People love the short-term weight loss they experience from a cryotherapy session. A three-minute whole body cryotherapy session is linked to high calorie burn. That can result in a short-term weight loss of a pound or more. One of the top questions we get from our users is whether cryotherapy is a tool for weight loss for long-term goals as well.
Absolutely! While it is happening, cryotherapy boosts the body’s metabolism, resulting in a short period of high-calorie burn. However, the benefits go beyond that immediate calorie-burn boost. Cryotherapy interacts with the body’s brown fat stores to boost your body’s rate of burning excess fat. To understand how, you need to learn about brown fat and leptin.
What is brown fat?
Your body has two main types of fat: brown and white. Brown fat is metabolically active. White fat is metabolically passive, but can insulate your body, which can actually reduce your brown fat’s energy levels. White fat is also the fat we think of when we are trying to lose weight; it is subcutaneous unlike the brown fat stores that are located deeper in the body. The more white fat you can convert to brown fat, the more likely you are to burn through fat you consume and your body’s white fat stores.
Brown fat is brown because it is full of mitochondria. When brown fat gets cold, the mitochondria use uncoupling to generate heat. The process is known as non-shivering thermogenesis. The hypothalamus senses body temperature, stress levels, and body energy status to set the levels of brown fat activity. Short periods of cryotherapy can train your brown fat to be more active, reducing your overall levels of body fat.
What is leptin?
Leptin is one of your body’s hormones. Produced by fat, leptin functions to regulate your metabolism. The more fat you have the more leptin you produce. Leptin sends signals to your brain that you are full. That is why people report feeling hungrier as they lose weight; their body is producing less leptin.
Whole body cryotherapy can actually increase leptin production. While leptin production does not directly cause weight loss, it does make it easier to maintain the reduced-calorie diet that leads to weight loss. You really can lose weight without being hungry.
How can cryotherapy help me lose weight?
As you have seen, cryotherapy can stimulate brown fat activity and leptin production. In other words, it can boost your metabolism and help fight hunger, making cryotherapy a great tool for weight loss in the long run as well as the short term.