If you read “A Day In The Life Of The Ultimate Fat Burning Weapon Inventor“, then you may be familiar with this guy named Eric Grove. One could say that Eric is mildly obsessed with the use of cold exposure to burn massive amounts of calories and in that fat burning weapon article, Eric describes a vest he invented call the “Cool Fat Burner” vest, then goes on to describe in great detail the results of his groundbreaking indirect calorimetry experiment, which shows that high intensity cold stress can boost your metabolism by over 300%.
Since then, Eric has also shown that wearing a Cool Fat Burner vest can boost adiponectin (a protein involved in regulating glucose levels as well as fatty acid breakdown) by 60%, and keep brown fat active for hours after removing the cooling vest. I also reported on the impressive research behind body cooling gear in my own article at T-Nation entitled “Cold Temps For A Hot Body“.
So how does this vest work, exactly?
You simply place the vest (which is filled with cold packs) over your shoulders, where your body carries the majority of your rapid calorie burning brown adipose tissue, and then you just sit there.
So anyways, you may be scratching your head, you may think all this is woo-woo, you may already know about “cold thermogenesis” but you’re not quite sure how practically to do it, you don't like getting wet in cold showers or jumping into frigid lakes, or you may simply want an easy way to nudge any extra holiday calories off your waistline and instead use them to generate pure, clean body heat.
Either way, keep reading, because Eric is today’s guest author, and he’s going to give you a glimpse inside the nefarious, shivering mind of the ultimate fat burning weapon inventor, and a very interesting group experiment he just conducted on the Cool Fat Burner combined with the newest addition to his line-up: the Cool Gut Buster…*
…specifically, you're going to learn about recent randomized group experiment that once again confirms the ability of the cold thermogenesis “gear” to cause a huge boost to metabolism and calorie burning, as well as positively effect hormones related to health and longevity.
*There is special a discount coupon code on any of the Cool Fat Burner products for the 2016 holiday season at the bottom of this article.
A Cold Thermogenesis Refresher
Cold thermogenesis is the practice of intentionally exposing parts of the body to specific levels of cold stress. Years of research now shows this can cause significant increases in metabolism and calorie burning, can increase insulin sensitivity and help control blood glucose levels, reduce systemic inflammation, help with sleep and recovery, and potentially fight certain types of cancer as well as promote overall longevity.
How can cold thermogenesis do all this?
Think about it this way: human beings are probably not meant to be in environments constantly at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, our average modern temperature in which we live, work, play and exercise. Constant temperature control is a modern, technological contrivance. Whether it was an asteroid that blocked out the sun and wiped out the dinosaurs, to reports of a flood that left the planet underwater, our ancestors at some point experienced a dark, cold world, some form of an ice age, and a very likely necessity to evolve and even thrive in cold temperatures. Some researchers have even correlated the increase and control of indoor heating to the rise in obesity (and yes, you must keep in mind, correlations should be taken with a grain of salt)
The point here is that we’re arguably not meant to be at a constant, comfortable temperature, and that true, optimal health requires at least occasional cold thermogenesis practices.
The Problem With Cold Thermogenesis
The problem with cold thermogenesis is that most people will not stick to ice baths as a regular practice, cold showers only last for a few minutes, and simply having a cooler room, office or house has little significant impact on metabolism.
That's why I'm a fan of making long-term, habitual cold thermogenesis quick, easy, and hassle-free, and that's why I've run a series of independent third party experiments showing the following:
Metabolic Boost & Calorie Burning Effect
There was the original groundbreaking indirect calorimetry experiment, where CFB inventor Eric Grove was shown to reach a 300% boost to metabolism, burning 500 calories in two hours, tested at the University of CA, San Diego. This had never been done before, not in this manner, nor recorded for all to see. Check out the video below.
Activation of Brown Fat
Then there was the unprecedented PET scan experiment – showing “brown adipose tissue” (BAT) activity from the Cool Fat Burner:
- BAT still active for hours after removing the vest, in a 70’F room
- High BAT levels even at the end of summer; most people otherwise lose their BAT during summer
- High intensity cold thermogenesis does not turn off BAT, contrary to what others had claimed
Remember – brown fat or “brown adipose tissue” (BAT) is good. It’s a metabolically active fat. BAT is found around major vessels so that it can help to heat the blood. BAT turns on and burns calories when you get cold. If a person is subjected to cold on a regular basis, they will increase their levels of brown fat. BAT is also inversely correlated to obesity, meaning the fatter you are, the less BAT you tend to have. Most mammals have high amounts of BAT to keep them warm. For example, farmers know that cold exposure is a major factor in animals losing weight, so they have to increase their feed over winter to keep their weight up.
BAT doesn’t store calories, it burns them. Human babies are born with plenty of BAT to help keep them warm, but humans tend to lose our brown fat as we get older. Seasonal workers have been shown to have increased BAT levels during the winter, but then lose that brown fat as summer rolls around.
Now compare this energy-burning BAT to regular subcutaneous white adipose tissue, which is what most people typically think of as fat (the fat on their stomachs, hips, and legs) that stores calories and is the result of obesity and related to metabolic disorder and all manner of disease.
So brown fat, or BAT, burns calories and is good. Regular white fat (white adipose tissue, or WAT) that makes up the subcutaneous fat is not completely bad, but can be bad, especially when it grows to the point that one becomes obese. Interestingly, brown fat can burn white fat when we get cold. Thus it can help with weight loss.
The image of the Cool Fat Burner vest below shows how the vest covers major areas of BAT on the upper body.*
*Note: researchers have recently identified “beige” fat, which starts out as regular white fat, but that is somewhat converted to have properties of brown fat, meaning that it can burn more calories than regular white fat. So there is white fat, beige fat, and full brown fat. Beige has properties of both. Why is this important? The hormone irisin, released during high intensity cold thermogenesis, is involved in the browning of white fat. Merely holding cold packs against the skin above the fat can alter the white fat underneath the packs, causing the white fat to transform into beige fat, and causing your body to burn far more calories than usual.
Increased Insulin Sensitivity
We’d also seen that the Cool Fat Burner could massively increase insulin sensitivity, drastically lowering blood glucose levels in a manner comparable to running, and this is after a single session of wearing the vet. Keep in mind that chronically elevated blood glucose levels are tied to diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and obesity in general. Anything that can help lower and control blood glucose levels can probably help combat those disorders.
Spot Reduction of Stomach Fat
While not endorsed for this use, we even showed that the Cool Gut Buster could replicate the conditions necessary to induce fat cell apoptosis, allowing for the spot-reduction of stomach fat, similar to the expensive surgical process of “cool sculpting”. Currently, targeted cold exposure is the only known way to significantly spot reduce fat.
Apoptosis is the intentional, programmed death of a cell. It happens all the time in the body when a cell is supposed to die and be replaced by another newer cell. It has been shown that when the skin is held at a specific cold temperature that apoptosis occurs in the fat cells underneath. But unlike fat loss from exercise (in which fat cells shrink or are replaced), when those fat cells are gone, they are not automatically replaced. They’re gone for good (admittedly, if a person undergoes a period of over-eating, they could theoretically create new fat cells over time.)
As you can see in the video below, we have also demonstrated a 60% boost to the hormone adiponectin after a 2 hour CFB & CGB session.
The Synergistic Effect
Once you put all these biochemical variables that occur as response to cold thermogenesis, you experience the same type of synergistic fat-burning effect I demonstrate in the video below*:
*The full plan I use for this video can be found at www.CoolFatBurnerGuides.com, and is free to all CoolFatBurner vest owners.
A Few Practical Ways To Make Cold Thermogenesis Pleasant
But wait…isn’t cold thermogenesis unpleasant?
Don't most folks hate teeth-chattering, skin-burning cold?
No, and there are several reasons why.
First, when you do cold thermogenesis properly, only your torso (where all that BAT is) needs to be cold. You can keep your fingers, toes, ears, and nose warm. Since these areas have a high percentage of cold-sensors, you can make yourself feel warm by keeping them warm. Ever get too hot lying in bed, then you stick your feet out from under the covers, and it cools you off? That’s the same concept, in reverse.
So keeping your fingers, toes, ears, and nose warm makes you feel warm, even as your torso is cooling.
Second, wearing gear that has ice packs in it allows you to move around or engage in other activities while you wear it. Television, typing at the computer, working around the house, whatever. I’ve had quite a few users report back that they wear their vests in their morning driving commutes to work.
Third, there is the obvious phenomenon of “cold adaptation.” As your physiology transforms, you get more efficient at cold thermogenesis. You’ll be comfortable at temperatures that you used to feel cold in, and be burning far more calories per session than you used to. Cold temps often won't even cause goosebumps in a cold-adapted person. They’re burning so many calories, they’re like an efficient heat-generating human furnace.
The Randomized University Group Experiment
So up to this point, all Cool Fat Burner experiments have been done on a few individuals. This newest experiment was to be the first time ever that a cooling vest was tested in this manner on both metabolic calorie burning and also on the hormonal response of cold thermogenesis.
Let's delve into what we planned to study.
There would be 16 subjects, 8 male, 8 female. All subjects were non-smokers with a BMI between 25-35kg/m2 and confirmed to be classified as overweight. None were cold adapted and none had experience with cold exposure. All testing was done in the mornings, in a fasted state, and the subjects would wear the Cool Fat Burner and Cool Gut Buster for 90 minutes total.
The first 30 minutes would be at low intensity cold thermogenesis (CT), meaning not approaching shivering. The last 60 minutes would be higher intensity CT, approaching or even entering shivering level intensity. Subjects were allowed to drink ice water between the low and higher intensity portions, to help push up the CT intensity.
Blood samples would be taken before putting on the cooling vests, then again at the 30 minute mark (between low and higher intensity cold thermogenesis) and again at the end, after the 60 minutes of high intensity CT, thus yielding 3 total blood samples per subject. Indirect calorimetry would be used on the subjects to monitor calorie burning and metabolic boost. The blood samples would each be tested in triplicate (3 tests per each blood draw, then take the average), for each of adiponectin and irisin. This gives 9 total tests per each of the two hormones per the 16 subjects.
So what happened?
All subjects experienced a small metabolic boost during non-shivering thermogenesis, and around a 200% boost during higher intensity cold thermogenesis. That level would yield nearly 300 calories burned in a two hours session at their average body composition!
However, this 200% boost is lower than the previous tests we've run, which have shown a 280% and a 300% boost in earlier subjects. So the subjects did not go to as high an intensity as previous trials on the Cool Fat Burner. There are several possible reasons why this could be:
- The subjects simply didn’t try to go as hard with cold thermogenesis because they weren’t as motivated as previous experiments with cold-adapted individuals.
- Since subjects were new, unpracticed, and not yet cold-adapted, it’s established that more experience with cold thermogenesis would allow them to reach higher calorie burning numbers
- The subjects carried much more white fat than previous subjects and their fat may have acted as “insulation” against the cold.
In this respect, I suppose using cold thermogenesis as a fat loss strategy can be likened to going to the gym. If you’re overweight, out of shape, and are going to the gym or to exercise for the very first time, your workout will not yet be very productive when it comes to actually increasing fitness parameters like lactate threshold or maximum oxygen utilization. But as you put in the time exercising, building muscle, losing fat, increasing conditioning and even simply learning how to properly do the exercises, your workouts can get better and more productive and yield better results over time when it comes to increasing fitness.
Thus a new, overweight and out-of-shape person should not judge exercise based off their first workout, and this concept is exactly the same for cold thermogenesis.
If someone starts out overweight and carrying some fat, it may be tricky to induce the highest intensity levels on the very first cold thermogenesis session. Like all things, cold training takes practice. One has to learn about their own tolerance levels, slowly increase cold adaptation and build up brown fat, learn how to relax during sessions, and so on. As they lose fat (and ideally, build muscle) it gets easier to get better results during sessions.
Let's now take a look at what happened not just to calorie burn in these subjects, but also to fatty acid and blood sugar regulating adiponectin levels.
Half the subjects saw around a 10% boost in adiponectin levels from the beginning to the end of the session. The other half saw minimal changes. Compare this to a previous study that showed that after 10 weeks of a lycopene-rich diet (tomatoes), women subjects saw a 9% increase.
So the Cool Fat Burner reproduced in 90 minutes what it took those other subjects 9 weeks to do.
It’s been shown over the last few years that adiponectin levels can vary for different demographics and populations. Not everyone starts at the same levels, nor responds to activities such as diet, exercise, and cold thermogenesis in the same way. For example, a recent published study showed that when testing children, different ethnicities have different adiponectin levels, and those levels can often predict how well they will respond to diabetes treatments (remember, adiponectin is involved in – amongst other things – insulin sensitivity and metabolism).
Also, bear in mind that adiponectin is inversely related to obesity, meaning that the more obese you are, the lower your adiponectin levels tend to be. So already half of the subjects (all of which were already classified as overweight) saw an increase during the session, and it is reasonable to assume as they lose weight and get in shape, their adiponectin levels will increase across the board for all subjects.
Next there's irisin, which can help with the “browning” of white fat, can help build muscle, can probably kill certain types of cancer, and may promote longevity. Unfortunately, the irisin results were problematic. One third of the subjects saw increases, but others did not. But the problem here is certainly due to the testing method.
During the initial stages of our experiment setup, a controversy arose over the testing accuracy of irisin. Some critics were saying all testing methods were flawed, and doubted humans could even produce the irisin hormone. The debate went back and forth, and eventually they used “mass spectrometry” to prove that humans do in fact product irisin. However, it was then acknowledged that many of the methods used to test irisin may be flawed and inaccurate.
So at the last minute, we changed testing methods, and used one that was supposed to be “up to date” with the new findings. However the lab reported to us that the first testing kit was not working right, so none of the findings were valid. They purchased several more kits, and re-tested everything and those were the results we were eventually given.
Then another problem was revealed with the irisin testing. It has been postulated that freezing blood samples can damage the irisin in the sample. What’s more, the longer it stays frozen, the lower the irisin scores. All of our samples were frozen, and most were frozen for months and months before testing even began!
So at this point, I’m not real confident about the irisin results. The reality is that all subjects surely had an increase in irisin, and all were larger than the tests showed.
But we already know high intensity cold exposure can increase irisin. For example, a mere 15 minutes at high intensity cold thermogenesis (shivering) increases irisin as much as an hour of HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercise. However as mentioned above, in regards to the metabolic boost and calorie burning, there’s a good chance the test subjects simply weren’t motivated to reach a higher level of intensity (evidenced by their huge, but still lower overall metabolic boost). That may also have contributed to lower irisin levels, which is released during high intensity exercise and cold thermogenesis.
So that’s it folks! Despite handicapping ourselves with a few of the tests, we still got great results. Huge calorie burning, an extremely significant hormonal response, and proof that yet again the Cool Fat Burner can work as well (but with more convenience) as jumping into an icy cold lake or taking a very long cold shower.
And please bear in mind that this test was performed on a randomized group of slightly obese subjects in a tightly controlled university exercise lab. This is just further proof of the benefits of the Cool Fat Burner and cold thermogenesis!
In celebration of these test results, I am giving any Ben Greenfield Fitness reader a 12% Cool Fat Burner discount code on the vest or the gut burner (or you can get both). It's good until New Year's Day 2017, so it's perfect timing for buying a Christmas gift or simply giving yourself the ability to decimate holiday fat fast.
The code is Ben12CFB and you can click here to use it now. As I mentioned earlier, you'll also get full access to my Cool Fat Burner guide download along with your cold thermogenesis gear. Happy holidays, and leave your questions, comments and feedback below.