Fitness column: Body wraps are not an effective weight-loss tool
Let’s first clarify that I’m not an expert in body wraps; I don’t know all the benefits of using them. What I have learned is that they’re a spot treatment for detoxifying, moisturizing skin and relaxing. Also, some hope to lose weight by using body wraps.
What I do know about is weight loss. Therefore, I can help you uncover the truth behind using body wraps to lose weight.
Some believe that a body wrap is the best way to lose weight because they make people sweat when they are using it. In fact, many believe that sweating causes fat burning. While you can lose water weight with body wraps, it does not mean that you’re burning fat.
The truth is that sweating does not cause fat loss. Sweating is the human body’s natural mechanism to get rid of heat. Have you ever felt cold after getting out of the shower or getting your clothes wet? Sweating works the same way. It wets the skin to cool down the body faster. If the body starts to overheat, sweat is released.
Of course, if you get into a sauna or steam room and cover yourself with blankets, you are going to sweat. That’s because you’re getting so hot that your body needs to cool down to avoid heat stroke. It doesn’t affect your fat loss whatsoever.
Interestingly enough, there is a correlation between sweat and weight loss. And once again, this could be because of the water lost or because much of the time when you sweat heavily you are exercising and burning calories. Therefore, the weight loss is attributed to exercise, not sweat itself.
To further explain, fat burning does not happen because body temperature increases, temperature increases because fat burning is happening.
There is no research that shows that body wraps work for losing weight. However, since some people are looking for an easy way to lose fat, others are finding ways to profit from that. The result? Body wraps marketed as a weight loss tool.
On the other hand, aside from spending your money and time, I have not found negative side effects to using a body wrap. So it seems like it’s harmless compared to other products people use for weight loss, such as pills.
I’m not saying that body wraps are wrong or right. I have nothing against them. As I mentioned before, they may help with other issues, such as smoothing the skin or relaxation, but don’t put your hopes on losing weight with them. You’re better off walking an hour and burning some calories and increasing your metabolism than hoping to tone your body by sitting with your body covered up. If it were that easy, everyone would have a toned and beautiful body from using body wraps.
If you are looking for fat loss, pay the effort, time and dedication. There is no other way out. Don’t waste your time and money. Your future you will thank you for making this decision now.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale, author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently” and a Watch Fit columnist. His column appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Body & More.
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