About Slimming Belts

Slimming belts, which are worn around the midsection during exercise, are purported to help trim belly fat. Some manufacturers of slimming belts claim that their products can increase your core temperature, thereby increasing the rate at which you burn fat. Others simply claim that you can shed water weight through increased sweating. The reality is that these products do not aid fat loss and may hinder it, exercise physiologist and American College of Sports Medicine spokesman Pete McCall explained to the Los Angeles Times in 2010.

A young woman is tightening a slimming belt around her waist.
Credit: humonia/iStock/Getty Images

The Reality

According to the Los Angeles Times, studies have shown that slimming belts do increase the temperature of your stomach. But that doesn't increase your fat burn, it only increases how much you sweat. According to Columbia University's Go Ask Alice! website, lost water weight will return as soon as you rehydrate. McCall told the Los Angeles Times that exercisers may actually burn fewer calories when wearing these belts because they support your midsection, preventing your muscles from engaging.

Dangers

If the ineffectiveness of slimming belts isn't enough to dissuade you from trying them out, their potential danger should be. Professor Gary Hunter of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's school of nutrition explained to the Los Angeles Times that these bands may cause dehydration and even heat exhaustion or heat stroke. The Go Ask Alice! website notes that "continued fluid loss may lead to weakness, dizziness, mental confusion, and even coma and death."

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