Cold water melts fat

Another reason to take a cold shower or jump into cold water on hot days: Numerous international studies show that cold water promotes the burning of body fat.

A woman with swims in a swimming pool

The difference between white and brown fat tissue

When we come into contact with cold water, our so-called "shiver mode" starts up. Shivering activates the brown fat cells, which in contrast to the white fat cells, burn calories instead of storing them. Brown fat cells contain an above-average amount of mitochondria, which produces the brown color and enable the fat cells to convert sugar building blocks and fats into energy in the form of heat. It was only a few years ago that we discovered that in addition to the fat-making white fat, we also have brown slimming cells. Unfortunately, the brown fat cells are not very active by nature. Neither diet nor exercise gets them started. Only when we are cold do the brown fat cells become active. This phenomenon is vital to the survival of newborns, because they are not yet able to regulate their heat balance themselves and cool down quickly. This is why babies have a relatively high percentage of brown fat tissue -- about five percent of their body weight. Adults only have 50 to 100 grams of these good fat cells, which rest mainly in the neck, shoulder and sternum area and along the spine.

Tips for the formation of brown fat cells

1. Swim in cool water for 20 minutes. A temperature of 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) or less is ideal. But even if the water is a few degrees warmer, it benefits the brown fat tissue. This is because the body has to compensate for the difference in the body temperature of 37 degrees C (98.6 degrees F).

2. Turn the water to cold at the end of the morning shower. Using the spray hose, begin with the feet and slowly work up to the upper body. Not only does this procedure activate the brown fat cells, but it also trains the immune system and vein flexibility. Of course, the cold shower initially takes a little to withstand, but you quickly get used to it -- and then you don't want to miss it anymore.

3. Wrap ice cubes or cooling packs in a towel and place them on those annoying fat bulges for about 30 minutes. This proceudre will cool down the affected areas and set them to "shiver mode."

4. Wash your face daily with cold water instead of lukewarm water. Ideally, dip your face into cold water for about 5 seconds and repeat the procedure five times.

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