Shivering Thermogenesis

Head on over to Getting Stronger and read What cold showers and exercise have in common. This post covers the what we know so far about cold exposure and how it could help us lean out. In addition to the calories burned from shivering and the brown fat adaptation, cold exposure could lower one’s body fat set point.

I’ve been tinkering around with cold exposure since 2008. When I effortlessly lost 20 pounds without counting calories, I wasn’t sure where to give the credit. It could have been the cold exposure, intermittent fasting, reduced carbs or some combination. I still don’t know.

Although I still think there is merit in cold exposure, my most recent thinking which I outline in Rejecting the Seasonal Approach is to not stack stressors. In other words, cold exposure is fine. IF is fine. Low carb is fine. Doing them at the same time is probably a bad idea. I also feel the most important aspect of cold exposure is when it is over to warm up quickly. Extending a stressor too long may likely have a metabolic lowering effect.



Add yours

  1. Your new photo has that ‘coffee drinker, but not able to really tolerate coffee’ look about it. I know, I see the same look in the mirror everyday. The only cure for the headaches is no coffee and no caffeine, then the bags underneath the eyes, slightly haggard, overworked look, and slight premature ageing go. Like I said, I experience it too, so not a criticism of you. When I stop coffee for a month and eat a reasonably clean diet the ‘look’ and the headaches go. You see the same ‘look’ on people who drink too much alcohol over an extended period of time.

  2. @JJ – My previous photo was from 2009, so that might explain some of the aging. But you might be right. Who knows how youthful I might be had I given up coffee? I say it every year, but I really want to scale back on the coffee come spring.

  3. Just a follow up if you’re based in Canada. There’s a genomics firm in Toronto called Younique Genomics, partnered the University of Toronto, who do genetic testing for caffeine metabolism amongst other things. They test for the CYP1A2 gene and how it metabolises caffeine. I was in contact with them and one of the doctors mentioned that depending on genotype even taking turmeric changes how that gene deals with caffeine. Personally, I plan to get tested so I can put the whole ‘tolerate or not tolerate’ caffeine thing to bed once and for all. I believe one of their geneticists runs a clinic in Vancouver, but I’m not sure. Might be worth looking them up.

  4. @JJ – Thanks for the info. Sorry for the delay in responding. The website was being moved to a new – and hopefully much better web host.

    My 23andMe test said I was a slow metabolizer of caffeine and at an increased risk of heart attacks (2+ coffees a day). And I’m double that right now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.