Abdominal fat is a problem for many people, prompting them to find ways and means to get rid of belly fat fast. Unfortunately, fat in the abdominal area is often difficult to lose. Even with exercise and diet, belly fat sometimes refuses to go away. In their quest for a trim physique, some people wear abdominal belts in the hope that it will help to flatten their tummy.
Abdominal belts for weight loss are advertised on TV infomercials and the internet with promises that these devices hold the secret to rock-hard abs without the need for sit ups, crunches, or a low-calorie diet. Let’s find out more about the abdominal belt and see if it is effective for weight loss.
What Is an Abdominal Belt?
An abdominal belt is a special electronic device that you can wear around your waist at all times of the day. Manufacturers of abdominal belts claim that this device will help develop your abdominal muscles without the need for exercise. The belt electrically stimulates the abdominal muscles while you sit or relax. You can also exercise while wearing the belt to enhance the development of your abdominal muscles.
How Does an Abdominal Belt Work?
Abdominal weight loss belts are equipped with small pads that the user attaches to the bare skin. The pads contain electrodes that send a series of electrical pulses to different areas on your stomach. The pulses stimulate the muscles, allowing them to contract and relax. This simulates the effects of exercise.
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Requires FDA Clearance
Abdominal belts that use electrical muscle stimulation are classified as medical devices, according to the FDA or Food and Drug Administration. The sale of abdominal belts to consumers must be pre-approved. Currently, only the Slendertone Flex abdominal EMS belt has FDA clearance for toning the abdominal muscles.
Results of Research Studies
A small study conducted at the University of Wisconsin measured the effects of abdominal EMS belts on test subjects. The test subjects wore the belts for 20 to 40 minutes every day, five days a week. At the end of the study, the test subjects reported losing an average of 1.38 inches around their waist. Abdominal strength increased by an average of 58%. The control group reported no significant changes in these measurements. Neither group experienced significant weight loss.
The study was funded by a former distributor of Slendertone Flex belts.
Are Abdominal Belts Effective?
Abdominal belt manufacturers claim that aerobic exercise can benefit belt wearers. The stretching and constant movement during aerobic exercise along with electric impulses from the belt is said to stimulate the abdominal muscles more intensely. The Federal Trade Commission, however, says abdominal belts have questionable value to consumers. The FDA also warns that these devices have caused minor and serious injuries including pain, irritation, bruises and burns. There are no magic pills or devices for losing weight. The only proven combination is a good diet and exercise.