Temperature's Role in Weight Loss

Couple Jogging on Snow-Covered Road

Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time, winning a total of 28 medals. He is one of the most celebrated athletes in history, and he has been known to eat up to 12,000 calories per day. Wait, what? If you've ever seen a photo of Phelps, you've got to be wondering how he could ever eat as much as he does. Though athletes training for the Olympic Games keep rigorous schedules, even 10 hours per day in the pool would not be enough exercise to burn off this much food. This phenomenon intrigued fitness trainer Ben Greenfield who began looking into the science behind Phelps' routine.

The secret turned out to be the swimming pool itself. The body burns calories two ways, through physical exertion, and through maintaining bodily functions, including keeping us warm. Water is 24 times more thermally conductive than air and this was what kept Phelps shredded during training. Had he spent his 3 to 4 hour daily workout schedule on a treadmill or in the gym, there's no way Phelps could have consumed as much as he did. However, in the water his body had to work extra hard to maintain his core body temperature.

Colder Temperatures Burn More Calories

The effect of cold causing your cells to burn calories for heat instead of storing them as fat is most obvious in brown adipose tissue. These are types of fat cells which, when activated by the cold, have been shown to burn additional fat. Now we're not recommending you jump into a frozen lake or take hours long cold showers, but there are some simple ways to put this little trick into effect. In the colder months, exercise outside when the weather allows it. A brisk walk can do wonders. If you have a pool available to you, start working a few laps each week into your routine. When combined with the rest of your Metabolic Research Center weight loss program, your body can start working better with you to reach your goals.


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