I actually gave you a hint in the title of my previous post, Cold, Wet, Hungry, and Running For Your Life. Also, this is not the first time, and since I wrote fairly extensively on it before, I'm going to cover what I did differently and what I did on ocassions when this didn't work.
In a nutshell, it's the cold water, again. However, the gym has in the last few months managed to keep the water at a steady 40 degrees rather than the 50 it used to be. Let me tell you: huge difference and it took quite a while to adapt to spending minutes at that temperature.
So, the fast began around 1:30 PM, after a pretty big breakfast and lunch.
To the left is self explanatory. To the right is leftover sauerkraut, which was Alexander Valley fresh sauerkraut (not caned), which is simply awesome, even uncooked. I had made this in the crock pot a couple of days earlier, with about 3 pounds of pork sparerib, an onion, and lots of caraway seeds. All the pork was gone, but not all the kraut and broth, so I used it with some uncured, gluten free polish sausage. A great way to treat a leftover, making it a new meal entirely.
Around 7 PM or so, as I'm getting hungry, I head down to the gym. So, I'm about 6 hours or so into the fast at this point. The first thing I did differently was to do some intense intervals on the stationary bike under a bit of resistance. I only did 4, 15 seconds each, but I did them all out and I felt it. Amazing what just one minute of exercise can do.
Then I did the sauna, steam, hot tub routine and then hit the 40 degree water. It's really, really cold, but I mitigate by first tucking my fingers into my armpits. Then, I'm in a sqat, and I do leg kicks about as hard as I can, one leg at a time. Frequently and intense enough, I can actually become somewhat warm, and that's what I do until the cold finally has its way. On this night, I was in somewhere between 10-12 minutes. I was surprised. Longest ever in that cold of water. At 50 degrees, I can stay in far longer and don't have to kick or protect the fingers.
Cold shower, which on full cold feels warm, so I just rinse. I feel super invigorated. After a time, I get that feeling that's like you've been in cold but active for an extended period (such as skiing), and while you're cold to the core, you're warm on the surface. I find that a very pleasant feeling and it persits until I hit the sack a few hours later.
And sometime the next morning when I got around to weighing? 4-5 pounds lighter.
The last time I did that, everything was pretty much the same, except for the intervals. That's an idea that came from this post, the idea being to get a good jump on HG production. At any rate, here's what I know doesn't work, as I've tried it many times: eating anytime soon after the cold water.
Most of my workouts are toward the end of a fast, I always hit the cold plunge (sometimes only for 1-2 minutes), but then I typically eat within a couple of hours. I never get a weight drop like that, so, I speculate that even if there's something to this (which I fully admit is speculative in itself), then it must have something to do with performing it at the beginning of a fast, not the end.
And even in this instance, and the reason I delayed this post is that I had my workout the next day at 1:30, at the 24-hr fasted mark. I then did another 6 minuted in the cold plunge, waited until 3:30 and weighed in: no change.
There's quite a lot of stuff out there about the benefits of cold water therapy (it's a huge list). Mark Sisson did a work-up on it a while back, and here's Stephan's treatment. Both posts contain links to actual scientific studies proving a clear health benefit to episodic bouts with extreme cold. I'm sold on it, myself, and would be even without these curious and welcome rapid weight loss escapades.
I've searched in vain to come up with anything related to using cold water to lose fat. Anyone else?
Also, anyone brave enough to duplicate the experiment? If you don't have access to a gym with a cold plunge, perhaps you could find a cold swimming pool, bathtub, or something. However, I'd say that if it's over 50 deg (10 C) that you're going to have a tough time and would have to greatly extend time in water. It's probably some sort of geometric or exponential function with warmer water.