As many of you embark on the New Year and new fitness goals, you probably have wondered if there is anything you can do to reach your goals faster. There has to be a shortcut to losing inches and burning fat, right?! Calorie restriction via dieting and calorie expenditure via exercise cannot be the only way. There has to be a pill, non-strenuous exercise, or SOMETHING that will expedite the journey to that lean, healthy body. According to some salons and websites, that magical solution has arrived in the form of body wraps. Let’s take a look!
Claims vary from company to company, but the basic assertion is that body wraps detoxify your body and shrink fat cells resulting in significant reductions in circumference measurements. I visited one of the sites, and the pictures are pretty impressive (amazing what Photoshop, bad lighting, and slight posture modifications can do). I understand how one might be fooled into trying these wraps. However, I also visited every scholarly journal I have access to and found NOTHING supporting the claims. NOTHING! To add to the lack of scientific research on body wraps, a PhD of exercise physiology at the University of Oklahoma recently purchased a body wrap to perform some unpublished research of his own. No changes were found when the thickness of fat tissue were measured via ultrasound. After contacting the distributor for an explanation/refund, he was told that the exact toxins being removed were unknown; he never received an explanation or refund.
Body wraps DON’T cause fat loss. You may lose an inch due to compression and excessive sweating, but absolutely zero fat loss will occur. The physiological mechanism for fat loss requires triglycerides (fat) to be removed from the cell and THEN broken down for energy use. If you are NOT increasing energy expenditure or reducing intake, your body will not burn stored energy. Therefore, in order to burn fat , you must restrict intake, increase expenditure, OR even better, a combination of both.