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Lose weight by wearing vests with weight?
Wearing weight vests can help you lose weight. According to a recent study, this is an effective method for reducing body weight and fat mass. The vest is worn for a period of several hours during the normal course of the day.
Wearable weight vests can help reduce weight and fat mass, the Swedish research team reports from its research results. The corresponding study was published in the English language journal "EClinicalMedicine".
69 people wore a weighted vest for three weeks
The team led by Claes Ohlsson from the University of Gothenburg hypothesized that loading the vests with weights would lead to a compensatory reduction in body weight. To check this, they examined 69 people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 to 35. The instructions for the participants were to wear a vest with weights for eight hours a day for three weeks and otherwise to live as usual .
How was the study structured?
All participants wore vests with weights during the examination. At the start of the study, participants were assigned to one of two groups. The control group wore only light vests with a weight of one kilogram (kg), while the other group wore heavy vests with a weight of about eleven kilograms.
What weight loss could be achieved?
After the three weeks, the people from the normal group, who wore the heavier vests, had lost 1.6 kg. In comparison, the people in the control group lost only 0.3 kg.
Fat mass was reduced, while the muscle mass was preserved
The use of vests with a heavy weight not only reduced the fat mass, the muscle mass also remained intact. The effect on the fat mass that was observed in this short experiment exceeded what is normally observed after various forms of physical training, the researchers report.
What type of fat did the participants lose?
But the researchers were unable to determine whether it was a reduction in subcutaneous fat (just under the skin) or the dangerous visceral fat (belly fat) in the abdominal cavity, which is most associated with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes .
Energy balance system tries to keep body weight constant
In previous studies on animals, which were published in 2018, the researchers showed that there is an energy balance system, that they call a gravitostat, and that it strives to keep body weight constant. In mice, this regulation takes place, among other things, by influencing the appetite. To work, the system must have some kind of scale, explains the research group. The new clinical study shows that there are similar “built-in scales” in humans.
Long sitting times favor obesity
When people spend a lot of time sitting, the value on the inner scales seems to be too low. This could explain why long daily sitting times can be so clearly associated with obesity and health problems, the researchers report. Weighted vests can increase the reading on the inner scales, leading to weight loss.
More research is needed
The researchers still have to answer many questions about the functioning of the so-called gravitostat. One of the aspects that they would like to investigate in the future is whether changes in energy consumption, appetite and mobility will help people lose weight to wear weight vests. The research group is also trying to determine whether the weight loss among western wearers continues for more than three weeks and whether the treatment reduces the dangerous visceral fat. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Claes Ohlsson, Edwin Gidestrand, Jacob Bellman, Christel Larssond, Vilborg Palsdottir et al .: Increased weight loading reduces body weight and body fat in obese subjects - A proof of concept randomized clinical trial, EClinicalMedicine (published April 22, 2020), EClinicalMedicine