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Body Wraps for Weight Loss: Do They Actually Work?
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Body Wraps for Weight Loss: Do They Actually Work?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 12
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5 min

When determined to lose weight, it is common for people to try every trick under their sleeve to fulfill their quest to lead a healthy lifestyle. Body wraps are a popular option with many people.

body wraps for weight loss

Body wraps come in different types and are popular slimming products across many health spas in the U.S.

Some SPA salons promote body wraps as the perfect way to relax and moisturize in a single treatment. Others, however, believe that using this method is a great way to detoxify, slim down, or get rid of cellulite.

While the market is flooded with numerous products that claim to be the perfect solution for those seeking to lose weight, it can be hard to find one that works.

Understanding how weight loss wraps are designed to work is important to know whether they meet your expectations and deliver the best results.

Depending on the type you choose, you might notice inch loss, reduced appearance of cellulite, relaxed muscles, and hydrated or cleansed skin.

Here is an up-close look at everything you need to know about body wraps.

Body Wraps – What Is It?

A body wrap is a SPA treatment that aims at reducing body measurements to enhance the appearance of the skin. Wraps make the wrapped area sweat without exercising, getting rid of toxins and giving the skin a healthy and tighter appearance.

Though body wraps don’t burn fat, they cause inch loss due to dehydration and localized skin tightening. The inch loss could only last for some time because it’s a result of losing water weight.

Body wraps offer a quick fix, but if you’re looking for a proven solution to lose weight, proper diet and exercise are the most effective ways to achieve significant weight loss.

While linen was a popular option for wraps, plastic and blankets are preferred nowadays. Although body wraps share the same principle as sauna treatment, they are believed to be more effective.

Do Body Wraps Work for Weight Loss?

Body wraps will not help you reduce weight. While using them leaves the covered area feeling smooth and soft, most of the slimming won’t result from burning calories. Instead of fat, you lose water when you sweat, and you’re likely to go back to your weight no sooner than you drink water or eat.

This is especially true with infrared body wraps that are often flaunted for their ability to burn calories. Rather than heating the body from the surrounding air, they heat it from within.

Manufacturers of this particular type of wrap claim that infrared light penetrates the skin, inducing sweating, and thus can detoxify the body.

However, we can confidently argue this claim since the liver and kidneys usually remove toxins from the body. Sweating only works by helping us cool off.

Claims that support the role of slimming wraps are merely anecdotal since there’s no scientific evidence that heating the body using them will burn or melt fat from within.

However, a body wrap hastens weight loss when combined with other forms of exercise. 19 women revealed that performing aerobic exercises with a clay-based wrap increased the rate of burning belly fat.

Types of Body Wraps

There are different types of body wraps available in the market and SPA salons. Here are some common wraps offered by salons to help you cut weight and reduce cellulite:

#1 Heat wraps

Heated body wraps are designed to get rid of fat and enable one to lose inches. Most heat wraps require that you first apply a thin layer of topical heat cream on the specific areas before encasing them in a non-breathable plastic film. This wrap treatment creates heat, inducing perspiration.

Some products require that you stick to strict dietary guidelines. This includes avoiding the intake of sugar, salt, and processed foods two days before the procedure. First-hand accounts compare the feeling of a heat body wrap to that of a sauna.

Moreover, consumers report immediate loss of weight following the procedure. This is mainly because of losing water weight during the process.

#2 Herbal wraps

Herbal body wrap treatments are popular among luxury beauty salons.

You can choose a full-body wrap for certain areas like the belly or thighs. While herbal wraps are mainly used to smoothen and tighten the skin, some claim they’ve helped them lose weight and melt cellulite away.

A typical procedure lasts around 45–90 minutes and starts with an exfoliating scrub. Next, you shower, apply the wrap product, e.g., rosemary essential oil, and encase the body part in a thermal blanket. Essential oils greatly assist in detoxifying the body, eliminating wastes and toxins from the body, and getting rid of cellulite.

After about 30 minutes, the blanket is removed, allowing a cooling period before rinsing and moisturizing the skin. 

Body wrap advocates and SPA salons claim that the topical herbs used in this procedure can effectively detoxify the skin and reduce cellulite. From a cosmetic approach, the skin will generally feel smoother and tighter.

#3 Infrared body wraps

An infrared wrap is a detox and weight loss product typically found in weight loss clinics and medical SPA, although home versions exist too.

The devices used in this procedure utilize Far Infrared Heat (FIR), which activates sweat glands, burns calories, and increases blood circulation simultaneously.

It is recommended to seek multiple treatments to achieve the best results.

How to Make Weight Loss Wraps More Effective?

Body wraps induce sweating, which shrinks the fat cells and flush out toxins. As such, ensure that you stay hydrated throughout the treatment. Before wrapping your body, drink about 25oz to 35oz of water.

Remember to keep a bottle or cup of water near you during the treatment for whenever you’ll need a sip. You can fortify the water with nutrients by adding cucumber, lemon, berries, or mint.

To achieve even better results, use quality organic ingredients instead of packaged ones to make the body mask. Nothing beats natural and organic products when it comes to healing and reducing body fat.

Before applying the body mask, take a shower and exfoliate your body using a homemade scrub to get rid of dead skin. This will enhance absorption, which might help you detoxify and shed some pounds.

A healthy diet makes body wraps more effective

Before wrapping your body, it’s important to observe healthy eating to ensure maximum wrap effects. The Keto Cycle app comes in handy as it offers a personalized meal plan that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. The meal plans are customized for fat burning; hence you need not waste time counting cabs and tracking calories.

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Keto Cycle will provide you with recipes and a shopping list to help you get quick-to-repair recipes that use inexpensive ingredients. You only need to print the recipes from your phone and go shopping.

The Keto Cycle app also offers a daily tracker to help you track your calories, water consumption, and weight daily.

FAQs

Does wrapping your stomach with plastic wrap work?

There is no clinical evidence to prove that a body wrap helps you lose weight. Wraps reduce inches and bloat temporarily through water loss, but they don’t reduce body fat.

How to lose weight overnight with plastic wrap?

To lose weight overnight, apply a body wrap on a specific body part, for example, your midsection or thighs. The wrap will increase your core temperature, making you sweat. This wrap treatment will result in an overnight temporary loss of water weight.

What body parts can you wrap at the same time?

You can use a body wrap to cover the lower parts of the body, including the belly, thighs, hips, and legs, simultaneously. For the upper parts, you can wear a shower cap and then wrap the chin, neck, and jawline. 

How long do you keep the plastic wrap on your stomach?

A body wrap treatment usually stays on for a short period, between 30–90 minutes. Since the process results in sweating and losing water, applying a body wrap for extended periods could result in dehydration which may lead to potential side effects.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Weight loss resulting from body wraps is a result of losing water. That’s why, in most cases, the weight loss is temporary.

It is advisable to drink water before, during, and after the body wrap. Not replacing the fluids could expose you to dehydration. Also, make sure you’re not allergic to the products used in the process.

According to the FDA, no professional medical advice or scientific data supports using sauna suits or body wrap treatment to control weight, muscle, cellulite, bulging fat, or calorie burn rate effectively.

However, a body wrap treatment will help detoxify the body and moisturize your skin to give you a tightened look that makes you appear healthy. The only sure way to shed pounds is by observing a proper diet and exercising regularly.

Conclusion

For homemade body wraps, use simple ingredients such as natural clay, Epsom salt, and essential oils. To lose a few inches successfully with a body wrap, follow the correct steps by showering and exfoliating your skin.

If the wrap you use has herbal ingredients, moisturizers, or exfoliants, ensure that you know whether they are safe. Since it increases your internal core temperature, drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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