View Full Version : Freezing: a new diet?

10-28-2001, 09:08 PM
I have a few pounds I would like to lose. I like to eat, so it's a constant struggle. Anyway, as I stood shivering in the 45 degree cold and wind today watching my daughter play in a soccer tournament, it occurred to me that my body had to be expending energy in order to maintain a 98 degree body temperature.

And then I thought, Hmmmm. A new way of losing weight? Instead of sweating your ass off, you could freeze your ass off? It could be as easy as going to your kids' soccer games wearing a coat designed for weather 10 degrees warmer. Or you could get nekkid and sit in a 60 degree room for a half hour.

So, what do you think? Would it possible to lose weight simply by sitting in a cold room and letting nature take its course? Or would it be too risky? And, finally, what should I name my diet for the infomercial?

10-28-2001, 09:15 PM
name; "Lisa's innovative new 'freeze your ass off' diet! no exercise needed, just eat a normal, nutritious diet and buy my special book!"

would it work; i dunno. i just had the name... sounds interesting, though.

10-28-2001, 09:15 PM
My guess is that this is a good weight loss method in principle, but it's probably impractical.

This is fairly similar to a cold food diet proposed in various places. The short of it is, you'd need to drink 3.5 gallons of icewater to offset the caloric content of a beer (which generally has something less than 200 calories). I'm pretty sure that Cecil did a column on this at one point.

10-28-2001, 10:02 PM
Here's what the master has to say: http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_313.html

Also, I have a book called "The Hibernation Response" by Peter Whybrow, M.D. and Robert Bahr. One of the theses that this book puts forward is that humans have evolved to put on weight in the fall so that we are more likely to survive winter when food is scarce. One of the mechanisms involved is a tendency for cold to make us hungry, and hungry for rich, hearty foods, instead of the light foods of summer. They recommend that if you are trying to lose weight, that you accept maintaining your current weight during fall and winter months, and wait until the weather warms up to actually work on losing weight.

10-28-2001, 10:06 PM
It won't work if you continue to eat enough of the same food to keep from freezing to death... and if you stop eating, THAT is what would cause you to loose weight. I don't think many eskimoes are built like Bruce Lee, so ya won't be loosing much by standing nekkid on the sidelines as the kids run past. Your "shiver & shed" diet wouldn't do much for cardiovascular health or cholesteral clogging the plumbing either:). BTW, it might be less embarrasing to lay in the tub filled with ice water for an hour to conduct experimental trials than naked toboganing.

Steve Wright
10-29-2001, 11:39 AM
I recall a column on this topic in the New Scientist's old "Daedalus" section. (No, I don't remember the date or the issue number, I'm afraid). The idea was to lose weight in your sleep, by means of a high-tech duvet incorporating cooling elements that reduced the temperature of your bed, causing you to burn up more calories to maintain your body temperature. The device also included heating elements which would come on in response to rapid movement (in other words, when the cold got bad enough that you woke up and started moving), though this feature could be disabled if you wanted to really savour the, er, masochistic elements of losing weight... Needless to say, like most of the "Daedalus" inventions, the idea is not actually practical.