Monday, February 15, 2010

Do Body Wraps Work for Weight Loss?

Two Types of Body Wraps Examined

Ostensibly in today’s world, there are two types of body wraps.  The older and more conventional kind of body wrap is done with bandages or plastic and is designed in theory to increase the vasodilation in your body and create rapid weight loss as a result.  The newer body wraps attempt to create quick weight loss through detoxification and vasodilation and uses a mask created from products like lotion, cream, clay, mud, seaweed or algae.

These methods are interesting, but the question is do body wraps really work?  As with most things, the results on that front are mixed.

Conventional Wraps

The conventional wraps were supposed to constrict the body and essentially force a loss of weight and inches through the same principle that corsets use.  What has been found when investigations of these wraps were done is that weight loss and a smaller waistline can indeed be attributed directly to the use of these wraps.  In other words, if you take the time to get a really tight body wrap treatment, what you’ll find is that you’ll lose some weight and some inches in the immediate aftermath of that treatment.

That being said, the investigation also found that the weight loss was only temporary.  In almost all of the cases that have been looked at, the body type and weight would revert back to their pre-wrap condition within a week or two of the wrap treatment taking effect.  The main reason for this is that even though body wraps can help you gain some short term improvements in both your weight and your inch counts, only a lifestyle change can preserve those gains.  Your body has an equilibrium position based on your current lifestyle and while a wrap can move you positively away from that position, continuing your current lifestyle will eventually move you back.

Modern Wraps

Modern wraps are a bit of a different beast.  The reason for this is that they don’t use plastic or bandages, but rather natural substances that affect you both on a physical level and a biological level.  At the same time that they are constricting you in the same way a conventional wrap would, they are also increasing the temperature of your body (i.e. “sweating” out the bad substances), stimulating your metabolism and attempting to detoxify most of the really bad substances from your body.

What does this mean?  It means that in the long run, modern wraps will have better results than conventional wraps.  This is shown by the evidence as well since most people that have been subjected to both treatments have incurred more long term gains from conventional wraps than modern wraps.

That being said, benefits like metabolic boost and detoxification, while longer term than simple vasodilation, will also eventually be brought back into your body’s equilibrium state if you continue with your diet and exercise how they currently are.  Based on the results discussed above, it is best to think of conventional wraps as a short term solution and modern wraps as a medium term solution.  If you want to be fit in the long term, you need to change your lifestyle.  Wraps can’t do that for you alone but a healthy lifestyle can.