Detox teas. The Kardashians and their waist-trainers. Spa seaweed wraps promising slimmer thighs. Spanx. Infomercials at 3 a.m. Let's be honest: women won't be facing a shortage of get-slim-fast products and treatments any time soon. While some say they are efficient quick fixes for big events and postpartum weight loss, other women say they don't quite measure up to their claims. But what about safety? When worn too tight, waist-trainers have reportedly caused heartburn and detox beverages might contain ingredients that cause liver damage or heart issues. But are It Works wraps safe to use?
First of all, the details on It Works!: The website stated the wraps are a "site-specific body contouring treatment" that nixes the need for "more drastic measures like cosmetic surgeries or constricting shapewear." Infused with a "powerful, botanically-based formula" the cloth wraps are said to tighten, tone, and firm the body when applied to the skin.
But even though similar body wraps offered at spas tout helping users to shed anywhere from 6 to 20 inches, a recent ABC News investigative story uncovered that not only were the claims false, but that the wraps could be dangerous, even deadly, as a result of dehydration.
"Wraps work via dehydration and anything that dehydrates your body has the potential to be dangerous," Dr. Alex Roher, a California-based doctor, tells Romper in an email interview.
But what about the claims? Does "This crazy wrap thing!" live up to the hype? Roher says don't count on it.
"While body wraps may temporarily tighten your skin, it's not permanent," he says. "You see, it's not really taking off fat. It's simply water weight and retention. The wraps claim to work thanks to ingredients that 'soak in' and dissolve fat. It's an impossible claim — it does not happen."
Dani Singer, a nationally-certified personal trainer and CEO of Baltimore-based Fit2Go Personal Training, agrees, adding that "the only way to lose fat is to create a caloric deficit, or burn more calories than you consume."
"The science hasn't changed," he says in an email interview with Romper. "So any time you hear about something that sounds a little too good to be true — it is. I don't take pride in being a Debbie Downer, but I do take pride in dispelling lies."
So, what really "works" then? Singer keeps it simple: "Want to lose weight? Create a caloric deficit. Nothing else. Want to tone up? Strength train consistently. Nothing else."
Sure, a quick fix sounds appealing when you consider — ugh — healthy foods and exercise. But it sounds like the moral of the story is that, while harder, they are also much more reliable and safe than any wrap treatment out there.