Are you tired of being overweight? Do you long to fit into those size 6 jeans hanging in your closet? But do you fail on every diet and exercise plan because you are tired, stressed, and just don’t have time to do them right? Well then, why not try something simple like wearing a belt that makes your weight melt away, metabolism speed up and your husband take out the garbage without you asking him to? Oh….wait…that’s not one of the claims the belt makes. But does it matter – none of the claims are true anyway.
There are many weight loss belts out there. All make the same claims – they will speed up your metabolism and help you burn massive amounts of calories and lose weight, all without diet and exercise. They claim that their belts work by heating up a targeted area – usually the waist and hips. This heat will then increase your core temperature and warming your muscles and fat tissues. This accelerates the rate at which you burn fat, causes you to sweat and improves your circulation which improves your metabolism.
Let’s address the metabolism issue first. Your metabolism is a physical and chemical process that converts calories into energy. Metabolism can be increased by exercise and by building muscle. Heat does not increase metabolism. If it did, then every person who lived through a summer in Florida would be waif like. Even if your core temperature is significantly increased (which, during a muggy 98 degree summer day on the beach, it most likely is) this will not cause your cells to begin to release glucose more quickly. It also will not increase the amount of energy you need. So, whether you are lying down wearing a weight loss belt or lying on a blanket on the hot beach, you will not be increasing your metabolism. Now, if you are playing volleyball on the hot beach, you will burn more calories and, therefore, increase your metabolism.
The next claim is that heat causes your body to burn more fat. While it may be true that heat could cause your body to work hard at cooling yourself, there is no scientific evidence that heat will help you burn a significant amount of calories or any fat. Imagine sitting at home with the belt on for 8 hours. If you burn an extra 2 calories per hour with the belt on, that would be 16 calories burned in an intensely sweaty 8 hour period. Since it takes a loss of 3,500 calories to burn 1 pound of weight off, you only have another 219, 8 hour sessions with the belt before you lose a pound.
Lastly, the belt claims to improve your circulation. There is no scientific evidence that heat affects your blood’s overall circulation. Localized heat can help blood vessels dilate and improve blood flow and oxygen to that area. This does not necessarily affect your entire cardiovascular system, nor does is assist in weight loss.
After a few sweaty days of wearing the belt, you may notice that you lose a little water weight and that the areas that you wore the belt are slightly less bloated looking. This will be a minimal difference- providing you get any at all. Any water weight lost will be gained back the next time you eat. In fact, you may burn more calories by doing the additional laundry that you’ll have to do as a result of getting all your clothes and furniture sweaty.
If you decide that you want to give the belt a try, be sure to consult with your physician and find out if you should increase your water consumption to combat any potential dehydration issues.