The 10 Best Hot Belts
10. Bracoo Advanced
9. McDavid 491R
8. Your Weigh Trimmer
7. HBT Gear Fitness
6. Reformer Athletics Adjustable
5. Hot Shapers Thermal
4. TNT Pro Series
3. Fitru Wrap
1. Sweet Sweat
Hot Belts: Do They Actually Work?
It may sound too good to be true: just slide a hot belt over your stomach and, in no time at all, you'll look down to see sexy, rippling, six-pack abs. Do these things actually work?
The answer is, of course...it depends. They're certainly not miracle devices that will magically suck all the fat out of your body, but if used in conjunction with a healthy diet and vigorous exercise routine, they may be able to speed the weight loss process along a little bit. However, the weight you lose might not be the weight you want to lose.
Before we go any further, it's probably best to explain how these devices are supposed to work. The basic underlying theory is that, by trapping heat around your midsection, it will raise your internal temperature and force you to burn calories all day long, even while you're watching TV, sitting around at work, or buying weight loss products on the internet.
The problem with this is that, while you may see the scale go down, most of the pounds lost will be in the form of water weight, not fat. Raising your body temperature only makes you sweat; it has no effect on your metabolism (in fact, if you want to burn fat, you should probably lower your body temperature, not raise it).
Not only will you still have leftover fat to deal with, but the weight will come back as soon as you re-hydrate — and if you don't replace all the water you lose, you run the risk of dealing with the fallout from being dehydrated.
All that being said, if you need to drop a few pounds in a hurry, wearing a hot belt while exercising may be able to help you slip into that dress or make weight before a wrestling match. Just be extremely careful, and know that you're risking your health to serve your vanity.
At the end of the day, there's no cheat code that will allow you to lose weight without putting in the work. The good news is, diet and exercise really work — and you don't have to sit through any annoying informercials to try them out.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Hot Belt
As mentioned above, the first thing you should probably do is temper your expectations, especially if you're not planning on doing anything beyond wearing it around the house.
For best results, you'll need to pair it with an effective exercise routine, especially one that's heavy on the cardio. High intensity interval training is a smart choice, and most hot belts shouldn't interfere with the exercises involved.
Although you're going to be primarily losing water weight, it's absolutely essential that you drink plenty of water throughout the exercise process. Remember, athletes have died from cutting weight before fights and wrestling matches, so you're playing with fire (or at least lack of water) to a certain extent here. Keep a water bottle handy at all times while you work out.
Of course, you'll also need to cut back on the ice cream and Twinkies. You won't accomplish anything unless you burn more calories than you consume, so find a diet that enables you to create a calorie deficit. It will help if you actually like the food you eat and it keeps you full, so don't just jump on the first fad diet you come across. Take the time to find one that actually works for you.
Also, if you decide to try out a hot belt, make sure you wear it consistently. It's certainly not going to do you any good at the bottom of a drawer, and most options are slim and low-profile enough that you can wear them under your clothes without anyone noticing. In fact, they can help create a slimmer silhouette, even if you're not actually losing any weight.
In fact, if you think about it, that's the goal anyway, right? To look like you lost weight without actually having to do it?
Other Uses For Your Hot Belt
While wearing one of these contraptions won't immediately give you a swimsuit-ready body, there may be other reasons why trying one on can have a positive impact on your health.
Some people use them as posture correctors. They hug your core extremely tightly, helping to keep your vertebrae in line and reminding you to stand or sit up straight. If you tend to slouch, wearing one of these might be the reminder you need to improve your posture.
Likewise, anyone with lower back problems might appreciate the constant pressure these things exert on your spine. There is some evidence that pressure improves blood flow as well, so they could possibly help promote healing for soft tissue injuries.
You may even want to keep one on in place of a weightlifting belt if you do heavy lifting, as it can provide some of the (possibly dubious) benefit of the more rigid models while being more comfortable in the middle of a squat or deadlift.
Softer hot belts can act as a lumbar cushion, so anyone who spends all day at a desk or stuck behind the wheel of an automobile could possibly find that these help them to be more comfortable, especially when paired with a dedicated lumbar support.
When you consider everything these belts can potentially do, combined with their reasonable cost, you may just find that wearing one is right for you, even if it never sculpts your core to resemble that of a Greek god — unless of course the Greeks had a god of cake.