Friday, January 16, 2009

Eat Ice Cream To Lose Weight?? The Benefits of COLD

Yesterday morning when I arrived at the corporate offices of Wells’ Dairy, Inc., my workplace, I glanced at the car dashboard. I knew we were setting record cold temps that day and wanted to see just how bad it was. To my horror, my car dashboard read an astounding 22 degrees below zero! At this temperature, I read, flesh freezes in 10 minutes. As it takes me two minutes to walk from my car to the building, I figured I better hustle up and get inside but not before snapping a photo of the dashboard LED readout with my cell phone. And here is the evidence:
I figure when it is this cold outside, there has to be some advantages to being exposed to the cold. Some dermatologists are exploring the benefits of cryogenically “freezing” bare skin (naked people step into a freezer for three minutes - sounds like my kind of fun) to preserve the skin and prevent its aging process.

But what about all the eating I have been doing lately? All this cold has caused me to enter into some sort of hibernation behavior where I am driven to eat everything in sight and adopt a more dormant lifestyle (ergo: replace 40 minutes of treadmill exercise with 4 hours of stretching myself out on the couch eating Hershey bars covered in peanut butter) – my body’s way (I can only surmise) of telling me to layer on the fat to keep myself from freezing to death.

But why, in all of these intensely cold temperatures, do I crave ice cream? I cannot get enough of it and my latest weakness is Blue Bunny® Peanut Butter Panic ice cream. In trying to justify this ice cream addiction, I have been doing a little research to support why I should continue to eat ice cream, even though I must do it while huddled under my electric blanket in order to prevent me from going into hypothermic shock.

To my delight, here is what I found (and I do want to thank my friend, “J-Vo”, for helping me locate this very relevant information!):

As we all know, it takes 1 calorie to heat 1 gram of water to 1 degree Celsius.

Translated into meaningful terms, this means that if you eat a very cold dessert (generally consisting of water in large part), the natural processes which raise the consumed dessert to body temperature during the digestive cycle literally sucks the calories out of the only available source, your body fat.

For example, a dessert served and eaten near 0ºC (32.2ºF) will in a short time be raised to the normal body temperature of 37ºC (98.6ºF). For each gram of dessert eaten, that process takes approximately 37 calories as stated above. The average dessert portion is 6 oz, or 168 grams. Therefore, by operation of thermodynamic law, 6,216 calories (1 cal./gm/deg. x 37 deg. x 168 gms) are extracted from body fat as the dessert's temperature is normalized.

Allowing for the 1,200 latent calories in the dessert, the net calorie loss is approximately 5,000 calories. Obviously, the more cold dessert you eat, the better off you are and the faster you will lose weight, if that is your goal.

Frozen desserts, (ice cream!!), are even more beneficial, since it takes
83 cal./gm to melt them (i.e., raise them to 0ºC) and an additional 37 cal./gm to further raise them to body temperature. The results here are really remarkable, and it supports stretching out my couch eating ice cream to running on my treadmill hands down.

Happy ice cream eating.

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