Fat loss is one of the biggest and most popular topics today. With more than half of the world's population overweight, and with an increasing proportion of that number clinically obese, there is no wonder that people around every street and corner are desperate for methods to lose weight. Gym memberships always balloon in January, with fat loss being the single, most popular New Year's resolution by far.

Considering this obsession with the numbers on the weighing scale, it is worth examining every new tip related to weight loss for accuracy. The idea that cold temperatures will help you to lose weight has been around for a long time, such as by making use of techniques like drinking cold water, taking a cold shower or even flying to winter countries. But taking a more detailed look, you will realize that such techniques are not to be relied on.

Theoretically, there is some reasoning to the concept. It is common knowledge that our bodies burn more calories to stay warm. The reason many animals hibernate is because they do not have sufficient food intake to maintain their body heat, thus dropping into a low-energy state allows them to survive with less. Humans have similar needs, so extended exposure to low temperatures will increase the amount of calories burnt.

To fully understand whether this technique actually works, we have to first look at Basal Metabolism Rate, the amount of calories your body burns simply by staying alive. A 100 kilogram individual who does not exercise will burn 1.75 calories a minute, which is equivalent to 105 in one hour. This is where calorie counting comes from. This individual will burn 2520 calories in a day without performing any exercise.

Lowering your body temperate by 0.5 degrees Celsius will increase your basal metabolism rate by 7 per cent. The theory now seems true. If your standard body temperature is 37 degrees, lowering it to 36 degrees for an entire day will burn 350 calories more. However, keeping cold is not a good way to lose weight, for two major reasons.

Firstly, the results, if any, are insignificant for the amount of time you will need to spend at low temperatures to see any significant fat loss. Also bear in mind that a body temperature between 32 and 35 degrees is classified as mild hypothermia. If you want to make use of manipulating your body temperature to raise your basal metabolism rate by a noticeable degree you will most likely have to spend several hours at dangerously low temperatures.

Second of all, any gains from this are immediately negated by exercise. People assume that the increase in their metabolism rate due to lowering their body temperatures will scale with exercise. Walking burns 2.5 times the amount of calories as compared to sitting down, so it seems natural to assume that if you can combine both a lower body temperature and walking, you can lose even more weight faster. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Walking will immediately increase your body temperature, with the cold simply making you less likely to sweat, so there are no extra calorie burning benefits at all.

Clearly, such crazy ideas to lose weight are just that, crazy and not feasible.

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