The Anonymous Health & Fitness Confessional

I grew up in a fairly religious household, and while I don’t practice many of the religious traditions I grew up with, I always found the idea of confession interesting.

On the one hand, I felt terrified confessing my sins to someone many decades older than me (I’d love to remember the “terrible” sins that 9 year-old Bennett confessed to, I simply don’t remember them)!

But on the other hand, it always felt rejuvenating.

Confession released my mind of anything that had been weighing me down. I always felt physically lighter, and able to focus on more important tasks without dwelling on the mistakes I’d made.

In creating this page I’ve attempted to combine the benefits of confession (the feeling of being released and the ability to move forward with your life) without the terrifying aspects of confession (the shame and guilt that come with having to publicly disclose your mistakes to someone you respect).

In short, this space is for you, not me.

So here’s how the Anonymous Health & Fitness Confessional is going to work.

Let’s say you…

  • …jumped off the wagon for a reward meal, only to see the wagon leave you in the dust.
  • …chose the regular beer when a gluten-free beer was available.
  • …committed to exercising 3x a week and didn’t even go once.

And maybe you’re sitting around, beating yourself up. Wishing that you’d made different choices in the past, knowing that the past is gone and can’t be changed, but somehow letting it drag you down nonetheless.

I suggest you load up this page – – confess your health and fitness “sins,” and what you’re going to do differently starting TODAY.

The twist is, you’re not confessing them to anyone but yourself, no one will know you’re the one who posted something on this page (not even me).

To ensure your post is anonymous, type the following in the identifying fields below the text box:

Name: Anonymous


If you don’t see those options, check the upper right-hand corner of the screen and make sure you’re logged out before posting!

The pain of finding out you’re going the wrong direction


Most people are surprised to get a response when they send me an email, but I’m always happy to point someone in the right direction if they’re struggling to achieve their health or fitness goal.

Recently, a woman by the name of – well actually I can’t tell you her name because she got SO mad at me that she denied permission to use her name (I don’t actually need her permission since she emailed me, but out of respect for her craziness, I won’t use her real name) – so let’s just call her Jane.

Jane told me she was struggling to lose weight, so I asked her to tell me a little bit about herself.

The following conversation ensued:

JANE: Little about me I guess. I’m 5 ft 8 inches, my goal weight is 9 stone 5 lbs (131 lbs), I have around two stone (28 lbs) to go. Exercise – I horse ride sporadically at the moment and I do yoga…I also do some free weights. I am not dieting as such as I’m portion controlling, but I do love food…I also bake.

ME: Well, you need to come up with a very clear goal – is it weight loss? If so, how dedicated are you to achieving that goal? I say this because you’re not going to lose fat by consuming dairy and eating wheat/sugar on a regular basis.

JANE: I do eat dairy am sorry but females get most of their collagen through eggs etc.

Notice that almost immediately Jane is becoming defensive about her choices, even though she already admitted that she’s struggling to lose weight.

Let’s see what happens next:

ME: Eggs are not dairy, there’s nothing wrong with having a few eggs a day. Dairy comes from the mammary glands of mammals (e.g. cows, goats, sheep, etc.) Eggs come from fowl, which don’t have mammary glands.

JANE: Sorry I don’t eat enough bread or sugar to give it up, we all need a healthy balanced diet I think and everyone does it differently.

ME: Being real honest – have you ever read a book or attended a course on nutrition?

Before I tell you what she said, try and put yourself in Jane’s shoes.

You’re struggling to lose weight, you’re emailing someone who’s helped tons of people lose weight, and asking him for advice, and that person is telling you that you need to make some changes and highlighting that you’ve been going down the wrong path for awhile now.

How would you respond – would you be glad to learn the truth and get started on the right path ASAP, or would you lash out at that person for telling you that you’ve been going the wrong way?

Let’s see how Jane responded:

JANE: I honestly didn’t come on your site to be preached at .. you may cut dairy sugar wheat from your diet but here’s a question, do you drink beer?? As we all know how they’re made. My weight had nothing really to do with my diet .. it was my inability to exercise. Plus I will be honest here; I am not giving you legal entitlement to blog my name nor my circumstances on your site.


Sadly, getting mad at someone for telling you the truth is about as reasonable as getting mad at Google Maps for saying you turned the wrong direction.

So what did I do after Jane said that?

I immediately ceased all communication and added Jane to my DO NOT SELL list.

Jane will never be permitted to buy any product or course I sell – I don’t waste my time arguing with people who don’t know what they’re talking about and aren’t interested in fixing their problems. I want to focus my efforts on helping the dedicated few who are actually interested in solving their problems, is that you?

Tell me one goal you’re trying to achieve

In the spirit of helping the dedicated few who are willing to take action, what is one goal you’ve been struggling to achieve recently?

What makes achieving this goal so challenging for you?

Send me an email or post it in the comments below.

How to get extra meat for free at Chipotle

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s getting shorted at Chipotle – especially after a leg workout when I feel like I could eat a whole cow.

After years of testing different ordering methods, however, I’ve found the optimal way to get extra meat for free at Chipotle.

There are two primary methods of getting extra meat for free at Chipotle, and both take advantage of the Chipotle server’s difficulty in estimating how much meat constitutes a serving.



Picture of my half-and-half Chipotle meal on YouFood

If you don’t want to pay for double meat, the best way to get extra meat for free is to ask for half beef and half chicken (or whichever meats you prefer).

You’d think the total meat you receive would be the same as ordering just a single meat, but you’d be wrong.

The servers at Chipotle have a hard time eyeballing how much half a serving is on their giant spoon, so they err on the side of giving you too much when determining how much half a spoon is – typically resulting in you getting approximately 1.5x meat.

Their mistake is your benefit, suckaaa.



Picture of my double meat Chipotle meal on YouFood

If you’re willing to pay for double meat, then this method will yield the maximum possible meat.

If you tell the Chipotle server right away that you want double beef (or whichever meat you prefer), you really only get something like 1.75x meat.

When you order double meat it must seem to the server that there’s no way anyone could actually eat two whole spoonful’s of meat, so when you tell them double meat, they tend to hold back on how much meat they include on each spoon.

To win this game you have to be one step ahead of the server. When they ask you which meat you want, just say, beef and then PAUSE – hold your breath if you have to. Then after they’re done serving and they start to slide your salad down to the next station say, “Oh, actually, can I get double beef?”

BOOM – another maximum spoon full of meat!

This little trick will ensure you get a solid 2.0 – 2.25x meat in your salad.

Only one Chipotle server thus far has caught on to my Chipotle ordering trick. One time I ordered just beef and before the server scooped out any meat she said, “just single beef this time or double?”

Hahaha. But it only happened once.

And that’s how you get extra meat for free at Chipotle NAME, enjoy!

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, you’ll find this post hilarious – 6 Tricks to Get 86% More Chipotle Burrito (for free). This guy literally ordered 5 burritos PER DAY for a week (35 total burritos) just to determine the optimal ordering strategy. He’s a man after my own heart!

How to Eat Junk Food and Not Get Fat


Mmm…guilt free chocolate

I’m eating a big chocolate bar right now without feeling the slightest bit of guilt.

Why not?

Because I know that I won’t get fat from eating it.

Um, that’s not possible.

–Random person who’s never read anything about health & fitness

Oh, but it is. Let’s back up a few years.


Me, circa 2008

Years ago, I was just like a lot of other people – fat, unhappy, hairy. Okay maybe not everyone’s hairy.

So what did I do about it?

The stupidity of my strategy is gonna blow your mind, but for years this was my strategy.

Bennett’s 3-Step, Pre-2011 Weight Loss Strategy

Step 1 – Eat whatever I felt like

Step 2 – Occasionally go jogging

Step 3 – Complain that I wasn’t getting any results –> repeat

I didn’t read a single book, a single blog post, or even have a single conversation with a healthy person!

Surprisingly, this never worked.

In hindsight…of course it didn’t work, what were you thinking pre-2011 Bennett!!

Sadly, this is the same thing most people are still doing. Possibly, what you’re still doing?

What changed?


Me, 4 months after learning how to eat junk food properly

One night six years ago I’d just gotten home from work. I took my shirt off in the bathroom, I was about to hop in the shower, but I just stood in front of the mirror staring at myself.

How did I let myself get like this? How did this happen? I’m only 24 years old, if I look like this now, what will I look like when I’m 50?

I snapped out of it. I realized that I needed to do something about it, now.

I started reading everything I could about health and fitness – books, articles, blog posts – you name it, I’ve read it.

I had three big realizations:

  • The modern food supply is really, really f*cked up
  • The things I thought were healthy (like grains and low-fat dairy) are actually terrible for you and instead most of my diet should be healthy meat, healthy fats, and veggies
  • As long as you eat healthy food most of the time, you can “get away” with eating junk food a couple times a week (actually, most people can even lose weight while eating junk food a couple times a week)

I’ll save my thoughts on the food supply and my list of healthy foods for another day.

Instead, today I’ll show you how I use the 3-letter acronym CAP to avoid getting fat when I eat junk food.

3 tactics to avoid getting fat while eating junk food

Let’s say you’re going out for your birthday dinner in an hour, what should you do to avoid the weight gain caused by that wine, pasta, and birthday cake you’re about to scarf down?

  • C = Cold Therapy

Many people in the fitness community have been using cold therapy for almost a decade now as a way to burn fat, but almost no one outside of it has ever heard of it (much less tried it).

Just Google “cold therapy for fat loss” and check out all the results that come up.

Let me tell you, it freakin’ works, and it’s not as unpleasant as it sounds (most people feel anxious before they try it, but after their first time they find it refreshing and relaxing).

Cold therapy works because your body constantly maintains the same temperature (98.6 degrees for most people), but when it’s exposed to cold, it’s forced to work harder, by burning more calories, to maintain the same temperature.

In short, cold therapy burns fat and reduces the inflammation caused by eating junk food – and that’s a good thing!

Here are three cold therapy options:

Option 1 – Wear an ice pack for 15 minutes (good)

The easiest way to burn fat with cold therapy is by wearing an ice pack on your upper-back/lower-neck for 20 minutes. Any ice pack will do, but if you want an ice pack that you don’t have to hold in place, check out the product I created just for this purpose – the SlimIce Pack.

Option 2 – Take an 8-10 minute cool shower (better)

If the water coming out of your tap is cooler than 70 degrees, this is your easiest option.

Hop in the shower, adjust the temperature to 65-70 degrees, listen to 3 songs (Shake It Off by Taylor Swift is one of my favorites…shh don’t tell anyone), and then get out!

Option 3 – Take a 15-minute cold bath (best)

For those willing to step it up, cold baths are the most effective form of cold therapy for fat loss.

Adjust the temperature to 65-70 degrees (use a cheap instant-thermometer like this one to test the temperature), if you can’t get the water cold enough get some ice from the corner store or your freezer.

  • A = Activity

When you hear the word exercise do you think of jogging for hours on end?

Well that’s not what you’ll be doing here.

The sole purpose of this 5-minute mini-workout is to direct as many of the calories you’re about to consume towards muscle and away from fat, that’s it. And you do that by working large muscle groups until they fatigue.

Translation? Do a bunch of push-ups and squats back-to-back.

Here’s what I do:

  • Set 1 – 50 push-ups, back-to-back. At some point you’ll fatigue and not be able to do another push-up (that’s a good thing). When that happens, give yourself a 15 second break and then keep going! Keep doing this until you hit 50 push-ups.

As soon as you finish the last push-up, go right into your squats.

  • Set 2 – 50 squats, back-to-back. Don’t stop and rest in between squats, keep going, even when you feel like you can’t do another squat, do one more. The more your muscles fatigue, the better.

BOOM! Now your muscles are primed to absorb the onslaught of calories you’re about to consume.

PRO TIP – Don’t alternate between squats and push-ups, finish all 50 push-ups before you do all 50 squats.

  • P = Proper Protein Portion

Just because you’re eating high-carb foods like pizza or pasta doesn’t mean you can’t also consume a proper portion of protein with your food.

Consuming protein (e.g., meat, fish, eggs, or legumes) along with those tasty high-carb foods slows down digestion (and that’s a good thing). The slower your body digests food, the less your blood sugar spikes, which means fewer calories will get directed to fat.

PRO TIP – A proper protein portion is typically about the size of your fist (e.g. women: 4-5 oz of meat, men: 6-7 oz, cooked weight)

Let’s reCAP

The next time you’re planning on eating a high-calorie meal, just remember the acronym CAP!

C = Cold Therapy

A = Activity

P = Proper Protein Portion

Want another tactic you can use to avoid getting fat when eating junk food?

Click the image below to get a 4-page guide that contains:

  • A FREE bonus tactic to avoid gaining weight while eating junk food that you can start using immediately
  • The step-by-step instructions I follow to make cool showers and cold baths as easy as possible
  • Videos showing proper squat and push-up technique (including what to do if you’re not strong enough to do a proper push-up yet)


How to Eat Junk Food and Not Get Fat

Does your order pass the “Chipotle” test?

Call it a carny trick, but I can tell whether you need to lose weight just by looking at your standard Chipotle order.


Picture of my fat-burning Chipotle meal on YouFood

I know, I know – it sounds crazy, but I’ve spent a lot of time at Chipotle, and frankly I’ve never been wrong.

Okay maybe I was wrong once, but the guy was a genetic freak who could eat whatever he wanted and stay thin, not like the rest of us – but other than that one time, I’ve never been wrong.

Actually what’s crazy is I can tell whether you need to lose weight based solely on the first ingredient you order.

Let’s pretend you just got up to the Chipotle counter:

Would you like a salad or burrito?



Would you like chicken, steak, or sofritas (tofu)?



Would you like cheese, sour cream, or guacamole?

Sour cream, cheese, and no guacamole.


I get it, I get it, you like tortillas, sour cream, and cheese – who doesn’t?

But getting and staying lean isn’t about what you like to eat any more than getting rich is about what you like to spend money on – it just doesn’t matter.

All that matters is eating foods most of the time that are healthy for you.

But before you can eat foods that are healthy for you, you have to know which foods are healthy for you!!

Let’s take the Chipotle options as an example.


Burrito = FAIL.

Salad or Bowl = PASS


Brown Rice = FAIL.

White Rice = CONDITIONAL – PASS if you’re not trying to lose weight OR post-workout


Black Beans = CONDITIONAL – PASS if you’re not trying to lose weight AND have no gut issues

Pinto Beans = CONDITIONAL – PASS if you’re not trying to lose weight AND have no gut issues


Onions and Peppers = CONDITIONAL – PASS if you don’t have any gut issues


Sofritas = FAIL.

Carnitas = CONDITIONAL – PASS if you’re not trying to lose weight

Chorizo = CONDITIONAL – PASS if you’re not trying to lose weight

Barbacoa = CONDITIONAL – PASS if you’re not trying to lose weight

Steak = PASS

Chicken = PASS

Salsas and Toppings

Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa = FAIL.

Cheese = FAIL.

Sour Cream = FAIL.

Pico De Gallo = CONDITIONAL – PASS if you’re not trying to lose weight AND have no gut issues

Red-Chili Salsa = CONDITIONAL – PASS if you’re not trying to lose weight AND have no gut issues

Green-Chili Salsa = CONDITIONAL – PASS if you’re not trying to lose weight AND have no gut issues

Romaine Lettuce = PASS

Guacamole = PASS


Chips & Salsa = FAIL.

How did your Chipotle order stack up?

How does your Chipotle order stack up? Good, bad…ugly?

If it seems like too much to remember which foods are healthy and help you lose weight, I get it.

And that’s why I created this free, simple guide to ordering the best fat-burning meal from Chipotle (including options if you’re vegetarian).

Download, order, and prosper : )


How to Order a Delicious, Fat-Burning Meal from Chipotle

3 Reasons It’s Not Your Fault That You’re Overweight (And What to Do About It)


15 years ago I had a problem – I needed to lose weight, but I was already running an hour a day after school in the blistering Texas heat, and I wasn’t getting the results I wanted.

So what did I do about it?

I devised a plan to get in an additional running session before school.

Tomorrow I’ll get up at 5:30 AM, I’ll sneak downstairs, shoes in hand, turn off the alarm, throw my shoes on, and be halfway down the block before anyone’s the wiser…

I knew once I woke up in the morning I’d have to move quickly though – my dad was a notoriously light sleeper, I was concerned he’d put the kibosh on the whole plan, and I was too embarrassed about being overweight to just talk about it openly and ask for help.

I can’t actually remember how I woke up at 5:30 AM without waking up my dad, but just trust for the moment that 15 year old Bennett figured it out.

I felt so exhausted when I woke up, but I also felt alive – nothing’s going to stop me from reaching my goal!

I crept down the stairs, shoes in hand, and just as I was about to turn the alarm off I heard my dad whisper from the top of the landing.

Psst, hey buddy, where you going??


I was disappointed that my plan was thwarted, but the real tragedy started long before I ever devised my two-a-day workout plan in the first place.

It started with the (mistaken) belief that more exercise by itself produces more results.

It wasn’t surprising that I believed it though, most people still believe it, and it’s the first of three reasons that it’s not your fault that you’re overweight.

3 Reasons It’s Not Your Fault That You’re Overweight

1. The packaged food industry tells you “it’s all about calories in, calories out”


If you ask a random guy on the street how to lose weight, he’ll probably say “dude, it’s all about calories in, calories out, everyone knows that.”

But if you ask him why humans can’t naturally balance their energy without counting calories, he’ll be dumbfounded, scratch his head, look confused, and then say something like “because fast food exists” or “people are manipulated by food marketing” or some other random BS he read on a bumper sticker.

If you haven’t heard it before, let me be the first to tell you, IT’S NOT all about calories in, it’s all about QUALITY IN.

But wait, if you eat fewer calories than you burn, won’t you lose weight?

Actually, yes.

And just to prove it a professor at Kansas State University went on a “twinkie diet,” eating primarily junk food for two months straight, losing 27 lbs in the process.

BUT – and this is the whole point – have you ever tried counting the calories of every single one of your meals?

It’s an absolutely ludicrous process.

The only thing this professor proved is that people are capable of insane feats of dedication for short periods of time.

The preoccupation with measuring and tracking calories in and calories out ignores some obvious observations about energy balance (the point where calories in naturally meet calories out).

  • All other mammals maintain energy balance naturally without ever having to count a single calorie. Case in point – have you ever seen a squirrel so overweight that he couldn’t leave his nest without external assistance?

Explaining that someone became overweight because they ate too many calories is like saying someone got black out drunk because they drank too much alcohol – no shit!

The relevant question is why?

Why would someone drink so much alcohol that they blacked out – were they celebrating New Year’s, were they depressed, did they not eat dinner and the alcohol’s effects took them by surprise?

The same question applies to energy balance – the relevant question is why would you feel compelled to consume more calories than you naturally expend?

The answer is that it’s not about calories in – it’s about quality in.

When you eat poor quality food, your body sends you the signal to eat more and more so you can get sufficient nutrients to function properly, even at the cost of gaining excess fat.

But when you eat high-quality, nutrient dense foods that humans evolved to eat, you feel satiated after a meal, and you’ll naturally achieve energy balance because you won’t feel compelled to continue eating more food.

It doesn’t take an evolutionary biologist to prove it either!

Have you ever eaten a donut and wanted to immediately eat two more donuts?

Don’t lie…

Have you ever eaten a 12 oz grass-fed steak and immediately wanted to eat two more grass-fed steaks?

Didn’t think so.

When people focus on calories in, and calories out (instead of quality in), they typically attempt one of three unsustainable and largely ineffective practices:

  • They indiscriminately reduce the number of “calories in” by going on an ultra-low calorie diet, which leaves them feeling hungry, tired, or both.
  • They increase the number of calories they burn by doing large volumes of exercise, typically long-duration, low-intensity cardio (like running or spinning), which leaves them feeling exhausted and starving. In many cases they become injured at some point and regain any weight they’ve lost.
  • They do both at the same time – eat way less and exercise way more. This is a recipe for disaster, as eventually these people crack (because they’re human), and they go back to their old shitty diet and stop exercising completely. (This is what 15 year old Bennett did, don’t be 15 year old Bennett, learn from my mistakes!)

None of these work in the long run because they are inherently unsustainable. The sooner you switch to a diet that emphasizes quality instead of calories, the sooner you can get on a sustainable path to being lean.

Focus on quality, not on calories.

2. Doctors have told you that fat is bad for you


In the late 1950s an American scientist named Ancel Keys released the Seven Countries Study, demonstrating a link between the consumption of saturated fat (fat from animals) and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

But there was one problem – Keys cherry-picked his data.

Keys original study contained a total of 22 countries, but 15 of those 22 countries didn’t fit the correlation Keys was trying to demonstrate, so he just removed them from the dataset – if that sounds shady to you, that’s because it is, this is known as fraud.

But that didn’t stop Keys from influencing nutrition policy around the world!

Fortunately, in recent years, many authors have debunked Keys’ unscientific conclusions, including Gary Taubes in his 640 page book Good Calories, Bad Calories.

But you don’t need to read a tome to reach the conclusion that certain fats are in fact healthy for you. You just need to take note of one simple observation:

  • It’s now universally accepted that the healthiest nutrition for infants is their mothers’ breast milk. Do those mothers extract that milk and strain it of all its fat before giving it to their infants? Obviously not, the nursing babies consume it directly from their mothers, in full-fat form. And it’s not unsaturated fat either, it’s saturated fat. If all saturated fat contributed to heart disease, nursing mothers would be harming their children.

What’s worse is that when food product companies remove fat from their products, they’re effectively removing the taste. You’ll notice that almost every single low-fat product has some sort of (sugary) flavoring added (for example, low fat yogurt with fruit or honey). If they didn’t add sugar, their products would taste like cardboard and no one would buy them. So not only are you missing out on the health benefits of fat, but you’re also eating lots of unhealthy sugar.

Focus on consuming healthy fats (grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, whole eggs, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.) and avoid low-fat products that are laced with sugar.

3. You’ve never been taught how to consume carbohydrates strategically


The success of low-carbohydrate diets is well known. If you sustain a low-carb diet, you will lose weight and maintain a leaner physique. They’re so successful that every few years there appears to be a new low-carb diet that grabs headlines (examples include Atkins, Sugar Busters, and the Zone Diet).

These diets work, but there’s one glaring problem with most low-carb diets – they fail to recognize that your favorite food in the entire universe is probably a carb! Examples include pizza, pasta, potatoes, rice, cookies, cakes, etc.

So you have low-carb diets telling you that to be lean you have to eat fewer carbs, but you’re fighting an uphill battle against yourself because the longer you go without carbs, the more you crave them – especially if you work out, do lots of walking, live a high-stress lifestyle, or have poor sleep habits.

So what do you do?

Well, one thing we know is that most people who follow low-carb programs fail because they don’t account for the fact that sooner or later, they’re going to eat a carb that isn’t sanctioned by the program (be realistic, are you REALLY going to avoid pizza for the rest of your life?)

And when that happens, instead of going right back to eating healthy, they feel overwhelmed and say something like “Ahh screw it, this is stupid” and return to their poor food choices.

But we know that your old diet is what caused you to gain weight in the first place, so going back to it isn’t going to solve your problem.

Instead, you need to consume carbohydrates strategically – and there are lots of ways to do this!

But before I give you a few strategies, I’d like to clarify what’s not a strategy.

Eating high-carb foods because you’re stressed out, overwhelmed, or tired is not a strategy.

Eating high-carb foods for lunch everyday because “omfg that sandwich looks so good!!!” is not a strategy.

Eating high-carb foods because you pretend you don’t know how to cook and are so lazy you can’t Google a single low-carb recipe is not a strategy.

So now that we’re clear, let’s talk about a few actual strategies.

One strategy is to pick one meal or one day a week and eat the foods you enjoy – this is your “reward meal” or “reward day.”

A better strategy is to only consume high-carb foods after an intense strength training workout. This ensures more of the excess calories get shoved into the muscle you just trained instead of your fat.

A third way is to do cold therapy (ice packs, cool showers, and cold baths) before or after your high-carb consumption to mitigate the fat gaining effects of high-carb consumption.

And these are just a few ways!

Focus on strategic carb consumption, and stop committing to carb avoidance for the rest of your life!

So what else can you do about it?

It’s no wonder you feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle when the food industry tells you it’s all about “calories in, calories out,” doctors tell you fat is bad for you, and no one taught you how to consume carbs strategically!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get started on being healthier today, and you don’t have to change everything all at once – in fact, doing it in stages is more sustainable for most people.

How about you start with eating a healthy breakfast?

Enter your info below, and I’ll immediately send you three delicious and healthy 5-minute breakfasts to get you on the road to the body you want starting first thing tomorrow morning – my free gift to you : )


Three Healthy and Delicious 5-Minute Breakfasts

What would you do if you were FORCED to eat junk food all the time?

Most people who email me asking for weight loss tips are surprised to find that I respond to almost everyone – even if it’s just to tell them that their diet sucks and they need to fix it.

But last week I received an interesting email from a 17 year old girl named Maryam.

Maryam actually wants to be healthier, she wants to lose weight, and she’s actually willing to change her diet to reach her goal, but because she lives at home with her family she’s basically forced to eat junk food all the time.

Here’s how she describes her situation:

I don’t have the chance or permission to exercise or choose what I eat. There’s kinda like a dictator in my house, that’s my gran, and she kinda hates everyone and makes us live like hell, so unless I never want to hear the end of it, I can’t just say ‘oh can I have avacado for breakfast’…we have to do as she says…normally I have the same thing for breakfast [toast] as I do every day, as I’ve been doing for a long time…
–Maryam N, 17 years old

Yikes – that sounds terrible!!

Even so, no matter how bad the situation is, I’d know that there are ALWAYS options.

If I were 17 living in a household full of diet dictators, and I had already tried being honest with them about my food preferences and it didn’t work, here’s what I’d do:

1) Lie to my family

It sounds f*cked up, but if my parents were forcing me to eat junk food, I’d say things like, “Every time I eat toast or cereal it hurts my stomach, I’d rather just have a piece of fruit for breakfast.” Eventually they’d probably stop making me eat grains.

2) Eat as much healthy food as possible at school

I would eat as much healthy food at school as possible:

I WOULD EAT – Meat, vegetables, nuts, and fruit

I WOULD AVOID – Dairy, grains, sugar, and sodas

I’d also ask my friends to bring me healthy food from their house.

3) Eat at my friend’s house

There’s nothing that your friend’s parents love to do more than feed their kid’s friends.

I’d hang out at my friends’ houses a lot, and when I got there I’d ask if they have anything healthy to eat.

4) Sneak healthy snacks

I’d buy healthy snacks (like fruit and nuts) on the way to and from school and I’d eat them in my room.

If I were being observed at every meal, I’d just have a few bites of the junk food they were forcing me to eat and then I’d say something like, “yeah, I’m just not that hungry today.”

5) Be patient and empathetic

The hardest thing for me to do, but the most important, is I’d be patient. I’d know I’d be in college soon and once I got there I’d be able to eat healthier.

And even though I’d feel frustrated that my family was essentially forcing me to eat unhealthy food, I’d try to understand where they were coming from.

After all, they probably don’t hate me or want me to be overweight. They probably just grew up in a very different world than we live in now. They probably grew up much poorer, they probably had to scrimp and save for everything they had, and if there was food on the table, they ate every bit of it because they had no other choice.

But that’s just me, that’s what I’d do if I were 17 and were forced to eat junk food.

Green Smoothie For Rapid Fat Loss (Recipe Included)

What’s worse than being one of those weirdos who drinks a green smoothie every morning?

Well, you tell me, you’re the one reading this post : )

Eating a green smoothie every morning was one of the best things I ever did to boost fat loss.

It was weird at first, but now I love consuming a green smoothie everyday for several reasons:

  • QUICK AND EASY – It can be made ahead of time, so if my morning is super busy I don’t have to make a single thing, all I have to do is grab it out of the fridge and go.
  • TASTES DELICIOUS – Green smoothies can have a naturally bitter taste to them, but adding a scoop of Chocolate or Strawberry Omni Greens + lemon juice makes it taste delicious.
  • HIGH DOSE OF NATURAL MAGNESIUM – Studies show that more than 50% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. Getting enough magnesium to improve your sleep and recover from workouts can be a challenge, but you can get a power dose of high-quality, natural magnesium with the ingredients in this recipe.

Green Smoothie

Click here to get direct access to my green smoothie recipe

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The Ultimate Guide to Cold Therapy for Fat Loss

Is cold therapy for weight loss right for you? Even if you’ve tried and failed before or hate being cold (like me), chances are good that it will help you reach your target weight faster.

Below are the most common complaints, questions, and obstacles related to using sustainable cold therapy to reach and maintain your target weight.

If you don’t know where to begin, I suggest starting with the first common complaint, which includes the exact system that propelled me through the last 10 lbs in a month and has helped me keep them off for over 4 years.

Common Complaints

“I just can’t stand the feeling of being in cold water, is there a way to condition myself?” (The SlimIce Solution)

There are really two questions being asked here:

1 – How do I reduce the misery of cold therapy?

You lose most heat through your head and feet. If you’re taking an ice bath or using an ice pack, you can keep warm by wearing a beanie and socks (and keeping your head and feet out of the water).

If you’re taking a cold shower, clothing is obviously useless, but you can still make it less miserable by ensuring that your post-cold therapy environment is pleasurable.

You can do this in multiple ways:

  • Fresh Towel – Dry off with a fresh towel – who wants to dry off with a wet towel after a cold shower?
  • Pre-Heat Your House – Before I take a cold shower I turn the heat up in my house a few degrees so I can feel the warm air blowing the second I get out. This seems counter-intuitive, but the objective isn’t to tolerate being cold for the rest of your life. If you know that you’ll be more comfortable after cold therapy, you won’t dread it the next time you do it.
  • Insta-socks – I put on warm socks IMMEDIATELY after getting out of the shower.

2 – How do I condition myself to tolerate cold therapy?

The more cold therapy you do, the more conditioned you will become. There will always be some level of initial shock, but after even just 2-3 weeks you’ll be able to tolerate more intense cold therapy for longer periods of time. Accept that it doesn’t happen overnight though, and that’s normal!

No matter how conditioned you become, cold showers and ice baths will never feel like you’re sitting in a warm bubble bath sipping champagne.

Remember, the objective is not to find ways to integrate cold temperatures into every waking moment of your life and swear off all enjoyable warm activities. The objective is to reach and maintain your target weight through sustainable cold therapy.

The SlimIce Solution

The biggest problem you’re probably facing, however, is that you don’t have a reliable system to fall back on. I’ve created an easy-to-follow six-page guide which outlines exactly what type of cold therapy you should be doing, when you should be doing it, and how long you should be doing it for.

Download the SlimIce Solution – Lose Your Gut in 6 Weeks (Without Exercise) – my free gift to you.

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“The most challenging part is that first flinch.”

Some people say to just jump right into a cold shower or ice bath, without acclimating. I disagree.

That may work for people doing their annual polar bear plunge, but it’s not sustainable for people who do weekly cold showers and ice baths.

Here’s why – over time, you begin to anticipate the misery of that first flinch, and you’ll find yourself increasingly dreading that moment and thinking up every reason not take a cold shower (Is the front door locked? Did I leave the iron on? Did my phone just ring?) Eventually you’ll give up and say, “Cold showers are too much of a hassle, I don’t have enough time.”


I’ve taken hundreds of cold showers and ice baths, and I’ve only found one method that consistently reduces the misery of that first flinch.

The Hokey Pokey Method

The Hokey Pokey Method propelled me through the last 10 lbs that diet and exercise alone couldn’t fix. If I’d given up before discovering the Hokey Pokey Method, there never would’ve been an “after” picture to show you, because I wouldn’t have felt comfortable taking another photo of myself with my shirt off!


(It’s surprising that the “before” photo survived at all, it was one of the rare times in my life I allowed someone to take a photo of me with my shirt off.)

On to the Hokey Pokey Method (you put your left arm in, you take your left arm out, you put your…etc).

Specifically, I turn the shower all the way to cold, and I step into the shower but stand away from the water as much as possible. I then proceed to put each limb under the cold water for 10 seconds, rotating it to get water over the entire limb. I then remove it and move on to the next limb. In total this should take you about 40 seconds (less if you’re missing a limb).

At the end of the 40 seconds of intermittent limb exposure, I step directly under the spigot, ensuring that my neck and upper-back receive the brunt of the water flow while simultaneously counting 10 deep breaths out loud (usually in a whisper, but still audible). By the end of those 10 deep breaths, the peak of discomfort has passed and the rest of the cold shower is tolerable.

Audibly counting down 10 deep breaths is a way to clearly signify that there’s an end to the discomfort.

When you step under the shower, you will still gasp as the water hits your head and upper-back, but it is not nearly as shocking as jumping straight into the cold shower without acclimating first.

Does the Hokey Pokey Method look ridiculous? Hell yeah! But who’s watching you take a shower?

If I’m taking an ice bath, I follow a similar protocol over the course of 15-20 minutes.

0:00-5:00 – Immerse up to mid-waist, my legs are under water, but my upper-torso, arms, and feet are out of the water.

5:00-15:00 – I slide further down into the tub, submerging my chest and lower neck, but I still keep my head and hands out of the water.

15:00-20:00 (OPTIONAL) – If I’m feeling like a badass, I’ll fully submerge my whole body except for my head for the final 5 minutes.

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“It’s annoying to buy a bag of ice every other day.”

I agree – here is my solution:

  • Find a System You Can Stick To – Decrease the number of ice baths you take and increase the frequency of less intense forms of cold therapy (like cold showers and ice packs). I recommend one ice bath per week. Are more ice baths better? Of course – but the good plan you follow is better than the perfect plan you don’t.
  • Get Ice Delivered – If you live in a city that Instacart serves, schedule an order of your weekly groceries through them and ask them to deliver 30 lbs of ice along with your order. If Instacart isn’t available in your city, you can hire local help using apps like Task Rabbit or Agent Anything to deliver ice to you. Additionally, most local grocery stores have delivery, just call and ask. Boom! Insta-ice without the misery of carrying it home.

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“Keeping the ice pack on is complicated and doesn’t allow for multi-tasking.”

I created a product to solve this EXACT problem called the SlimIce Pack. You wear the ice pouch similar to a backpack for 20 minutes, and it allows you to multitask at the same time. But I still recommend leaning against it for maximum effect when you’re sitting down.

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“Cold showers are just too much for me.”

Cold showers and ice baths are challenging at first. My best advice is to set a reasonable goal. If you’ve never done cold therapy before, you’re setting yourself up for ruin if you commit to 7 ice baths a week, it’s simply not going to happen.

I recommend doing 1 cold shower, 1 ice bath, and 3 nights of ice packs each week. I’ve even created a simple guide that tells people exactly what to do, when to do it, how long to do it for, and what supplies they need to get started – The SlimIce Solution – A 7-Day System to Push Through the Last 10 Lbs.

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“Which ice packs get and stay cold enough?”

Honestly, any store bought ice pack or gel pack should do just fine. The biggest difficulty I’ve found is having to hold the ice pack in place while trying to do other things.

I created a product called the SlimIce Pack, which allows you to use ice pack cold therapy and multi-task at the same time. Additionally, the gel I chose to use in the gel pack remains malleable for comfort when frozen while remaining just as cold as a frozen ice pack.

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“Do I need to shiver to lose weight?”

Some people shiver immediately during cold therapy, other people hardly shiver at all. Whether you shiver is a factor of several things:

  • How long you’ve been doing cold therapy
  • How much body fat you have (typically the more body fat you have, the less you shiver)
  • The intensity and duration of cold therapy (the more intense and the longer the duration, the more likely you are to shiver)

Shivering burns tons of calories in its own right, but it is not necessary in order to accelerate your weight loss from cold therapy.

There is a confusing term that’s been thrown around in cold therapy circles: non-shivering thermogenesis. Some people interpret this term to mean “if I shiver, I’m not increasing brown fat and burning more calories.” This is false. All the term means is that your body generates heat WITHOUT having to shiver, it does not mean that shivering turns it off. If you start to shiver, that’s fine! However, if you feel so cold that you’re shivering violently at the very beginning of cold therapy, then it’s probably too cold, and you’re going to be too miserable to continue. As explained in the following FAQ, you’re aiming for a water temperature range of 55-60 degrees.

I’m well adapted to cold therapy at this point, and I rarely shiver in my typical 8-10 minute cold shower and 15-20 minute ice baths, but it still works wonders for staying lean and fending off cupcakes on cheat day.

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References for “Do I need to shiver to lose weight?”

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“How cold should the water be? How much ice do I need to use?”

For both ice baths and cold showers, the temperature should be between 55 – 60 degrees.

If your shower doesn’t get that cold (like mine in the summer in Texas), I’ve still found cold showers to be effective, just not as effective.

For ice baths I recommend using a simple instant-read thermometer to determine how much ice you need.


Here’s what I do – I fill up the tub ¾ of the way with cold water, dump the ice bags in, move the ice around with my hands so it breaks up, and then I wait 30 seconds before testing the temperature of the water.

The quantity of ice you need depends on how cold the water coming out of the faucet is, but most likely you’re going to need 30 lbs of ice.

WARNING – Lots of people think “if 55 degrees is good, then 45 degrees is better!” I can definitively say that temperatures below 55 degrees result in a new level of misery, intolerable for almost everyone. Even if you can do it once, you’ll dread your next ice bath. Stick to the protocol of 55-60 degrees and you’ll do just fine.

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References for “How cold should the water be? How much ice do I need to use”

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“How long should I take an ice bath for? How long should I take a cold shower for?”

There are varying opinions on this that range from 2-3 minutes up to 2 hours. I believe you should commit to a lesser goal than you initially think you can handle. Why? Because you’re trying to find a system that works for years, not something you’ll do for 3 days and then give up.

Cold Showers (8-10 minutes) – I recommend taking a normal length shower, just doing it in cold water, and starting off with the Hokey Pokey Method as mentioned above to get over that first flinch.

Ice Baths (15-20 minutes) – As mentioned in the Hokey Method, I follow the following protocol for ice baths.

0:00-5:00 – Immerse up to mid-waist, my legs are under water, but my upper-torso, arms, and feet are out of the water.

5:00-15:00 – I slide further down into the tub, submerging my chest and lower neck, but I still keep my head and hands out of the water.

15:00-20:00 (OPTIONAL) – If I’m feeling like a badass, I’ll fully submerge my whole body except for my head for the final 5 minutes.

Ice Packs on Upper Back / Lower-Neck (20 minutes) – On the days I’m not taking a cold shower or an ice bath, I utilize the product I created called the SlimIce Pack on my upper-back/lower-neck. I wear it on the outside of an undershirt for up to 20 minutes.

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References for “How long should I take an ice bath for? How long should I take a cold shower for?”

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“How often should I do cold therapy?”

If you’re like me, once you learn about something new that you’ve been missing out on, you believe in it 100% and want to follow / believe in it so strongly you almost can’t tolerate alternative explanations.

This is the sure route to failure.

Moderation doesn’t mean accepting mediocrity, it means finding a system that you can stick to for life. Any new system you’re trying out needs to take into account how much time you ACTUALLY have to do something new, and the fact that sometimes you’re simply not going to stick perfectly to the plan.

With that said, I’ve created an ambitious but realistic plan that I currently follow each week – one cold shower on Wednesday night, one ice bath on Saturday morning (which is typically my diet “cheat day”), and ice packs three nights a week.

That’s it!

Is this as aggressive as daily cold showers and ice baths? Of course not, but it is simply not sustainable to take a cold shower or an ice bath every day for the rest of your life.

I recommend sticking to this plan for at least a month, and if you feel like you can up the intensity/frequency of cold therapy, go for it.

I’ve created a one-page guide that outlines my suggested weekly cold therapy regimen – The SlimIce Solution – A 7-Day System to Push Through the Last 10 Lbs.

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“Can I take a warm shower afterwards?”

I couldn’t find a definitive answer to this question in the literature, but the consensus seems to be that taking a warm shower after a cold shower or an ice bath does not significantly affect weight loss (source: mostly my own rigorous testing).

I believe the real issue is hatred for feeling cold right after a cold shower or ice bath. To reduce that misery, I always do three things to reduce the post-cold therapy misery: (1) I get a fresh clean towel to dry off with, (2) I have a fresh pair of warm socks to put on IMMEDIATELY afterwards and (3) I turn the heat on in my house BEFORE I begin cold therapy so that warm air is blowing on me the second I get out. The last one seems counter-intuitive, but remember the goal is to reach and maintain your target weight through SUSTAINABLE cold therapy, not to feel cold every waking moment.

When I take cold showers, I do it in the evening just before bed. I don’t take a warm shower after my cold shower, I just put on my warm socks and hop right into bed and that’s good enough.

When I take ice baths, I do it late Saturday morning. I’ve experimented with warm showers right after my ice bath, and it doesn’t seem to have a negative effect on my rate of fat loss.

WARNING – If you take a warm shower after cold therapy, my suggestion is to do it slowly. If your hands were freezing from being outside, would you plunge them into hot water as soon as you walked into the house? Of course not – you have to wait for normal feeling to return. I start with lukewarm water and slowly increase the temperature over the course of 5 minutes.

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“Can this be bad for the heart?” (Risks of Cold Therapy)

DISCLAIMER – I am not a doctor, and I don’t play one on the internet. Below are the risks I’ve read about. Consult your doctor if you’re concerned about starting a cold therapy regimen.

I have never experienced any adverse effects from cold therapy, but, as with anything in life, there are risks.

Mild Frostbite

Mild frostbite is the most common issue I’ve personally seen and read about (although it’s never happened to me). Every instance of mild frostbite related to cold therapy that I’m familiar with has been a direct result of putting frozen ice packs directly on skin (which I highly discourage) and leaving the frozen ice pack on too long (e.g. 45+ minutes). Dave Asprey has a great blog post on how he fell asleep while using ice packs and woke up with first degree burns on his body.

To mitigate this risk, I used moisture-wicking polyester to separate the SlimIce Pack from your skin. I also highly recommend limiting frozen gel packs to 20 minutes and wearing a thin shirt while using it.

If you’re concerned about frostbite, look at the Mayo Clinic’s symptoms of frostbite and first aid for frostbite.

The bottom line is this – be smart about cold therapy and you shouldn’t have an issue. Don’t put ice packs directly on your skin, don’t leave them on for longer than 20 minutes, and don’t fall asleep while utilizing cold therapy.

Other Risks

  • Hypothermia – according to the Mayo Clinic, prolonged exposure to any environment colder than your body can lead to hypothermia if you aren’t dressed appropriately or can’t control the conditions.
  • Cardiac risks – according to Dr. Jack Kruse, one of the foremost experts on cold therapy, before you begin, you must make sure your cardiac risks are low and talk things over with your doctor and family. Most people will have no trouble doing this at home.
  • Serious health condition – according to Dr. Jack Kruse, if you have a serious health condition, please consult a medical doctor before beginning a [cold therapy] regimen. Immediately stop treatment if you experience light-headedness or a pale pink to white coloration of the skin.
  • Chilblains – according to the Mayo Clinic, chilblains are painful inflammation of small blood vessels in your skin that occur in response to sudden warming of cold temperatures, which can cause itching, red patches, swelling and blistering on extremities. The best approach to chilblains is to avoid developing them by limiting your exposure to cold.

Aside from chilblains, most of these issues are a result of taking ice baths/cold showers that are too cold (below 55 degrees), for too long (longer than 20 minutes) or because you have a serious pre-existing condition.

Be smart, and no one gets hurt, capeesh?

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References for “Can this be bad for the heart?” (Risks of Cold Therapy)

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“The hardest part is sticking to it.”

There are multiple reasons why it’s difficult to stick to a cold therapy plan, I’ve answered each one below:

  • You lose motivation – I believe lack of motivation occurs as a result of unclear goals, an unclear path to achieve those goals, and failure to achieve desired results. I believe the primary objective of cold therapy is to reach and maintain your target weight. I’ve outlined a clear system to achieve these goals in my free download – The SlimIce Solution – A 7-Day System to Push Through the Last 10 Lbs.
  • You fail to achieve desired results – If you’ve stuck to the cold therapy for a month and you’re not steadily moving towards your target weight, you need to take a step back and objectively look at all your habits. Are you eating the right foods at least 90% of the time? Are you sleeping 7-8 hours a night? Have you eliminated the big stressors in your life? Are you doing the right type of exercise? The answers to these questions are beyond the scope of this post, but if you suspect you’re deficient in any of these areas, I highly recommend reading The Paleo Solution. You don’t have to adopt or believe every single one of his claims to benefit from the book: there is plenty of helpful information all around (including specific meal plans and recipes if you’re having difficulty figuring out what to eat).
  • You try to take cold showers in the morning – I know most people are used to taking a shower before work, and you can still do that, but I highly discourage making it a cold shower. Yes, if you were trying to optimize every minute of your day, you could just replace your hot shower with a cold one, but that’s not your goal. Your goal is to create a sustainable system to achieve and maintain your target weight. When you wake up in the morning, and you can barely get out of your nice warm bed, how many times do you think you can convince yourself to “suck it up” and take a cold shower – once? Twice maybe? Cold showers in the morning when you’re tired and your skin is more sensitive are 1,000x more miserable than cold showers in the evening.

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“It’s a hassle to take ice baths.”

I’m with you, in order to cool 30-40 gallons of water to the target temperature range of 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit, it usually requires more ice than you have in your freezer. I sympathize with the fact that lugging 30+ lbs of ice home from the corner store is a giant hassle. That’s why I recommend two tactics to reduce the hassle.

  • As I outline in my The SlimIce Solution – A 7-Day System to Push Through the Last 10 Lbs, don’t try and take ice baths every day of the week! I advocate taking no more than 1 ice bath a week, preferably late Saturday morning (which is usually my cheat day).
  • Get someone else to deliver the ice. If you live in a city that has Instacart you can have your groceries delivered for less than $4 and they’ll deliver bags of ice too (even better, you can schedule the ice delivery on Friday for Saturday morning to keep you compliant and have them carry the ice bags directly to your door). If Instacart isn’t available in your city, you can hire local help using apps like Task Rabbit or Agent Anything to deliver ice to you. Additionally, most local grocery stores have delivery, just call and ask.

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“I don’t have enough time for cold therapy.”

If you don’t have time for cold therapy, you need to fix your priorities. One cold shower and one ice bath a week take a total of 30 minutes, and the SlimIce Pack can be worn during other activities.

If you truly don’t have time for cold therapy, I recommend focusing on improving other areas of your life to achieve your target weight (e.g., your diet).

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Additional Helpful Information

What supplies do I need?

  • Instant Read Thermometer – Use this thermometer to ensure the temperature of your cold shower / ice bath is in the proper range (55-60 degrees).
  • Extra Large Big Digit Timer – Use this timer to quickly observe the amount of remaining time in your cold shower/ice bath.
  • SlimIce Pack – I created this product, and I believe the SlimIce Pack is a great way to accelerate weight loss through cold therapy without having to hold the ice pack in place, allowing you to multi-task. If you can’t afford the SlimIce Pack, follow the directions in this post to make an ice pack for less than $1.00.
  • The SlimIce Solution – A 7-Day System to Push Through the Last 10 Lbs – I created this free one-page guide that tells you exactly what form of cold therapy to do, when to do it, and how long to do it for.
  • A big warm towel and wool socks – There’s nothing worse than getting out of a cold shower or an ice bath and feeling miserably cold. Don’t dry off with a wet towel. And as soon as you’re dry, put on warm socks immediately. It will make the whole experience much better, which will decrease your anxiety the next time you attempt cold therapy.

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Disclosures and Disclaimers

  • Disclaimer – I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on the internet. If you have any concerns whatsoever about starting a cold therapy regimen, contact your doctor ahead of time. The information presented here is based on my discussions with cold therapy practitioners, my personal experience, and articles found online. The information presented here is for informational purposes only.
  • FTC Disclosure – I fully test out a variety of products before recommending them to you, for most products that I recommend I receive a small amount of affiliate revenue (this has no effect on which products I recommend). Additionally, I am the creator of the SlimIce Pack, and I own the business which sells SlimIce Packs.

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