Calorie Burn

Part 2: Experts test if two machines' infrared calorie-loss claims stack up, and more.
9:50 | 07/24/13

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Transcript for Calorie Burn
Ok. Let's get to work. So everyone is on the look out for ways to lose weight, right? That's why our crew went out to try the latest machines to burn huge numbers of calories. Talk about a hot rod. How about an infrared bike machine or lying around in a warm toasty sleeping bag. Hot and sweaty. That's what they did. Experts we spoke with told us they didn't think the gadgets could match the calorie burn claims. Fun is over. Shower off and go back out there to look for some answers. Reporter: I had wrapped itself in infrared light and i got light-headed. Our producer erin got toasty on an infrared bike. I'm glistening with sweat. Reporter: It was time to head back to jersey and brooklyn. First the cleansing day spa where mark, the nice manager was psyched about the body wrap. It's specifically meant to target fat cells. Reporter: Mark of course doesn't realize we've already met. I've actually been here before. In fact, does this person look familiar? Now it does. It looks like you. This was me and I came here undercover. It's equivalent to running six to nine miles. You really think you can burn 1200 calories by lying an a table? I believe that. Your heart is pumping so hard. You're sweating. You've said to me the same things that you told me that you believe what you are saying. Reporter: I TELL MARK About our experts. I'm sure there are experts that would go against what we say. You're firm in your belief? I am firm in my life. Reporter: That's not what i expected. More unexpected. Mark wants to take a picture with me. Cheese. From brooklyn our team traveled to san diego to track down the people who sell the fit body wrap for $10,000 a pop. The guys who own it own a tanning salon. They weren't available to speak with us so we met up with the general manager instead. These are the fit wraps? Yes. Ready to be sent to fitness spas, chiropractors. Reporter: He says they've sold more than $5 million worth. I told him about our expert's opinions. His response? We have repeat customers that are getting a response. You're smart enough to know that a testimonial is a long way away from the scientific evidence. We're doing research. Where is that research going to be done? We haven't resolved that yet. While we wait for them to figure that out, we decided to do some research of our own. We went out and bought a fit body wrap. There she is. There she is. We have a long day of assembly. We have a long day ahead. Reporter: Next a visit with pauly demill at one of the country's premiere hospitals for sports medicine. She rigs me up to a state of the art metabolic testing device for another infrared session. It's going to measure the number of calories I'm burning? Absolutely. How close will I get to the calorie claim? Early on I'm feeling warm and tranquil but within 30 minutes, my mood shifts and I get to that now familiar panic stricken reaction. You can do it. Reporter: But it doesn't help that I've lost sensation in my nose and much of my face. 10, 9, 8 -- Reporter: Even with the finish line in sight I'm not sure I'm going to make it. You are done. Reporter: The moment of truth. You burned 67.4 calories. Come on! Reporter: Nowhere close to the up to 1400 calories an hour counted on their site. The country told us the measuring technology we used was not an appropriate or accurate way to testic calories burned but the experts we consulted flatly disagreed saying the device we used is the gold standard. The company also told us we stand behind our product. The years of clinical research on the affects of radiation and our thousands of satisfied customers. We asked the company for results of any calorie burn tests on the fit body wrap but they have yet to send us any results. We still had to get back to that hot bike in new jersey. Remember dr. Pilar? We're greeted by dr. P. And her husband joe, both chiropractors. They have no idea members of our team have been here before. Dr. Joe shows off the big physio red machine which by the way tells us did not come cheap. How many calories do you burn in an hour? You can burn up to 1200 calories in a 40-minute session. I break the news that our experts say burning that many calories just ain't going to happen. We don't necessarily market it as a weight loss machine. But what you just told me is that it can burn 2400 calories in an hour? That has come directly from the company -- and the research that we've done on it. Reporter: WHO IS PUTTING Out those claims? The company they bought it from is no longer in business but we discovered the current owner of physio red in florida. Where did you get the data that it burns 1200 camries. Tests. Where were the tests done? Reporter: We asked him to show us that impressive study but he never sent it so we went looking on our own. There's only a small amount of studies on it. There was one small study where notable weight loss was found using a more sophisticated infrared but our experts remain skeptical saying they would like to see it repeated. We found nothing that directly supports the huge calorie burning claims made by these companies. We showed the number to an exercise phd and he said it's physically impossible to burn 2400 calories in an hour much less 40 minutes. No. This is a combination of the bicycle, of the exercise, and the infrared. It's the infrared plus the exercise as the customer is using the machine. What what I'm telling you is that the 2400 calorie thing -- not 2400, 2,000. Not according to his website. Okay, 2,000 calories in an hour -- my point is that mainly the customers are happy. Just because they're happy doesn't mean that the machine is doing what you claim it is. Maybe it's not 2,000. Maybe it's -- I don't know, 1700. Whatever. Okay. With so many calorie numbers and claims floating around it was time to bring back polly. We're going to hook you up to this machine today. Reporter: With her portable calorie measuring device. Yep, that's erin, back on the physio red breathing through that darth vader mask, poor thing. She's pedal k at a moderate pace. It's a 40 minute ride under infrared lamps to see how close we get to the physio red claim of up to 2400 calories. Now the moment of truth. Let's see -- Reporter: Erin burned a grand total of 206 calories. What did you think? I would have anticipated more. Reporter: But we aren't finished just yet. This super fit trainer volunteers to put the machine through paces. He medals like a bat out of hell. See if he can approach the physio red calorie claim. And he sprints to the finish. How close did he come? 390 calories. More than erin but still way short of the up to 2400 calories, a burn rate six times higher than even joe was able to achieve. Can you imagine somebody burning what the website says it could burn in 40 minutes? I don't think people who do high endurance exercises like sprinters or people doing track and field, I don't think that is correct burn 2400 calories in 40 minutes. I would love to see the research on that. Reporter: Some weeks after our interview, the physio red website disappeared. The fit body wrap website remains active and still features calorie burns claims. Sadly, our experts say there's no proven magic bullet for shedding lots of pounds without effort. The best way to lose weight, decrease calorie intake and exercise. What's that you say?

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