Ice Baths for Fat Loss with No Exercise/Diet/Discipline

My weight was long-term (years) stable at about 10lbs over where I wanted it to be, I’m happy with my exercise programming, and had no interest in changing my diet.

Here is how I dropped 15lbs in 3 weeks by watching Netflix:

Using a soaking tub (cheap, plastic, stuffed into a shower stall) that I could sit in with my shoulders submerged (head and hands out of the water) and a bath thermometer, fill tub with water between 70 and 75deg F (this is a little under the halfway point on the temperature dial in my shower, NOT the coldest it can get).

Sit in tub, watch full episode (or two!) of some miniseries, or a movie. If thermometer goes over 75, pause movie, drain some water, fill with cold water until temperature is back in the desired range.

Repeat often, for me, this was about 4-5x a week.

Do not change diet at all (don’t add calories!), and do not do this before a meal as it may provoke overeating. I did it before going to bed, then woke up and had my usual breakfast, never felt the urge to overeat at mealtimes.

My starting weight and finishing weight were fifteen pounds different. Two months after the end of the effort, I’m at my goal weight, which is ~10 lbs under my starting weight, and definitely look leaner.

My rationale for this is that hypothermia is a thing that kills people in ‘survival situations’, and probably killed a ton of primitive humans, therefore, ‘staying warm’ is a core thing that your body does. I know that when you’re at sea in a lifejacket, if the water is 69 degrees or less, you die of hypothermia in 24 hours. So I figured 70 degrees is probably the point where the body is generating as much heat as it can, without falling behind and failing to preserve core temperature.

Getting in the water feels pretty awful every single time, and the tv distracts from the boredom of just sitting in a tub. The only vague bit of discipline was setting the rule for myself ‘if I’m watching TV, I’m sitting in the bucket’. The hardest part was finding stuff to watch, I hate TV and wasn’t willing to take a book or game controller into the water.

From the perspective of ‘if this works so well, why haven’t I heard of it’, I think the reason is that as a business model, this plan is garbage. The equipment is stuff you buy once for less than $100 and can use forever, plus all the items are in a category where the affiliate fees are crap. If you wanted to make money off people trying to lose weight, you’re better off selling a subscription to a video program, pills that people buy every month, or a big expensive piece of equipment. Anyone in the weight loss industry who tried to market this plan, would probably not end up with a successful business at the end of it.

Hopefully someone else gets something out of this.

Also, since I don’t post too often, big thank you to t-nation, I’ve never gotten DOMS after a Plazma-fueled workout, no matter what I do. I’m not that fit, but I can’t imagine how bad things would be if I hadn’t found this site. Mods please move this to a different forum if this is the wrong place.


I recall when I first learned about the effects of ephedrine when I was still in college. The way it was explained to me was that by raising the bodies court temperature, the body needed to expand more energy to return to homeostasis. To be honest though, I am not sure how accurate this explanation is, nor if you would expand the actual amount of calories to lose that much weight solely from this.

I recall when I first learned about the effects of ephedrine when I was still in college. The way it was explained to me was that by raising the body’s core temperature, the body needed to expend more energy to return to 98.6. To be honest though, I am not sure how accurate this explanation is, nor if you would expend the actual amount of calories to lose that much weight solely from this.


I don’t have any idea how ephedrine works, but I sure know that it did!

I would absolutely not have a wrestling “career” (such as it was) nowadays - ephedrine is no longer legal and I would never make weight.

Edit: I’m not saying it should still be legal. Folks like myself absolutely abused that stuff. Probably my own problem and should justifiably be my own consequence, but 20-year-olds don’t think that way.

I have a hard time imagining that you used 3500*15=52 500 (let’s say 1/3 of that was water, so ~34 500kcal) in 3 weeks. That would means 34 500/21 ~ 1640 kcal/day from shivering which would equal to a couple of hours of exercices per day… Did you spend all day in the bath? :stuck_out_tongue: I know that fat/weight loss isn’t as clear as that, but still…

Miniseries episodes were around 50min, movies were around 100min. I wasn’t shivering much. The water temp did rise when I was in the water.

I didn’t do anything special to get warm after I got out (dried off, went to bed).

I did not track starting/ending temperature, but there were definitely a few times when I had to pour off water (and refill to keep myself submerged) to cool it back down from 75+. Sometimes, I did screw up filling it and ended up getting in at a temp that was 69 or as high as 72, but I typically aimed for 70. Also, I would sometimes let it stand for a day or so before coming back to it (don’t waste water!), when it would be around 62 F, I would pour some off, and dilute with hot water until the thermometer read 70, so not sure if that 70 was an accurate reflection of the entire volume–it definitely wasn’t hotter!

I estimate the water volume of the bucket at 90ga (340kg, so 680 calories required to warm it 2C at perfect efficiency). Not sure how to calculate the rate of heat loss to the water for my body, but whatever is lost in 100min is what needs to be restored, and can probably be fudged by just calculating for the 60% or so of body mass that is water.

If someone can figure out the math to predict how many minutes you would have to spend in cool water with an isocaloric diet to lose a given amount of weight at a given starting weight, that would be pretty awesome!

Tim Ferris has gone into great detail on thermogenesis in his book “the 4 hour body”. next to the book title itself and the questionalbe workout advise I found this to be one of the most valuable pieces of info in the book.

It works and is a completely overlooked aspect of fat loss. I use icepacks on the back sometimes. not too much… If I would try what you did Id likely get a cold lol

That form of cold therapy has several benefits: activation of brown fat; boost to GH and T levels; better sperm motility; better sleep quality. Fair play for giving it a serious trial.

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I been meaning to get a hottub and not heating it up

Yeah even just drinking cold water will burn calories, around 5 calories per glass. So I imagine your body trying to survive burns a lot. I have a friend who worked in a freezer, - 25 for 7 hours and that’s when he was his leanest

So, instead of experiencing the discomfort of being hungry while I watch TV when I’m losing weight, I can now experience the discomfort of being cold and wet while I watch TV when I’m losing weight?


Post a before and after pic of using this method.


I’d personally rather be hungry. I’ve also heard that it works better :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Definitely been my experience. Far easier too.


Supposedly a 90% increase in metabolism for sitting in ~70° water*

Would work out to about an extra 65 calories burned if you stay there for an hour. Let’s say this continues for an hour after you get out of the bath - So about 130 calories.

That’s a <30min walk. I think I’d rather the walk but the suppression of appetite is interesting.

*Random article about a study, high chance of bullshit.


This just seems like too little for it to be worth it. That’s like third of a PB&J. I don’t want to sit in cold water for an hour so I can eat two bites (or “reverse” two bites) of a sandwich, haha.


I’m just gonna have to be fat. I am not that dedicated.


I’d argue going on walks kills appetite, especially if it’s hot w/high humidity

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I can relate to that feel, the only part of this process that required willpower was actually getting into the water (which always sucked). If you pick a good show you haven’t watched and resolve to only watch it if you’re sitting in the tub, you’ll probably be able to stick to the program.

As far as comparing it to diet and exercise, I would not be surprised at all if this works better for someone who can keep at it: The Ultimate Cardio Solution: Disclosed - Bigger Stronger Leaner - COMMUNITY - T NATION also, the V-Diet totally works too (tho I did regain the weight). As far as comparing it to interventions that also don’t involve changing diet or changing exercise…I guess there’s always drugs (caffeine/clen)?

Speaking of drugs, I’m not a nicotine user, but if you are, the cool water technique might work unusually well: Simultaneous stimulation of the receptors for cold and nicotine causes fast fat loss

Sorry for no pics, nothing to brag about here anyway.

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You could practice mindful eating too or habit building


What was your start->finish weight? I’ve noted the 15 lb. difference, but it would be impressive as hell if you were going from like 195 to 180 ripped, that could mean you burned the hell out of some fat.

But if it’s 325 to 310 that just means you reaped the benefit of not eating for an hour out of the day.