The Cool Fat Burner - A Review

Set The Scene

I spent eight weeks in the summer of 2014 wearing the Cool Fat Burner vest and posting weekly about my results. I had lab work done before and after the experiment. There is a long list of purported benefits linked to cold thermogenisis and thus, the use of this vest.

Before I get to the results I want to emphasis two points.

First, I was sure to make no adjustment to my diet or exercise routines (I eat good and get regular exercise, but am not super regimented about either). The Cool Fat Burner is presented as being able to provide results without additional lifestyle changes.

Second, the Cool Fat Burner recommends that you wear the vest in a room of 70 degrees or less. I have window units, not central air and was never once able to achieve that.

The Lab Work

Warning! This is a long boring list.

Thyroid & Pituitary Gland Info
TSH: 1.8 to 1.78 - not a significant change
T3: 90 to 103 - normal
T4: 7.7 to 9.2 - normal range, but a sizable boost
Summary: A positive effect on my thyroid.

Testosterone: 832 to 548 - normal range, but a big drop
Testosterone, Free: 122.3 to 65.8 - normal range, but a big drop
Summary: These numbers, although still in the normal range, had a huge, negative drop. I must have had some other thing going on to effect them this way, however, I have to conclude that whatever effect cold has on testosterone is not enough to prevent a drop like this in an otherwise healthy male.

ESR, Westergren
2 to 2: no change
Summary: I'm not even really sure what this is after reading about it, but apparently it isn't effected by cold.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
The following items were essentially unchanged
Carbon Dioxide
Urea Nitrogen
Protein, Total
Globulin, Calculated
A/G Ratio
Bilirubin, Total
Alkaline Phosphate
Summary: Basically, cold didn't effect this stuff for me. Also, there are no claims that it should.
Glucose: 99 to 81
Summary: This is a big deal. 99 is the top of the normal range. A drop of 18 points is fantastic.

Complete Blood Count
This is a long list of stuff with sciencey names that most people don't really care about. All of my levels were within the normal range from start to finish. Interestingly, there was a slight bump up in almost everything.
Summary: Although there were no big changes, the overall effect was a slight uptick on otherwise healthy blood.

Other Claims

I tracked the following purported effects of cold thermogenisis weekly.

Lowering Body Fat Percentage
192lbs to 191lbs (home scale)
17.1% to 18.0% (electrical impedance device)
Summary: With slight movement in both over 8 weeks, I essentially had no change in my body fat percentage or my total weight.

Cutting Food Cravings
Summary: I found no impact on my hunger or snacking.

Improving Deep Quality Sleep
Summary: This is huge! Over the eight hot, summer weeks I did notice that I slept well. However! The day my experiment ended I did not wear the vest. That night I slept horribly. The normal, window unit AC could not cool me down enough to fall asleep for hours. I wore the vest again for the rest of the summer and slept great.

Increasing Pain Tolerance/Reducing Inflammation
Summary: This was hard to measure. I occasionally get stiff muscles and random aches from life, but they are not constant. For the most part, over these 8 weeks I experienced very few incidents of pain, inflammation, stiffness, or soreness. I don't know if that experience qualifies as direct evidence, but I suspect that there was a beneficial effect.

The Cool Fat Burner currently claims the following:

We're the first and only Brown Fat cooling vest shown to:
  • Boost metabolism over 300%
  • Increase calorie and fat burning, while helping to build muscle
  • Activate and maintain maximal brown adipose levels, even through summer
  • Increase insulin sensitivity, boost the immune system, and decrease systemic inflammation
  • Increase resting metabolism, decrease exercise recovery, enhance rest, relaxation, and sleep
  • Increase adiponeptin and irisin, re-establish primal health, and possibly even increase longevity!

There are two methods for accurately measuring metabolism. The first is within a medical facility. I did not do this. The second is to use one of four (I think) formulas. Each formula has been shown to be inaccurate when compared to lab testing.
Summary: I did not measure my metabolism.

Increase Calorie and Fat Burning While Building Muscle
Summary: My body fat percentage and scale weight were unchanged after 8 weeks. I did not experience any evidence showing this to be true.

Increase and Maintain Brown Adipose Levels
Summary: The only way to measure this is in a medical facility. I did not measure these levels.

Increase Insulin Sensitivity
Summary: While I do not show signs of insulin sensitivity, my glucose level lowered 18 points.

Boost Immune System
Summary: My Complete Blood Count and my thyroid both show healthy elevations.

Decrease Inflammation / Exercise Recovery
Summary: I experience fewer than typical occurrences of aches and pains related to life and exercise.

Enhance Rest, Relaxation, and Sleep
Summary: I experienced significantly better sleep, rest, and relaxation.

Increase Adiponectin and Irisin
Summary: One is a protein that can regulate glucose levels. The other is a hormone that can help maintain a healthy weight. Neither can be measured outside of a lab and must be specifically requested through specific facilities. I did not measure them.

Re-establish Primal Health and Possibly Increase Longevity
Summary: Really? The fact that this is a bulletpoint placed beside scientific claims is embarrassing.

The Final Summary

So what do I really think? What does the Cool Fat Burner do if you 1) eat well without food micromanagement, 2) are physically active, but not a crazy athlete, 3) are unable to maintain a 70 degree Fahrenheit environment.

I believe 100% that the Cool Fat Burner provides the following results:

  • Enhanced rest, relaxation, and sleep. Especially in the summer. With no hesitation, I recommend this to enhance sleep.
  • Lowering of blood glucose levels (assuming you're not eating like an idiot).
  • Immune system improvements regarding thyroid function and blood count.
  • Reduced inflammation, aches & pains.

I was unable to measure the following in a meaningful way:

  • Metabolism changes
  • Brown adipose tissue levels
  • Insulin sensitivity (this may actually be the same as my lowered blood glucose levels,but to be safe, I will say that they are different enough to be on separate lists)
  • Adiponectin and Irisin
  • Cutting food cravings
  • Re-establishment of my primal health
  • Longevity

I found no real evidence that the Cool Fat Burner has an effect on:
  • Increased calorie and fat burning
Unfortunately, this thing is called the Cool Fat Burner and the one thing it did not do for me was burn body fat. I like this thing. I will continue to wear it and will recommend it for a sleep aid and for general health.

I come away from this experiment convinced of three things. 

1) There is real, measurable value in cold thermogenic therapy. 
2) There are undisputed benefits connected to using the Cool Fat Burner.
3) I did not find any connection between the Cool Fat Burner and the burning of body fat.

That said, I want to end by mentioning the two points that could be a big flaw in my experiment. 

1) For me, 17-18% body fat (remember, I used to be obese) is on the borderline between "Fit" and "Acceptable." If my percentage were significantly higher, fat loss percentage due to cold may have been different.
2) Had I been able to control the temperature of my room, the Cool Fat Burner may have been able to induce significant body fat burn. In the official Cool Fat Burner laboratory videos, the rooms were at a much colder temperature then my house during the summer.

This post has become quite popular. If you have any questions or comments, if you think I missed something, let me know in the comments.