The Thermal Diet Review

by The Diet Critic on February 25, 2012

thermal diet review
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The Thermal Diet is a concept that says that cold temperatures – either from a winter climate or an artificially created cold environment – can help the body’s metabolism to work harder, leading to faster and easier weight loss. It is built on the foundation idea that indicates that when the body must produce heat to keep itself warm, it will burn a greater number of calories in order to generate that heat. Though there is some scientific merit to this concept, there has yet to be a single reputable study to indicate that by deliberately making the body cold, weight loss can result. This is because there is no consistency to the way that The Thermal Diet works from one individual to another. Many factors impact the way that the metabolism functions and how many calories are required for the production of heat. For example, the greater the amount of body fat there is, the fewer calories are needed for the production of body heat, because the body is covered in an effective insulating layer.

The Thermal Diet refers to what is called “brown fat activation”, where cold temperatures activate brown adipose tissue (BAT), also known as brown fat. Though brown fat is not entirely understood, it appears to have a strong impact on the body’s metabolism. Some research has indicated that a small amount of it can help to burn additional calories every day as long as the right conditions are established. However this has never actually been studied regarding its efficacy for weight loss, nor have the necessary conditions been established in any way that can be realistically practiced by the average dieter.

Some of the processes suggested by The Thermal Diet practitioners can include some rather extreme efforts. For this reason, it is very important to speak with a doctor before trying any of these techniques, in order to make sure that you will not be doing yourself more harm than good in an effort to lose weight using a technique that is as yet unproven by medicine. Among the suggestions for applying The Thermal Diet include keeping the thermostat turned way down during the wintertime, or going for walks in the cold with only the extremities properly covered against the cold. In summertime or in regions that do not experience very cold winters, ice packs are applied to the neck and chest (the location of the majority of the brown fat in the body) for periods of thirty minutes. Cold showers are recommended by believers in this diet, and ice water should be taken all day long.

PROS

If you are someone who is always on the warm side then this may be a great “diet” for you. If anything, it will keep you feeling cool and refreshed, which may be motivation enough to move around more than usual.

CONS

There is no scientific evidence that the Thermal Diet actually helps one to lose weight. It sounds like quite a bit of work for what would be minimal weight loss benefits.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny March 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm

This diet just doesn’t really make sense to me. I’m not surprised to see that there isn’t any scientific evidence backing it, since it doesn’t seem to be based on anything scientific.

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e-sanquist March 27, 2012 at 10:56 pm

So if I go and sit in a cold swimming pool/bath tub every day for a few hrs I will lose weight?

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harly81 March 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm

In theory yes because your body is working a lot harder to keep you warm so it’s burning fuel. But, being in the cold for a length of time no doubt can cause many other unwanted health issues i.e. catching a cold or pneumonia!

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JoKraft May 5, 2012 at 9:06 am

Although I do agree with you that yes, this is an unhealthy way to lose weight and that it’s bad for your body, you can’t catch a cold or pneumonia by being cold. That’s a myth. Those are both viruses (although there is a bacterial form of pneumonia) and you need to be exposed to them to catch them. That said, shocking your body in the cold like this can weaken your immune system, which can mean that if you do catch something, its symptoms may be a lot worse and it could be harder to shake.

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Lia April 9, 2012 at 7:09 am

This looks like the opposite of something healthy. Wouldn’t you just burn more calories by swimming during that time or washing the bathtub than you would just freezing yourself? Then you’d stop yourself from getting sick, too!

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Keith September 2, 2012 at 5:06 am

For this to make sense to me, then it would mean that when it’s wintertime and I’m freezing my butt off walking in the snow or in a place that doesn’t have the heat on high enough, I should be dropping a ton of weight. But I think my body goes into hibernation mode or something because I gain during the winter, no matter how cold I am.

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