Temperature Manipulation: Enhancing Fat Loss

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The 4-Hour Body" by Timothy Ferriss. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is temperature manipulation? How can it help you boost your fat loss?

Temperature manipulation is the process of influencing your body temperature to produce certain results. In particular, cold can help you burn fat for heat.

Read more about the use of temperature manipulation for losing fat.

Temperature Manipulation

In addition to taking supplements, you can influence your fat loss by cooling your body with temperature manipulation. This is because one type of fat, brown adipose tissue (BAT), helps burn calories as heat. Cold temperatures stimulate BAT and might also contribute to the creation of more BAT, which will help you burn other types of fat. 

  • For example, Ray slept without blankets, took outdoor walks in the winter without a jacket, and drank ice water. Within a week, he’d lost almost six pounds. 

To harness the power of temperature in your weight-loss journey, use these four strategies:

1. Ice the back of your neck or upper back. (BAT is mainly found in the upper chest and neck.) Leave the ice on for 20-30 minutes.

2. Drink at least half a liter of ice water as soon as you wake up. This will increase the rate your body uses energy when it’s at rest (resting metabolic rate).

3. Take cold showers. Use hot water for the first 1-2 minutes, then step out of the water and put soap in your hair and face. Turn the water to cold and rinse just your head. Get fully under the water, facing away from the stream so the water hits your upper back and neck. Stay there for 1-3 minutes as you finish your soaping routine, and then rinse. Take this kind of shower before bed and/or before breakfast.

4. Take 20-minute ice baths that are cold enough to make you shiver. To make an ice bath, pour two or three bags of ice into a bath half full of cold water. When the ice is 80% melted, get in. If you’re a beginner, immerse only your lower body for five minutes, and then the rest of your body minus your hands for the next five minutes. To increase the fat-loss effect, have 10-20 grams of protein and 200-450 milligrams of cayenne half an hour before the bath.

Temperature Manipulation: Enhancing Fat Loss

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Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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