“Hardcore wrap” (Weight loss wraps)

BUBWRAP

My yo-yo physique hasn’t rebounded for a while so I could handle this in multiple ways. I could choose to be indifferent about my waistline. I could decrease the calories consumed while increasing the calories burned. Or I could combine the two ideas and lose weight without effort through stomach wraps.

This should bring weight loss. But that is different from fat loss and the effects would be temporary. Water would be lost through sweating, which would cause modest, temporary effect to take place over the entire body, not just the wrapped area. I could wrap my chest or legs and get the same result, but purveyors of these products instruct customers to use the stomach because that’s where the bulge is.

In a world where mainstream media regularly gives credulous coverage to folk remedies, it is refreshing to see major outlets call bunk on this one.

CNN interviewed medicine professor Dr. Erica Brownfield, who told the network, “These results are going to be temporary and there is no scientific data to support what they’re claiming. Those fat cells, once you decompress them and take those wraps off, they’re going to go back to their usual shape and size.”

Meanwhile, ABC consumer correspondent Greg Hunter examined Suddenly Slender Body Wraps, which founder Victoria Morton claims will result in a whopping 6 to 20 inches from a one-hour wrap session. Like Brownfield, Quackwatch contributor Dr. Victor Herbert says that any weight loss will be through water and the effect will be fleeting.

Morton claims that in addition to water, customers lose “the waste, the stuff that builds up and makes us sick and tired.” Similar merchants claim toxin removal, but none identity what waste or toxin is being exorcised or how that would affect cellulite reduction.

For the ABC experiment, two volunteers wrapped themselves before dancing to an exercise video. Morton took before and after measurements and insisted both volunteers lost at least six inches. But upon further review of the video, Hunter noticed that “before” measurements were taken right above the navel, while “after” measurements were done several inches above that. Additionally, the “before” measurement came with Morton affixing her fingers behind the tape, making for a larger circumference. The “after” measurement came with the tape taut. If there was any loss in the belly button vicinity, it was gone by the next day when ABC conducted a follow-up measurement.

Some are attempting a more futuristic spin on the weight-loss wrap notion by implementing infrared generators. Clients lay on a bed while silicone pads are strapped one the subject and they remain under a heated blanket during the session. The supposed value is that the infrared waves will penetrate deep into fat cells, impacting body temperature, metabolism, and blood circulation. The heat then breaks down fats into a liquid form, which are in turn excreted along with still-undefined toxins.

But Discover spoke with Williams College physiologist Steven Swoap, who put the scientific kibosh on this notion by stating simply, “Fats don’t come out of sweat glands.” So for me it’s either apathy or more treadmill and less Pop-Tarts. And with a special this week on cherry and chocolate flavors, it’s an easy decision.

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