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Path to Health - Day 4: Ice is Nice for Fat Sacrifice

Just a quick tactical journal today! When it comes to weight loss, our bodies are essentially thermodynamic reactors, and we often pair exercise with our diet plan to exploit that dynamic part, but we often neglect the thermal part, which can be just as effective at helping us lose weight. This is something that Tim Ferriss details in his book, The Four-Hour Body, as a force multiplier, and the fact that this is only Day 4 since my initial weigh-in and I've already lost 7½ pounds testifies to the efficacy of everything I'm doing.

So what does this thermal part mean for how we can burn extra fat? In essence, force our bodies to be cold for a time, because our bodies will work harder to warm ourselves back up, which means more energy burned. To drive this point home, an adult male at a healthy weight of no more than 200 lbs. who visiting the North Pole has to consume roughly 5,000 calories a day just to account for all the extra energy his body needs simply to stay warm. Now, I'm not telling you to go polar bear swimming or to plan a trek to the Arctic Circle, but there are some easy ways to use ice as a multiplier for your weight loss:

1. Drink 16 oz. of ice water first thing upon waking up. Not only does this water help wake up your internal organs, but the jolt of cold is a way to get your system already geared for weight loss. I do this every morning.

2. Place an ice pack on the back of your neck and shoulders for 20-30 minutes each night. This can easily be done while watching TV, reading, or doing whatever other static activity you enjoy in the evening. I do this every evening.

3. Take a cold shower. Run a normally hot shower for 1-2 minutes to prep your body for cleaning. Then step out of range of the water spray to lather your head with shampoo and clean your face. Turn the water to cold and rinse just your head and face, then turn around and slowly back into the cold water. Finish bathing in this cold water for 5-10 minutes. I tried this at first, but this is a bit too extreme for my tolerance level.

4. Take a 20-minute ice bath. Mix two 10-lb. bags of ice in a tub of cold water and slowly ease yourself into the tub. Spend the first 10 minutes just getting your legs in up to your waist. Then five minutes going up to your armpit level, arms still out of the water. Then the final 5 minutes easing yourself up to your neck, so only your head is out of the water. This is super-duper extreme, and I do not feel comfortable trying this myself (especially not while winter is still trying to exert its last gasp before spring arrives in full).

If you opt for the more extreme versions of using ice to accelerate weight loss, just be extra-cautious. Do NOT give yourself hypothermia. See you tomorrow!