June 1, 2011 — -- It's summer, and that means skirts, shorts and bathing suits that show a little more skin and may make you more conscious of your weight. You could exercise and eat less to lose a few pounds, but two new fitness products claim you can lose inches just sitting still or lying down.
First, caffeine-infused leggings that claim to take 2 inches off your hips and more than an inch from your thighs just by wearing them for 5 hours a day for 21 days.
The Lytess leggings cost $50 to start with (their shapewear line is more expensive). There are styles that offer slimming and contouring like a pair of Spanx and others that are just like soft bike shorts without the shapewear element.
When I try them on they smell like fruit, not coffee. Wear them for 2 hours and my legs don't feel invigorated or tingly. I am very sensitive to caffeine and I feel no buzz from any infusion of caffeine. I tried them on at 4 in the afternoon and had no trouble sleeping that night.
But is there any science that would support the idea that caffeine rubbed on your skin will help you look thinner or feel skinnier?
Exercise physiologist, Samantha Heller says no. "I have not seen any studies in the peer review medical literature about these pants. Wearing a ring or a pair of pants or some kind of bracelet really is not going to help you lose weight. It may be a reminder that you want to skip the cookies you're about to eat, but overall it's not going to change your physiology enough for significant and healthy weight loss."
Lytess, the maker of the caffeine pants, uses graphics in its promotional videos claiming 46 percent fat loss in areas of the thighs and buttocks, and yet when we contacted the company it said the following: "The clinical tests that Lytess has performed have shown average slimming results of 0.2" and maximum results of 2.1" on hips and 1.2" on thigh within 21 days. These tests have been performed by an independent ISO 9001 laboratory on a panel over 34 individuals who were required not to change their life style which means: no diet, no exercise while wearing their leggings."
Lytess does clarify that it doesn't claim anything about weight loss, only size reduction and smoother skin. And that the company has sold 3.5 million pairs of the pants in France to satisfied customers.
Planet Beach, a franchise of spas, is promoting a device called the Slim Capsule that it says will burn an extra 500 calories just by lying down in it for 30 minutes.
The Slim Capsule heats your body up to 180 degrees although your head is outside of the unit and stays cool.
I try it by first applying a spot-reducing cellulite cream provided to trouble areas like thighs, hips and buttocks. I wear a papery suit that is intended to retain heat around the body.
The capsule opens like some sleep pod from "Star Trek" and I get in to begin the treatment.