. I’ve always thought of the opposite (sweat it out). Hoodies at the gym to make you sweat more and steamy hot showers to burn off the pounds. Do you have any thoughts on that theory?

    Not sure I can stand a cold shower for 15 minutes, but it might be worth a shot.

    1. If I’m honest for you – I personally don’t go for either!

      I’m more a running man (without the stupid hoodie!) in shorts and a t shirt, no matter what the weather is like! 🙂

  6. I’ve always known that working out in the cold causes you to lose more weight because your body has to expend additional energy to keep you warm. I never thought about cold showers helping you to lose weight as well. This is really awesome and it actually makes a lot of sense. I like how you didn’t recommend to just stay in a cold shower the whole time because your body really does adjust to even the coldest showers. I’ll have to give this a try 🙂
    -Jessica

    1. I have too Jessica…but it’s amazing the amount of people who don’t know these facts! I’ll be honest with you – cold showers suck, especially in the winter, but you don’t have to stand under one for long to get the effects…

  7. When I first looked at the title of your post I was like…. No way! But with an open mind I read it. Because as smart as I am 😉 I know that I am not perfect. And that research trumps intuition most times if not all.
    This is very interesting that a cold shower can help you to lose weight. I absolutely can not take a cold shower. But I do walk a lot in the cold. Do you think that helps too?

    1. Well any sort of movement will help mate! Walking is great for losing weight – as long as you are doing decent distances!

      As for temperature – very hard to say but I would of thought walking in the heat would be better (sweat more!).

      Hope this helps! 🙂

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