When you are looking to lose belly fat, you can find a slew of products in stores that claim to target the abs and help you reach your weight loss goals. Belts are available over the counter with different technologies used to help to trim the waistline. Although abdominal belts may have some benefits, none of the products have been scientifically proven to effectively get rid of belly fat.
Waist belts made from neoprene are marketed to individuals looking to increase their weight loss results during exercise. To use, you place the belt around the abdomen and secure it with Velcro enclosures. The idea behind the product is that the neoprene helps retain heat in the abdominal muscles. Manufacturers claim that this increases the rate of perspiration and will help you lose more weight.
No clinical trials have been performed with neoprene belts to prove whether you lose belly fat with regular usage. Claims that heat will help melt fat cells or increase metabolism is unfounded. Although your rate of perspiration may increase and you could lose water by sweating during a workout, the fluid loss will be replenished as soon as you rehydrate after you exercise.
Another type of device worn to get rid of belly fat is a belt using electronic muscle stimulation technology, or EMS. When you wear an EMS belt, an electrical current goes through the skin to cause the abdominal muscles to contract. According to the Food and Drug Administration, EMS belts are effective for toning, firming and strengthening muscles in the abdomen. Although electronic muscle stimulators have been approved by the FDA in a medical setting for the treatment of muscle spasms, muscle atrophy prevention and improvements in range of motion, they have not been approved for weight loss or girth reduction purposes.
Although EMS belts may tone the abs, side effects are associated with the device. Potential side effects include shocks, burns, skin rashes and bruises. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have an implantation device, such as an IUD or defibrillator, you should not use an EMS belt.