More than one third of American adults were obese as of 2010 according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some clothing is marketed as burning off of fat faster than ordinary clothing. In some cases, the weight lost is water, not fat. However some clothing can be beneficial for weight loss.
Workout apparel should be appropriate in its ability to allow for comfortable movement and protection from the environment. Clothing for exercise should be made of a lightweight flexible material such as spandex, according to researcher Peter Janiszewski, PhD. He adds that cotton-blend clothing that is made to draw moisture away from your body can encourage your body to cool down naturally while also feeling comfortable when exercising.
A sauna suit is usually made from nylon, vinyl or a similar material and cuffed at the openings to keep your body's heat within the suit. Sauna suits are marketed as a way of burning off more fat. Unfortunately, explains Cedric X. Bryant of ACE Fitness, sauna suits may be harmful because they prevent the body from cooling itself down. This can lead to dangerous increases in your body's temperature, posing a risk for heat exhaustion, especially if you're exercising in a warm climate. If you do lose weight by wearing a sauna suit, it's likely to be largely water that has been excreted as perspiration as your body attempts to reduce your internal temperature.
Weighted clothing items, like vests, are intended to increase weight loss. Carrying extra weight forces your body to expend more energy. It appears that weighted clothing is effective in increasing metabolism, even in highly conditioned athletes. A 2006 research study published in "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" found that exercising on a treadmill at higher speeds while wearing a weighted vest increased participants' metabolic rates.
The key to losing weight, explains the Mayo Clinic in their online guide "Weight Loss," is to expend more calories than you consume. To burn a pound of fat you'll need to burn an excess 3,500 calories. Aside from increasing physical activity, you can reduce your consumption of calories to encourage your body to use excess fat stores in your body.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Adult Obesity Facts
- National Institute on Aging: Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging
- American Heart Association: Losing Weight
- Cedric X. Bryant: ACE Fitness: Q: What Steps Can an Individual Take To Avoid Heat Injury When Exercising in a Hot Environment?
- European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology: Metabolic Response of Endurance Athletes to Training With Added Load.
- Sports Medicine: Clothing and Thermoregulation
- Shape Fit: Sauna Sweat Suits
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: The Effect of Weighted Vest Walking on Metabolic Responses and Ground Reaction Forces.
- Mayo Clinic: Weight Loss
- Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images