How does cryotherapy work for weight loss?

Obesity, excess weight, and binge eating are some of the most common types of eating problems.

A significant number of people encounter some of them in their lives.

There are different ways to fight excess weight, such as diet reduction, regular workouts, but also psychological counseling that will help with underlying issues.

However, in recent years cryotherapy has become an increasingly popular method for weight loss.

We have a lot of things to cover regarding this topic, so let’s dive right in.

How does cryo work for weight loss?

We guess you know what whole body cryotherapy (WBC) looks like, but we want to briefly deal with it in order to better explain the mechanism behind it.

Whole body cryotherapy requires you to enter a cryo-chamber where the temperature is usually well below -100 degrees Celsius.

Exposure to such low temperatures, among other things, leads to the activation of bodily mechanisms that should warm us up and thus keep us safe.

Our body stores brown fat also called brown adipose tissue, which is activated when we are cold. Brown fat is full of mitochondria that burn brown fat to produce heat.

Now that you know this, the connection between cryotherapy and weight loss becomes clearer to you but we still need to describe how cryo affects dominant white fat.

Difference between brown and white fat

Brown fat makes up a smaller percentage of fat stored in our bodies. Most of it is made up of white fat.

The primary role of white fat is not to warm us but to store energy. Nevertheless, it serves as a thermal insulator too.

According to professor Mirko Trajkovski from the Laboratory of Metabolic Health at Geneva University, ‘browning’ white fat cells is probably possible and this will help in the treatment of obesity in the future.

One Dutch study showed that cold acclimation may recruit beige cells, which is in effect a process of ‘browning’ white fat cells.

All this brings us to a solid scientific conclusion related to cryotherapy and fat loss.

Effects of localized cryotherapy on weight loss

Certain patients prefer local cryotherapy over WBC.

There are several reasons why this is so. There is no doubt that not everyone is comfortable with whole body cryotherapy. Also in the case of certain injuries, such as an ankle sprain, local therapy is more convenient.

But that’s not all. A study led by Jean Carruthers, a world-renowned cosmetic surgeon, showed consistent improvement in cellulite after local cryotherapy over time.

Since cellulite is actually fat beneath the connective tissue, this means that local therapy is also effective for fat loss.

Does cryotherapy work on belly fat?

Belly fat is very stubborn and the hardest to get rid of. It can also indicate metabolic syndrome.

Since even many fit people have belly fat, everyone’s question is whether cryolipolisis works on belly fat.

The answer is – yes! The abdomen is an area of the body suitable for therapy and that is a highly effective nonsurgical fat reduction procedure, unlike liposuction, which is a surgical procedure.

If you want to further work on the problem of belly fat, you should also consider whole-body cryotherapy.

A team of Polish experts researched this topic and concluded that the application of 20 treatments in the series reduces abdominal obesity in menopausal women.

How does cryotherapy work for fat loss when you have cardiovascular diseases?

A group of Italian surgeons and cardiologists conducted research on the impact of whole-body cryotherapy on the cardiovascular system.

Research has shown that it can be used safely since WBC did not have any effect on the cardiovascular response.

The elderly population did not participate in the testing.

Therefore, although cryotherapy is considered completely safe, if you suffer from cardiovascular diseases, we recommend caution.

For all those who are justifiably afraid for their health, as well as for those instructed by the doctor to avoid whole-body cryotherapy, localized treatments are a great choice.

As we have already mentioned, localized cryotherapy is effective for weight loss and does not expose your body to potential stress.

The benefits of whole body cryotherapy other than fat loss

In addition to the fact that you can burn almost 1000 calories in just a few minutes in the cryo-chamber, there are also other benefits.

The following benefits also indirectly affect weight loss because, for example, accelerated healing will get you back to the gym faster.

Wound healing

Whether you have a significant injury or microtrauma after vigorous exercise, it will help in healing.

Whole-body cryotherapy, similar to an ice bath, reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in the next 48 to 72 hours.

Also in the first few days after the injury, cryotherapy is beneficial from the R.I.C.E. method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), which has been the most popular for decades.

If you are in the final stage of recovery, then you should stay away from any type of cold therapy.

Pain relief

The therapy will relieve you from muscle pain, but also pain that is a consequence of many chronic diseases.

If you suffer from arthritis, frozen shoulder, and rheumatism, exposure to such low temperatures for three to five minutes is beneficial.

From our experience it reduces inflammation and improves the range of motion thus reducing symptoms and making life easier.

Decreasing anxiety and depression

Cryotherapy certainly cannot serve as the only therapy for anxiety and depression. But one study found that it can be a great adjuvant therapy.

Temperatures below -100 degrees Celsius trigger a hormonal response, including increased secretion of adrenaline and endorphins.

As these hormones play a key role in controlling our mood, after undergoing WBC, patients feel significantly better and more energetic.

Better night’s sleep

According to Nayana Ambardekar, MD, and various other studies, sleep has a huge impact on our weight.

If you don’t sleep enough, you have a significantly higher chance of being overweight because sleep deprivation disrupts the hormonal balance, which causes overeating and various other problems.

Along with the above-mentioned anxiety and endorphins, it also affects the amount of oxygen in the blood, and all of this together leads to a better night’s sleep.

What does cryotherapy feel like?

Unlike ice bath, which is very uncomfortable, whole-body therapy does not hurt.

The feeling is strange, but after a few sessions you will get used to it completely.

Since cryotherapy does not cool you down the way ice does, after the session, you will be ready for other activities.

Local cryotherapy is pleasant and relaxing, without any discomfort in most cases.

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