Day 82 Record Keeping SRHI = 70
Day 50 Fixed Meditation SRHI = 74
Day 11 Walking SRHI = 25
Great sleep, great wakeup.
In The Shiver System, Steven Leckart talks about Ray Cronise, who, upon hearing about Michael Phelps’ reported 13,000 calorie-a-day diet, starts to experiment with cool water plunging to lose weight. Cronise, a former NASA scientist, did the math, and it didn’t add up. But he theorized that since Phelps was in a pool, something regarding the water’s thermal load might have something to do with the excess caloric burn.
The article talks about all the data he collects, and equipment he uses to track all this meticulously. He was famously mentioned in Tim Ferriss’ book, the 4-Hour Body in a section on how to lose fat fast. Cronise himself was on the weight loss path and found that he lost the pounds up to 50 percent faster when doing cold-related activities.
And from there it gets all hazy.
His blog talks about a lot of issues regarding it - and there’s no doubt there is something to it, and I love the ingenuity, and the recording and testing the Wired article and his Ted Talks mentions.
But I cannot find any place where he actually describes his protocol.
Some sources talk about how he drank a liter of ice water every morning, turned off his heater, did cool water plunging, “shiver walks” and maybe changed to a “plant-based diet” - a comment that one YouTube commenter says throws the causal connection out the window.
His blog is also confusing - the home page asks, in large letters “Would you like to lose 50% more fat in half the time?” and “I want to help you succeed!” - and those are great sentiments - but without a proper protocol, claims to meticulous recording and tinkering are less believable. Several commenters mention how they can’t find the protocol he used, and in answer he mentions that he still hasn’t collated the data and that he’ll release it at some point in some form.
What does all of this have to do with me? I’m doing my walks, I live near a beach, so i thought I’d do some plunging every day. Two things - I wanted to know exactly how long Ray Cronise did his plunges to lose weight, and I cannot find that information despite claims to meticulous note taking - he often responds with a “Check out the chapter on me in the 4-Hour Body.”
(And after rereading that section, I’m still not satisfied - Ferriss mixes cold water plunges and the ECA stack. Again, causality is confused. Also his results are very vague and not long term - “in four weeks I lost what usually took up to eight weeks with ECA alone and I did it without the side effects. I used two different protocols, both of which worked” and “nonetheless, looking at the bodyfat results, Protocol B appeared to be around 60% effective as the torture baths in Protocol A” - But he does mention Cronise had a 50+ informal test subjects - I’d be curious to see the data on that)
Second, I’m finding that plunging, even for the little time I do it, has a strong affect on me. I’m incredibly hungry and I tend to be exhausted - I almost have to take a nap and I have problems concentrating for the rest of the day.
Now I have no idea as to the truth of these claims (though I definitely think there is something to it). Ray Cronise may well have the data, and is just not releasing it until he knows what’s going on in its entirety. He may have not taken notes during his initial weight loss. I may have completely missed it - I’m still looking into this!
But I believe that it is important that he disclose the data clearly, because from what I can see, it sounds vague, unsubstantiated, and, since he frequently responds to questions about it with a "Follow Tim’s protocol and take lots of notes - I’m interested too" - at this moment it sounds like a marketing gimmick, especially since it’s associated with Tim Ferriss, marketer extraordinaire.
I think this is a very interesting project, and I do look forward to anything else Ray releases. The “New Science” of individuals tinkering is something I’m obviously a big fan of. But my project is about slow and steady gains, and it’s amazing what claims to faster results come out of the wood works to distract me. Will increased hunger ruin my weight loss? Will the exhaustion be detrimental to willpower, and retard progress of habit formation?
And other questions remain - what is the minimum effective dosage? Sure it works in the short term, but connecting short term weight loss to the long term weight loss that Cronise himself experienced and touts as a lead to all his research is an entirely different thing - what did he do during those weeks to get the pounds off?
For now I think it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie.