a body wrap

Debunking Body Wraps for Weight Loss

Body wraps have recently become a popular way of losing weight and reducing waistlines, but are they really as effective as they claim? This health trend involves applying an exfoliating cream, normally made of mud, seaweed, or salt, and then wrapping a customer tightly in plastic or mylar. The wraps are left for roughly 20 minutes before being removed. While many individuals claim success with this treatment, response from actual weight loss experts has been overwhelmingly negative. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons why body wraps aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

They don’t have the support of science.

According to a statement by the Food and Drug Administration, there is currently no research to support any of the claims made by promoters of body wraps—which include the idea that body wraps “melt fat,” improve your metabolism, or reduce your appetite.

They promote an outdated view of weight loss.

You’ll hear the term “spot reduction” a lot when it comes to body wraps. This is the idea that you can burn fat from specific areas of the body—in this case, the abdomen. While this view is still relatively common in the mainstream health world for obvious commercial reasons, it has no solid scientific research to back it up. Instead, most experts now believe that weight is lost rather uniformly across the body and that this can only be achieved through diet and exercise.

They don’t provide lasting results.

It’s true that users may find their midsections slimmer immediately after a body wrap session, but these results don’t last for long. Most of the inches lost are due to a combination of the compression of the wraps and their dehydrating effect on the body. You’ll typically find that these results disappear completely within one to two days as your body rehydrates and recovers from the compression.

They can be dangerous.

Body wraps often cause excessive sweating, which can lead to your temperature rising to unsafe levels. Additionally, they may also reduce the volume of blood in the body, which can lead to dizziness, nausea, and in extreme cases, cell damage. While few people experience side effects this severe, there’s still the risk that body wraps can do more damage than good. 

Last Updated: February 15, 2017