I’ve been doing some research on brown adipose tissue (brown fat), and found that it seems to be an important concept for overall health.
One of the studies mentioned in that link suggests that cold exposure at first only burned an extra 100 calories/day, but after six weeks it jumped to 300 calories/day. It was implied that the cold exposure is encouraging the body to generate (and activate) brown fat, and then uses it to burn extra calories. This extra calorie burn could naturally reduce 10 lbs per year if accompanied by a consistent lifestyle.
Similarly, other sources seem to suggest that those with high amounts of brown fat tend not to gain extra weight as they get older (along with reduced risks of diabetes). It should be no surprise that Wim Hof has a high amount of brown fat in his body.
It’s interesting that babies are born with a high amount of brown fat, and perhaps our ancestors were able to keep it due to lower availability of shelter and clothing, even for babies. Of course, I would love to see how our 7 month-old girl handles the cold, but I’m not sure my wife would go for it. Regardless, I do feel that every time her mother and grandmother dress her up like an eskimo to go to the car and back may be unnecessary… (until she shows signs that she’s uncomfortable in the cold)
Obligatory wikipedia link:
And a few more links:
Finally, regardless of brown fat and WHM, it seems that cold showers have a really positive health impact overall:
I already feel improved alertness and energy after taking cold showers, and my hands and feet are no longer getting cold inside the house, indicating an improvement of circulation. Supposedly it’s good for fertility and testosterone, which isn’t a bad thing!