Extra belly fat can make you self-conscious about wearing form-fitting clothing or swimwear. Wearing a slimmer belt may seem like a solution for your stubborn stomach fat, but the results are only temporary.
A slimmer belt is a neoprene wrap designed to help you reduce the circumference of your midsection through compression of your fat cells. Wearing a slimmer belt while working out may help you lose inches, but your fat cells will return to normal once you decompress.
Slimmer belts are not as advertised. Your waist may appear smaller once you unwrap, but your fat cells will quickly return to normal shape.
Sweating It Out
Wearing a body wrap belt underneath your clothing while working out helps to increase sweat production so you lose water weight. If you wrap the slimmer belt around your stomach while doing cardiovascular activity, it will help raise your core temperature, producing more sweat as your body tries to cool itself.
But according to exercise science Len Kravitz, PhD, of the University of New Mexico, staying hydrated is essential for normal bodily functions and for peak exercise performance. What's more, the fluid to produce additional sweat will not necessarily come from your waistline.
Putting a Squeeze on Fat
When tightly wrapped, a slimmer belt will compress your fat cells, says Mayo Clinic. Even if you are just getting started in your weight loss journey, the slimmer belt can help you look smaller. However, once you decompress, your cells will gradually revert to their normal size and shape. You are not losing fat cells by wrapping, and that the dehydration process can be harmful to some individuals.
Posture vs. Impostor
If you are out of shape and have weak core muscles, wrapping a slimmer belt around your midsection sucks in your stomach and straightens your back. The slimmer belt forces you to improve your posture since it is difficult to slouch while wearing one. But wearing a compression belt can keep you from using your abdominal and postural muscles and can contribute over time to greater muscle weakness and worsening posture.
Instead work on strengthening your core: back, front and sides. Performing exercises for your core — obliques, rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis, and your back muscles — will have the added benefit of toning and tightening your waist and abdomen.
A Better Approach
The fastest, longest lasting and least expensive way to trim inches from your midsection and improve your posture is through exercise and balanced nutrition. To lose unwanted fat, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends performing 150 to 300 minutes weekly of moderately intense aerobic activity.
Walking, running, cycling and swimming are all good choices. To improve muscle tone and posture, perform resistance training for all your major muscle groups on two to three non-consecutive days weekly for 20 minutes at a time, and perform whole-body flexibility exercises, such as yoga, at least once or twice per week.
- University of New Mexico: "Staying Cool When Your Body Is Hot"
- GoAskAlice! "Working out While Wrapped in Plastic — Good for Weight Loss?"
- Health.gov: “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition”
- Mayo Clinic: "Can Wearing a Girdle Help Tighten Stomach Muscles?"
- ACE Fitness: "Beginner Core Exercises to Increase Stability and Mobility"