Drop a couple of pounds? Don’t sweat it just chill…..

Drop a couple of pounds? Don’t sweat it just chill…..

Sep 16, 2014

Well by now some people, if they were to room with me for a meet, would pass. Unless they like sleeping in winter clothes they are not going to be happy with me as a roomie. Why is that? Well I am going to get to the point but first….

I would say probably over 90 ,hell maybe even 95%, of athletes who have to drop a few pounds before a meet (night before) or competition they are in sweat it out. I was one of those guys. I have done 5 pounds the night before hitting the cardio or running in garbage bags. For some they can drop 10-15 pounds in a week and still perform. I am not one of those guys and I have to believe I am in the majority. I mean when you train a lift heavy in competition season do you starve yourself the day before or let alone the day of the lift? NO so why do it the day you want to be at 100%?!?!?

Like I stated before it works fine for some but I can guarantee you they probably would have performed better to some degree if they didn’t drop the weight drastically (I am referring to contests with 2 hour weigh ins not 24 hr. weigh ins for this topic).

I would drop water weight and because I was 2-5 pounds over, it forced me to running or saunas the night before and morning of (granted the issue was poor discipline) then I stumbled upon a solution that I will never turn my back on. It happened at one meet where I went to bed right on at 198 pounds and woke up at 195. I was surprised, yes happy too, but I was curious how I dropped that much weight without trying. The only thing that stood out was how in the middle of the night I awoke to looking for covers because I was cold. Hmmnn was I unto something? I do remember when I use to body build someone telling me about burning brown cells. Not many people even know about these but let me tell you something I got VERY familiar with them after the meet. Well after getting tired of the weaker performances by sweating off the pounds I decided to research and test my theory.

Now to my point……

I used a personal scale at home after the meet and weighed myself right before bed and right after I got up. Yes I do go to the bathroom before the morning weigh in. After a week of recording my bodyweight by sleeping with normal room temp and dressed accordingly I would drop a pound on average. Some nights I dropped nothing and other nights a pound and a half at the most. The following week I tried something new I set the temperature at 60 degrees, slept with a sheet and just boxers. I did this for a week and the results were incredible. I dropped an average of 2 ½ -2 ¾ pounds!!! Yes average!! I felt great not tired and not dehydrated.

I factor two reasons why this works great for me. First ever notice when you get cold you have to go to the bathroom and urinate more often? Well sometimes I get up in the middle of the night and go at least once and then before I jump on the scale and that they are both full bladders. Considering that can be ½ – ¾ pound a pop that is 1-2 pounds right there!!! Second your body burns more calories (this is where brown fat cells kick in) trying to keep warm then trying to cool off. When you try to cool off that is from sweating, which is your body’s automated cooling system, we are dehydrating ourselves to some point.

Well this is something I have done for over 3 years and the only person who hates it is the person sleeping in the same room as me. The most I have dropped in one overnight is 4.1 pounds this past May for master’s nationals!!! My goal the night before I compete is NEVER weigh more then 2 pounds over my class. That is the only rule I do not break.

So if you are interested in dropping with the freeze method here are a few tips:

  • Be sure the scale you use is the same scale you will be weighing in on the next morning at weigh ins. don’t use your scale no matter how accurate you think yours is. Your scale means nothing at weigh ins.
  • Set the room as cold as possible. Hotels I have been to go down to 60 but I have found a couple that only go to 65. THIS IS IMPORTANT because you will burn fewer calories with higher temp so factor that into the equation.
  • Sleep with only a sheet and boxers. I do wear socks sometimes because it may be difficult falling asleep starting off feeling cold. Covering the extremity helps you fall asleep easier BUT you will be cold in a few hours where the socks wear out there effectiveness.
  • In a few hours you may wake up because you are cold I then will pull a cover up to my waist so I don’t spend the rest of the night awake (from being cold) since I am lifting that morning.
  • Thank and kiss your roommates ass for letting you freeze them out.

 

 

The science behind brown cells

I am not going to bore you with all the details (hell you made it this far) I am going to give you the cliff notes about it. Brown fat cells help the body burn white fat for when the body needs to keep warm. Studies have been done and documented in the New England Journal of Medicine supporting this thinking.

Now before I started researching and I mean as in looking for scientific proof to support what I thought I credited all the weight loss to burning fat. I overlooked going to the bathroom. However if we burn a pound to two pounds sleeping normally and then we ADD the additional calories being burnt with increased urine breaks we can double our weight loss just by sleeping.

I found studies that stated in a room at 64.4 degrees subjects were burning an extra 250 calories in 3 hours to keep warm. (1) Now if you are sleeping say 8 hours that is about an additional 660 calories burned.

Another study(1) was done and seeing if a prolonged exposure over the course of weeks if the body would slow down and in fact it burned more calories in the same window of time in with the same variables. A study was done by Japanese scientists where the room was set at 63. The subjects first were losing 108 calories but escalated to 289 calories 6 weeks later.

Another study performed by Joslin Researchers showed in a room of 59 degrees subjects burned additional 100-250 calories in summer attire. (2)

I believe, from personal results, that if the subjects were to sleep in 60 degrees they would burn much higher than 289 calories per 2 hours because the body would not be active which keeps the temperature up. Even at 300 calories per 2 hrs. that is almost 1500 calories in a 10 hour sleep which is almost half a pound additionally.

Conclusion

I do theorize that if you are a lighter male your results would be less and if you were heavier then a 200 pound man your results would be greater. I have no clue because no one else I know or talked to has tried this to compare results.

So the next time you are trying to lose a couple pounds, instead of reaching for a towel for your sweat reach for the thermostat. Regardless what you think give it a try.

 

Till next time…

Focus First.

(1) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/supercharging-brown-fat-to-battle-obesity/

(2)http://www.joslin.org/diabetes-research/turning-up-the-heat-on-brown-fat.html

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