The Thermal Diet – Shiver your way slim?

Last night on Nightline there was a story that featured a new slim down technique I had never heard of.  The Thermal Diet. Tim Ferris, author of “The 4 Hour Diet,” tells viewers that if you submerge your body in cold temperatures for at least 30 minutes, you will burn calories and lose weight without adding exercise or changing your diet.  

A NASA expert uses the Michael Phelps analysis that if Phelps eats so much and doesn’t gain weight, it MUST be that his body is burning calories while in the water trying to keep it warm in addition to exercising.  

http://abcnews.go.com/assets/player/walt2.6/flash/SFP_Walt_2_65.swf

Here are my thoughts:

-Swimming is a no gravity sport.  If you are a runner and decide to switch to swimming, you will lose bone density.  In fact, your body may even put on fat to increase your buoyancy so you float better!

-Michael Phelps is a genetic freak.  I’m pretty sure there is a proven study to support this statement.  Anyone else wanna try and argue this?

-Would you rather shiver for 30 minutes or walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes?  

Cutting back on calories is hard enough, do you really voluntarily want to be miserably cold?  Let’s be honest here, shivering is not going to burn more calories than old fashioned exercise.  

You may be burning calories but are you getting the full benefits of exercise? (Endorphins, lowering cholesterol, risk for diabetes… etc)

Perhaps next time you go for a walk outside, try wearing a little less clothing than you would?   That’s about all I think I could take of this diet.  As someone who is always cold, this sounds like a great way to get sick and have a constant runny nose.

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