I read about it in Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Body. You’ve got to read this book. It’s the Mythbusters of weight loss. Tim Ferriss goes to some weird extremes, but his approach to weight loss is practical and efficient. If you’re only going to do one exercise, Ferriss will tell you which exercise packs the biggest wallop (Spoiler: kettle bell).
Weight loss is just one chapter in the book. Ferriss, who made his bones with The 4-Hour Work Week, dedicates chapters in 4-Hour Body to getting better sleep, healing injuries, having better sex, building muscle mass, and more.
He introduces the cold-shower idea with a discussion of Michael Phelps. Phelps consumes a lot of calories–more than he burns from swimming, even though he swims a lot and can clearly eat whatever he wants. (Insert “munchies” joke here.)But if you take into account the temperature of the water he’s in all day, the input/output ratio works out. Fact: You burn calories to keep warm. Fact: You’ll burn calories taking a cold shower.
I’m not saying it will be life changing, but my husband has lost almost 40 lbs since January using Ferriss’s methods—including the cold showers. I have lost about 12 lbs myself with just a few changes over the last few months—more protein, fewer treats, cold showers. Little things add up. Abstaining from a second cookie here, taking a cold shower there … and without too much hassle you’ve lost a couple pounds.
Ferriss presents a lot of cold-therapy data in his book. You can submerge yourself in an ice bath if you wish. (Ferriss has done it.) You can walk the dog without your coat in the winter, sleep without blankets, or apply an ice pack to the back of your neck. But Ferriss says the highest pay off for the least investment is a cold shower every day. You start out with normal warm water to get your hair and body wet for about 2 minutes. Then you lather up and turn on the cold water for the the rest of your shower, about 8 minutes. It’s not bad at all in the summer but it can be pretty hard to face on a cold winter morning. But not any harder than jogging!
I know it sounds crazy. But in my experience it does make a difference. Give it a try. And check out The 4-Hour Body for a lot more tips and tricks. It makes a pretty good read even if you’re not trying to lose weight. Is anyone NOT trying to lose weight?