Weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you consume. This can be done through aerobic exercise, strength training and eating a healthy, low-calorie diet. Increasing the work you do while exercising can help you lose weight in a shorter amount of time; this can be achieved by wearing a weighted vest. Wearing a weight vest while working out increases your exercise intensity, helps you burn more calories and can result in a greater amount of weight loss.
The Workings of a Weight Vest
There are many weighted vests on the market that vary in weight and comfort. The weight range is usually between 4 and 50 lbs. Some vests have a fixed weight while others allow you to add or remove weight pouches to adjust the amount of weight you carry. Many are one-size-fits-all and come with adjustable straps that you can loosen or tighten to fit your body size. Certain vests balance the weight between the front and back, so may be more comfortable; others only have weight in the front and can feel lopsided. Those with more padding on the shoulders can reduce rubbing as the vest bounces around when you move.
Let's Talk About Weight
The amount of weight you can lose wearing a weight vest depends on how heavy it is. Wearing a heavier weight vest can cause you to burn more calories during any physical activity. This is because your body has to do more work to move more weight around. Wearing a weight vest that is 10 percent of your body weight can help you burn up to 8 percent more calories than doing the same activity without a weight vest. The more weight you add, the more calories you will burn. You must burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat, so the more calories you burn per activity, the faster you will lose weight.
In general, exercising at a higher intensity helps you burn more calories and lose weight more quickly. This effect is compounded when exercising at a higher intensity while wearing a weight vest. A 140-pound person can burn about 319 calories running at a speed of 6 mph for 30 minutes without wearing a weighted vest. Since a person wearing a weight vest that is 10 percent of her body weight can burn 8 percent more calories doing the same activity, if she wears a 14-lb. weight vest while running at this pace for the same amount of time, she can burn an additional 26 calories. If she picks up the pace to 7 mph while wearing a weight vest, she can burn 30 more calories than she would running at that speed without wearing the weight vest. The faster you go while wearing a weight vest, the more calories you will burn and the more weight you can lose.
The Food Factor
Regardless of the amount of weight you add to the vest or the intensity of your workout, you will not lose weight unless you adjust your diet. Wearing a weight vest cannot overcome poor eating habits if you are still consuming more calories than you burn. To make this piece of equipment truly effective, reduce your caloric intake by 250 calories a day. Cutting calories gradually will prevent your metabolism from slowing down, according to Dr. Pierre Manfroy, contributor to the book "100 Ways to Supercharge Your Metabolism." Choose foods that are low in fat, such as fruit and vegetables, and limit those that have little nutritional value, such as cookies and chips. This, in combination with working out with a weight vest, can help you lose more weight quickly.