Abs work harder without the support of a wrap.
Some exercisers consider using a belly wrap, a product that serves to kick up their workouts a notch, so they can lose weight faster. People who weigh themselves immediately after they worked out while wearing a belly wrap might discover that they have lost weight. That explains the attraction to using the device. But the weight loss achieved is not from losing fat; it merely reflects fluid loss from excessive sweating. When you replace the fluid loss by rehydrating, you gain back the weight.
Belly wraps cause excess sweating during a workout, leading to temporary water-weight loss.
Examine the Claims
Belly wraps heat up the midsection area during a workout, which is supposed to help target the weight loss to that area. People claim that they do lose weight and drop dress or pant sizes after wearing a belly wrap while exercising and combining that effort with eating healthy foods. In reality, people lose weight anyway when they begin an exercise and diet regimen. They might lose weight while wearing the belly wrap, but the weight loss is not from the belly wrap per se.
Accept the Reality
Wearing a belly wrap during a workout could actually hinder weight loss, says Pete McCall, a San Diego, Calif., exercise physiologist, in a "Los Angeles Times" article. The belly wrap supports the muscles during a workout. As a result, the muscles don't work as hard. People get a better workout exercising their abdominals without the belly wrap.
Gary Hunter, a nutrition professor at the University of Alabama, agrees with McCall and adds that when people are overheated as can happen while wearing a belly wrap, they typically don't work out as hard. That also curbs their total amount of weight loss.
A group susceptible to the temptation of claims of losing belly fat fast is women who have recently delivered a baby. Wearing a belly wrap can feel good for postpartum women because the wrap provides back support. Women also look better and can fit in smaller clothes because the wrap acts like a girdle. Donnica Moore, a doctor and author of "Women's Health for Life," writes on WebMD that a belly wrap, because it compresses the abs, could help shrink the uterus, which helps flatten the belly.
Be Aware of the Danger
"Body suits cause you to sweat like a moose in heat on a hot Texas prairie," writes Alice of Columbia Health's Go Ask Alice column. The danger is that your sweat doesn't dry when you wear a body wrap or suit, so your body temperature rises to at-times unsafe levels. In 1997, three wrestlers died from wearing full body suits while exercising. Signs that indicate you're in trouble from overheating in a body suit or belly wrap include dizziness, weakness and mental confusion.