Cryotherapy, a cold-based therapy, has gained popularity in recent years as a potential aid in weight loss. This therapy briefly exposes the body to frigid temperatures to induce physiological responses. One of the main mechanisms behind Cryotherapy for weight loss is its ability to increase the body's metabolism rate, which can result in burning more calories.
According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, the estimated percentage of obese women will be 21% by 2025. A survey conducted in the USA and Poland shows that over 60% of women have abdominal obesity among women after menopause. Over the years, Cryotherapy has been used in the U.S. to burn extra calories. This blog will explain the science behind Cryotherapy for weight loss, its benefits, risks, and its potential role in weight loss.
How Cryotherapy For Weight Loss Actually Works?
Let's know what Cryotherapy is, how it works, and why it has become a popular method for weight loss. Cryotherapy involves exposing the body to freezing temperatures, typically between -100°C and -140°C, for a short period, usually 3 minutes or less.
The cold temperature causes the body to go into survival mode, which triggers various physiological responses that can help with weight loss. These responses include increased metabolic rate, burning more calories, reduced inflammation, and pain. The science behind Cryotherapy's weight loss benefits is the subject of the following sections:
Physiological Effects Of Cryotherapy
- This section focuses on the effects of Cryotherapy on the body and how they contribute to weight loss.
- Cryotherapy causes the body to release the Norepinephrine hormone that increases the metabolic rate and activates brown adipose tissue (BAT), also called brown fat.
- Brown fat is a sort of fat that burns calories to produce heat, and its activation can lead to higher calorie burn.
- Cryotherapy also stimulates blood flow and oxygenation to the muscles, which can help with recovery from exercise and increase muscle mass, leading to a higher metabolic rate.
- Cryotherapy has also been shown to reduce inflammation, which may contribute to weight gain and metabolic disorders.
Role of Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) In Weight Loss
- This section focuses on brown adipose tissue (BAT) and its role in weight loss.
- BAT is a fat different from White Adipose Tissue (WAT), the body's primary storage site for fat.
- BAT is located in small pockets throughout the body, and its activation can increase calorie burn and weight loss.
- Cryotherapy has been shown to activate BAT, leading to increased calorie burn and potential weight loss.
- This effect is more significant in people who have a higher amount of BAT.
Cryotherapy And The Metabolic Rate
- This section focuses on how Cryotherapy affects the metabolic rate, a critical factor in weight loss.
- Cryotherapy increases the metabolic rate by causing the body to work hard to maintain its core temperature in response to the cold.
- The increased metabolic rate can last several hours after the Cryotherapy session, increasing calorie burn.
- Additionally, Cryotherapy has been shown to increase adiponectin production, a hormone that regulates metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
- This effect can help improve the body's ability to process glucose and enhance weight loss efforts.
Pros And Cons Of Cryotherapy For Weight Loss
Here are the potential pros and cons of using Cryotherapy for weight loss:
- The potential benefits of Cryotherapy include increased good metabolic rate, reduced inflammation and pain, and controlled weight loss.
- However, the cons of this therapy include frostbite, burns, and hypothermia if not done correctly.
- Cryotherapy is not recommended for people with certain health conditions, such as Raynaud's disease, cold urticaria, and certain heart conditions.
- It's essential to consult a doctor before trying Cryotherapy for weight loss.
Benefits Of Cryotherapy For Weight Loss
Cryotherapy is a relatively new therapy for weight loss that involves exposing the body to freezing temperatures for a short time. This treatment has gained attention for its potential benefits in weight loss. It can increase metabolic rate, promote fat burning, reduce inflammation, and provide other benefits supporting weight loss efforts. Here are the different benefits of Cryotherapy:
Increased Metabolic Rate
During Cryotherapy, the body works harder to maintain its core temperature, leading to an increased metabolic rate. It can result in burning more calories and potentially contribute to weight loss.
Cryotherapy can activate Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT), which burns calories to produce heat, and white adipose tissue (WAT), which in turn releases fatty acids into the bloodstream. Both of these effects can contribute to weight loss.
Cryotherapy can significantly reduce markers of inflammation in the body, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). In one study, individuals with metabolic syndrome who received Cryotherapy sessions for four weeks experienced a significant reduction in CRP levels. Reducing inflammation can improve weight loss by reducing insulin resistance and improving the body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels.
Cryotherapy can help recover from exercise, allowing individuals to exercise more frequently and at higher intensities. It can increase muscle mass and a higher metabolic rate, contributing to weight loss efforts.
Cryotherapy for weight loss has been shown to reduce appetite by affecting levels of hormones that regulate hunger and satiety. Exposure to cold temperatures decreases levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin while increasing levels of the satiety hormone leptin. It can lead to a reduced appetite and decreased food intake, which may support weight loss efforts.
Improved Sleep Quality
Getting adequate sleep is vital for weight loss and overall health. Improved sleep quality may lead to improved weight loss efforts. Exposure to cold temperatures may stimulate the production of certain hormones, such as melatonin, which regulate sleep-wake cycles. It can help enhance sleep quality and support weight loss by reducing stress and promoting recovery.
Chronic stress can lead to weight gain and make it difficult to lose weight. Cryotherapy can help reduce stress levels, potentially improving weight loss efforts. It activates the body's natural "fight or flight" response, releasing endorphins and other feel-good hormones. These hormones may help reduce stress and anxiety, promoting relaxation and calm.
Cryotherapy can increase energy levels, increase physical activity, and improve weight loss. It improves blood circulation and oxygenation, which can help boost energy levels and reduce fatigue. It can benefit individuals who struggle with low energy levels and find engaging in regular exercise or physical activity difficult.
Cryotherapy can improve circulation, which can help deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles more efficiently. It can improve exercise performance and contribute to weight loss efforts. It can benefit individuals with conditions such as obesity or diabetes associated with impaired circulation.
Cryotherapy can also boost mood and improve mental health. It can enhance weight loss efforts, as individuals may be more motivated to engage in healthy behaviors. It reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. Chronically high cortisol levels have been linked to anxiety and depression, so reducing cortisol levels through Cryotherapy may support mood improvement.
Possible Side Effects Of Cryotherapy For Weight Loss
It's important to note that Cryotherapy may offer many potential benefits. Still, it is always best to speak with a doctor or healthcare professional before trying this therapy for weight loss.
Additionally, working with a qualified and experienced practitioner is essential to minimize the risk of having side effects and ensure the treatment is safe and effective. Some risks and side effects are shown below:
Skin Irritation Or Burns
Cryotherapy for weight loss involves exposing the skin to frigid temperatures, which can cause skin irritation or burns if proper precautions are not taken. It's essential to protect the skin with gloves, socks, and other clothing and to limit exposure time to prevent skin damage.
Increase Heart Rate And Blood Pressure
Exposure to cold temperatures can cause the body to go into a "fight or flight" response which may increase heart rate and blood pressure. It can be particularly dangerous for individuals with pre-existing heart conditions, so it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before trying Cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy can provoke nerve damage if the skin is exposed to cold temperatures for too long, which may lead to numbness, tingling, or even paralysis in the affected area. Limiting exposure time and working with a qualified practitioner to avoid nerve damage is essential.
Inhaling liquid nitrogen vapors during Cryotherapy for weight loss can cause respiratory issues, particularly for individuals with asthma or other respiratory conditions. Breathing through a mask or other protective device is vital to avoid inhaling the vapors.
Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to the materials used during Cryotherapy due to liquid nitrogen or other cooling agents. It's essential to inform the practitioner of any allergies or sensitivities before trying Cryotherapy.
Claustrophobia Or Anxiety
Some individuals may experience claustrophobia or anxiety during Cryotherapy, mainly if enclosed in a small space or uncomfortable with cold temperatures. Communicating concerns with the practitioner and working together to make the treatment as comfortable and safe as possible is essential.
Cryotherapy for weight loss can offer many potential benefits, including reduced inflammation, increased energy, improved sleep quality, and more. However, as with any medical treatment, there are risks and side effects. It's essential to speak with a healthcare professional before trying Cryotherapy and to work with a qualified and experienced practitioner to minimize the risk of side effects and ensure the treatment is safe and effective.
While Cryotherapy may not be suitable for everyone, it can be a valuable tool for individuals seeking to achieve their weight loss goals and improve their overall health and well-being. We hope you have a better idea of Cryotherapy used for weight loss. If you find this blog helpful in any way, please share it with others. For more insightful posts on weight loss, nutrients, sexual health, skincare, and more, subscribe to our newsletter.