Fat bulges are certainly something unpleasant and undesired for the vast majority of people. It is almost impossible to look good in our tight clothes when we have fat bulges. In addition, this occurrence leads to jiggling of our thighs. The increased amount of these bulges puts us at greater risk from diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease and this is the reason why scientists are looking for the best way to eliminate them for years now.
There are two different types of fat in humans – brown fat and white fat. It is crucial to learn more about them in order to lose weight faster. So, white fat is the thin coating of excessive fat we can find on our belly, things and on the back of our arms. The basic goal of this specific fat is to stabilize the body temperature (thermal insulator).
Scientific Studies Suggest That Exposure to Cold Leads to Fat Cell Elimination
If we expose our body to cold, we can activate the brown fat which means that we can stabilize our weight and decrease obesity problems. Scientists are asking people to lower the temperature in the rooms during the winter period for few hours in order to feel the effects. They have made their study public and revealed it in the famous magazine published by the Endocrine Society called Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
They have analyzed the fat deposits in patients and figured out that during winter months, the fat located in the belly and thigh has shown tendency to turn brown compared to the same samples taken during the summer period. In other words, the lower temperature supports the process of transformation of white fat into white fat.
The vast majority of homes during the winter period have a temperature of about 21 C or 69 F, but in order to feel the effects, the experts from the Medical Centre from the Maastricht University in the Netherlands suggest lowering the temperature at a temperature between 15C (59F) and 17C (62F) for a few hours each day. The researchers claim that because people spend more time indoors in winter, our bodies cannot process the calories in a natural way in order to keep us warm.
In Addition, The New York Times has recently published a scientific study in which a large group of men slept in a specially designed metabolic chamber where the temperature was stabilized at slightly crispy 66 degrees. After one month of sleeping at 66 degrees, almost all men have increased their volume of brown fat for around 100%. In addition, they have also increased their insulin sensitivity and were able to burn more calories.
This is a occurrence also known as cold thermogenesis.
- Extreme intensity cold thermogenesis can be experienced by wearing a specially made ice vest and a pair of compression shorts that come with ice packs. In this way you will make your body shiver and burn calories at a very fast rate.
- Cold thermogenesis with moderate intensity means sitting in a room where the temperature is between 50 and 60 degrees with nothing else but your shorts on your body. This practice will lead to greater brown fat formation.
Practice Ice Therapy In order To Burn Significantly More Body Fat
The Four-Hour Body is a popular book written by Tim Ferriss. In this book people can read more about the process of activation of fat brown in order to significantly improve the fat burning capacity simply by exposing the body to very cold temperatures. Mr. Ferriss believes that by practicing this method people can increase their fat burning capacity for three times. All you need to do is to add ice therapy to your workout routine and healthy eating. An article published in the Livestrong magazine has confirmed Ferriss theory.
The ABC News has interviewed a NASA scientist who has confirmed that they have studied the effects of cold temperature on astronauts. They have witnessed a metabolism boost of about 20% in rooms where the temperature was around 60 degrees. A researcher from the Joslin Diabetes Center has also confirmed that about 3 ounces of brown fat have the ability to burn up to 500 calories per day.
Scientists Confirm that Popsicle’s Kill Fat, Leading to Dimples In Children
This interesting theory about fat cells being frozen and eliminated is not a new one. It was recently proven that this is the case with an interesting experiment. Popsicle Panniculitis is the scientific name of the occurrence in which exposure to cold produced by popsicles can lead to dimpling that occurs in the cheeks.
The occurrence of reddish areas on the cheeks of a 9-month-old boy has alarmed the parents. There was nothing wrong with their child in the first nine months of his life and they had no cases of problems in their family health history. In addition, the kid was not bitten by some insect, has not suffered from trauma or illness and didn’t have contact with someone who was ill. The immunizations were regular and he was developing normally. However, the lively kid had reddish areas on his cheeks close to the mouth. His teeth, gums and oral cavity in general were in perfect health.
When the doctors did a thorough investigation they have found out that 48 hours before these unusual lesions appeared, his parents had given the kid popsicles for teething which eventually resulted in a disorder known as Popsicle Panniculitis. Ice Packs, popsicles and exposure to cold are things that were associated to cold or popsicle panniculitis in kids.
This occurrence is frequent in infants right after a so-called cold injury and usually occurs in the chin and cheeks. Popsicle panniculitis can easily be recognized by the red color it produces and the hardened swelling of the cheeks which occur between 1 and 2 days after the contact happens. On the other hand, adult individuals have subcutaneous fat that consists mostly of unsaturated fats which is why popsicle panniculitis doesn’t occur in adults.
Dr. Amy Brodsky, a popular dermatologist from Chicago was born without a dimple, but when she was six years old she injured her cheek in an accident and needed the help of ice compressions for few hours. After few days, her left cheek (where the ice was applied) has become hardened and about two months later this injury led to the formation of a dimple. Dr. Brodsky and her parents thought that this occurrence is a direct result of the injury, but once she started studying Dermatology, she realized that she is suffering from Cold Panniculitis.
Freezing Fat in order to Reduce Spots on Problematic Areas
Because of all the reasons we have mentioned before, scientists are convinced that the simple process of applying ice packs to the places where white fat deposits are present the most for a period of 30 minutes to one hour, could activate the browning process and support our fat and weight loss efforts. Of course, people also need to follow a regular workout routine and a healthy diet.
The procedure is simple – first you chill the skin which leads to the elimination of underlying fat cells in a natural way. After that they are metabolized by the system. As a result of that, the thickness of fat in the problematic area will be reduced. It is worth mentioning that there is a commercial treatment known as CoolSculpting which relies on some very expensive equipment, but is extremely efficient. Even after one session that lasts for one hour on a treated spot, you will notice the results after a while. When the fat cells become frozen, they will naturally leave the body.
It takes between 6 and 12 weeks for the results to become visible, but you can lose up to half an inch from your waistline after a 1-hour treatment. You can treat the same area for as many times as you want, but it is believed that the first treatment is the most efficient one.
With the help of the sophisticated device, the operator is able to suck the skin underlying fat right into a cup and cooling it right after that. According to the current theory, chilling fat tissues to a temperature below freezing results in fat cells inflammation (Panniculitis) and eventually leads to the death of fat cells also known as apoptosis.
This inflammation begins about three days after the treatment is finished and reaches culmination at one month, while the number of fat cells will continue to drop in the next three months. The side effects are manifested as barely visible redness and occasional bruising. While the fat cells that are part of the treatment are emptied out from the system, there are still fat cells around the area that have the ability to grow and this is why physical activity and proper diet are important.
It is good to point out that there is a risk of frostbite or other similar damages to the skin, but the good news is that this is something that can happen only if you are exposed to temperature that is about -10C or below. On the other hand CoolSculpting works with much safer temperatures. It doesn’t instantly eliminate the fat cells, but simply encourages the natural process of apoptosis. This is why the first effects are visible after few weeks. There are some people who claim that we can achieve the same results at home by practicing a technique similar to CoolSculpting.
Practicing Ice Pack Therapy at Home to Eliminate Excess Fat
Ice packs are commonly used when we are suffering from inflammation and to prevent swelling in sports injuries and because of the efficiency of the Cool Sculpting treatment, scientists claim that it is possible to get the same effects at home by using ice pack directly on the skin.
A scientific study conducted few years ago focused on Cool Sculpting has confirmed that this treatment is very efficient when it comes to fat level reduction, although the results might not be equally good. Several studies have confirmed that the level of fat on the problematic areas treated with ice packs were significantly lower compared to the parts that were not treated at all. This means that by applying ice packs to an affected area like the belly, thighs or flanks for between half an hour and one hour, 4 times a week, you will be able to eliminate the persistent fat.
So, people who are interested in reduction of fat levels in specific areas can surely count on cold thermogenesis.
Things To Watch Out For
Ice pack usage can lead to skin burns with different intensity (first, second o even third degree burns). This unpleasant occurrence usually happens when people apply ice packs directly on their skin without using any barrier (especially in cases of injuries).
It is highly recommended to use a layer like t-shirt between the ice and skin. In addition, you can also place a thin hand towel or few piece of paper towel before the skin adjusts and after few minutes you can remove these layers. By using thick cotton or towels, the ice will lose only a small percentage of its effects on the problematic area.
There are few factors that can increase the chances of injuries caused by icing and some of the most common ones include:
- Those who use medications that can lower the blood flow to the skin (beta-blockers).
- Those suffering from peripheral neuropathy which lowers the ability to notice injuries.
- Those suffering from peripheral vascular disease which reduced blood flow to the problematic tissue.
- Diabetes and smoking.
Common Symptoms and Signs of Cold Induced Burn Injuries
- Reddish discoloration and pain in the problematic area
- Feeling of pins and needles accompanied by numbness and tingling
- Firm or hard skin which is very pale.
Treating Ice Pack Burn
If you notice any of these signs and symptoms there is a great chance that you have an injury caused by the coldness produced by ice. In case you notice these signs and symptoms you need to warm up the problematic area and prevent more severe injuries.
- This warming cannot be rapid. You must do this carefully and gradually in order to avoid even more problems.
- Use warm water and soak the burned skin in it. The water should be between 104 and 108 F and the treatment should last for about 20 minutes (The national Institute of Health recommendations).
- In addition, you can also use warm compresses.
- Don’t massage or move the affected area because you can worsen your condition.
* Don’t use a hair dryer or a radiator to treat this area because you will increase the damage. These areas are numb and you must be careful.