Healthy Living

Cryotherapy and Weight Loss

Cryotherapy and Weight Loss

Key Takeaways

  • Cryotherapy is a technology that has been in use for decades, but its use for weight loss is just a happy accident. 
  • The rapid burning of stored fat during a cryotherapy session can help reduce stored fat by tricking the body.
  • Each cryotherapy session burns about 800 calories. 

Cryotherapy is a technology that has been in use for decades, but its use for weight loss is just a happy accident. The idea was invented by Japan in 1978 to help reduce inflammation. This technology has become a commonplace in Europe and the US especially among athletes as it helps in the repair of tissue damage as well.

Recently though, users of cryotherapy and facilities that offer the service have also advertised that it can be used to reduce weight. This was not the originally intended purpose of cryotherapy but is one of the benefits that may appeal to those seeking to reduce weight quickly.

How this works

The human body is a very efficient machine and it reacts to the state of the environment. When the temperature is high, the blood vessels dilate and the sweat ducts produce more sweat to lower the temperature. Cryotherapy works in the opposite way. A drop in the temperature usually causes the opposite to happen.

Keep in mind that this is similar to a situation like you stepping out of the house on a cold night. With cryotherapy though, temperatures plunge below -100 degrees Celsius, sometimes as low as -110 degrees Celsius, which is colder even than the Antarctic. Your body essentially panics and shuts down most body systems to preserve heat. The blood flows to the edge of the body along the skin and slows down almost to a halt. Since blood is responsible for heat distribution, this measure keeps blood within the core of the body.

This still isn’t enough given the freezing temperatures, so signals are being sent to increase the body metabolism. This is done through the conversion of stored fat into glucose which is burned to produce energy and heat. Afterwards, when you step out of the cryotherapy chamber, the blood which is rich in nutrients from the increased metabolism flows all over the body and creates increased energy.

The rapid burning of stored fat during a cryotherapy session can help reduce stored fat by tricking the body. A typical session is no longer than 3 minutes and burns as much as 800 calories.

Can this be used as the only weight loss program?

Losing 800 calories is a great improvement to anyone looking to lose weight, and given the fact that you can do it in under 3 minutes is more than amazing. What’s more, you can have these cryotherapy sessions as often as possible each day, but these sessions can be quite pricey. They typically cost between $50 to $100, so if you’re comfortable with that, you can have plenty of sessions in a month.

Nevertheless, the use of cryo sauna for cryotherapy has not been tested or approved by any governmental health agency. Therefore, it is not possible to determine how this kind of technology can affect a person in the long-term or how many sessions are recommended. There have been no reports of adverse effects except for a few deaths. It is advisable not to overdo anything. Therefore, it’s better to use cryotherapy in pursuit of weight loss only a few times and combine it with other strategies like diet and exercise.