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Does Working Out with Plastic Wrap on Your Stomach Help You Lose Belly Fat?

author image Jake Wayne
Jake Wayne has written professionally for more than 12 years, including assignments in business writing, national magazines and book-length projects. He has a psychology degree from the University of Oregon and black belts in three martial arts.
Does Working Out with Plastic Wrap on Your Stomach Help You Lose Belly Fat?
Roll of plastic wrap Photo Credit: Nomadsoul1/iStock/Getty Images

No matter how many times experts debunk their claims, certain elements of the weight loss industry spend billions of dollars a year convincing Americans that you can lose weight successfully with tricks and fads. A plastic wrap treatment is an example of this kind of fad -- an idea that seems to make sense on the surface but has little real effect of any value.

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How to Lose Fat

You lose fat when you make your body burn fat. If you eat more calories than you burn in exercise and other activity, your body stores the excess energy as fat. When you burn more calories than you eat, your body burns that fat to make up the difference. The burned fat is gone, and you lose weight.

Plastic Wrap and Weight Loss

Some fashion models, bodybuilders and combat athletes use plastic wrap and similar methods to create a watertight barrier on their skin while working out. This establishes a humid environment in the covered area, raising the local temperature and making the athlete sweat more. This helps the wearer lose water weight, which can make a short-term difference for a photo shoot, weigh-in or competition. That weight goes back on when the person rehydrates -- and has nothing to do with belly fat.

Spot Reduction

The idea that you can target specific body areas for weight loss is called "spot reduction." It's a firmly debunked myth. Your body does not lose weight from a targeted part, even if you focus on it via exercise choice or wrapping it in plastic. The body loses weight from its entirety. Even if a plastic wrap did increase your fat burning, wrapping your belly in plastic would not accelerate fat loss from that area alone.

Bottom Line

No. Working out with plastic wrap on your stomach does not help you lose belly fat. Instead, your best results will come from following widely accepted fitness advice: eat fewer calories and exercise more.

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