Being Cold Burns Fat

Here’s another pearl of wisdom from Four Hour Body by Tim Ferris.

Men acutely exposed to cold for two hours (in a liquid-conditioned suit perfused with 10°C [50°F] water) have been observed to increase heat production by 2.6-fold and increase the oxidation rate of plasma glucose by 138%, of muscle glycogen by 109%, and of lipids by 376%. Raising the body’s heat in response to cold exposure is done mostly by burning lipids (50%), then glycogen from muscles (30%), then blood glucose and proteins (10% each).

Burning 376% more fat by being a bit cold seems like a good trade off.

I haven’t worn a jacket for a week. I set the thermostat at my apartment to 60° unless my girlfriend is coming over. The little dog and I go on long walks with me in a t-shirt, hat, gloves and a light wind-breaker. Burn baby burn.

The following photos are from a canoe trip I took with my buddy Patrick the last week of December. I really wanted to get out of the city and go for canoeing but I also wanted to fully test this cold exposure theory for myself. I kept my diet the same and the level of exertion while paddling was low. I had been on a bit of a weight loss plateau but this trip kicked my metabolism into high gear for about 30 hours and I was down 4 pounds on the scale when I returned.

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