Cryotherapy is performed by exposing your body to extremely cold temperature for a small amount of time.
While popular for treating a whole range of conditions such as pain, migraines, arthritis and even sleep loss, cryotherapy is often considered an effective way to lose weight.
We’ve heard some people say that whole body cryotherapy can help you lose weight as it burns 800 calories in three minutes, helping you drop those kilos immensely.
Some people have even labelled cryotherapy the ‘freezing new weight-loss trend’.
But is it true?
Does cryotherapy work for weight loss?
Yes – but it’s not the complete substitute for a healthy lifestyle.
Cryo is not a one-size-fits-all weight loss treatment that burns those fatty parts off your body.
Some will tell you that cryotherapy freezes your body so much that your fat cells die and are filtered out of your body through the liver.
Sounds a bit silly, right?
Well, let’s take a look.
What do the studies say?
The connection between freezing your body through cryotherapy and combatting obesity has piqued the interest of scholars across the world.
In fact, there have been hundreds of studies on the topic.
We outline some them below:
- This 2018 paper found that “cryothermogenesis” reduces what’s called the body’s local “adipose tissue” (basically, a part of the body that stores fat).
In their conclusions, they stated there’s a “prospect that more intensive cryotherapy may be a viable option for combating obesity and overweight”.
- And this 2017 paper went even as far to say that it “somehow mimics exercise”, opening up a possible window on “therapeutic strategies for metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.”
- But according to this 2019 review of several studies, completely going the other way, there is simply no evidence that cryotherapy causes weight loss.
We couldn’t find a spot-on study that concludes definitely, “absolutely, yes. Cryotherapy is the perfect weight loss solution – so go for it and nothing else”.
Indeed, there hasn’t been any conclusive evidence – that we’ve seen – suggesting it’s the one-size-fits-all solution.
Cryotherapy does work for weight loss.
But it must be supplemented by good traditional wholesome living.
Cryotherapy: A way to lose weight (indirectly)
The key to cryotherapy is that it compliments regular exercise and a healthy diet.
If you undergo regular cryo treatment, but never exercise and eat fatty and sugary foods, cryotherapy won’t work for weight loss.
How cryo works
The idea is that cryotherapy “tricks” your mind into thinking it’s really cold. That’s because, when you freeze up, your body engages in a process of ‘vasoconstriction’.
That’s where your body pumps your blood full of oxygen and inflammation, reducing the amount of nutrients and enzymes to effectively put your body in a “flight or fight” mode.
You’ll typically get to this point at around -110 degrees° C.
Then there’s the “blood rush”
Once you leave a cryo bath, your core blood pumps back into the extremities of your body.
Your blood, filled with healthy nutrients, will reduce the inflammation in your muscles, making them feel less sore or tired.
This ‘rush’ is designed to safeguard your organs.
So, once your blood travels throughout your body:
- Cells in your body are renewed;
- Immunity is boosted; and
- Pain relief is achieved.
Cryo is also helpful when it comes to boosting metabolism.
If you subject your body to extremely cold temperatures, your metabolic rate can increase for 24 to 48 hours after you undergo the treatment (although this differs person to person).
The result from all this?
You’re fresh, ready to work out and – better yet – ready to conquer the world.
This means you’ll be in the right mindset to live a healthy lifestyle – eating good food and exercising regularly.
And when you live like a champion, the cryotherapy weight loss results can be seen.
Professional athletes using cryotherapy: some examples
First-class athletes that we’ve grown to know and love through sports have been using cryo to help with their muscle recovery.
Some of these legends include:
- The boxer Floyd Mayweather, who reportedly attends cryotherapy every day (and sometimes every night) to help him beat his opponents;
- Basketball star LeBron James, regarded as one of the world’s fittest male athletes, uses whole-body cryotherapy to maintain a “competitive edge”; and
- Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who purchased a £36,000 cryotherapy ice chamber to enhance his conditioning.
Check out or blog post on when it may be time for athletes to look at cryotherapy treatment.
Celebrities are no different
Cryotherapy treatment has been used by celebrities such as:
- Will Smith – who posted on Instagram that cryotherapy “works” and “knocked out all [his] little aches & pains”;
- Daniel Craig – who reportedly used cryotherapy to get his ‘Bond body’; and
- Tony Robins – who describes cryotherapy as a ‘biohack’ as it can help increase your blood circulation, lower your fatigue levels and accelerate injury recovery.
These athletes and celebrities don’t suggest that cryo is a one-stop shop for weight loss.
Rather, cryo can help your body recover quicker and promote a better quality of sleep. This, in turn, allows you to train better the next day.
It’s all part of a healthy way of life.
And at the end of the day, every person’s body is different. You should always consult your doctor to seek professional, tailored medical advice.
Interested in cryotherapy to help you lose weight?
At Cryospa, we offer cryotherapy treatment that may help you lose weight.
Our treatment offers subzero temperatures so that your body has a chance to boost its metabolism and possibly burn hundreds of calories – resulting in an effective weight loss treatment if complemented with healthy living.
Get in touch with us today for your cryo treatment at Crows Nest in Sydney’s beautiful North Shore and learn about the wide range of other health and wellness services we offer.