health

The cling wrap weight loss trend that's as dangerous as it is bizarre.

Image: @almavirginiazepeda. The worrying weight loss trend involving cling wrap you need to steer clear of.

Weight loss fads are nothing new – there seems to be no end to the tablets and teas promising to immediately make you lose weight and appear slimmer.

10 out of 10 times, these fads turn out to be exactly that –  a waste of money that doesn’t deliver what  is promised and is more likely to damage your health than improve it. This is one of them.

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 Scroll through Instagram and you’ll come across hundred of accounts promoting at-home ‘body wraps’ – mummy-looking bandage strips “infused with a powerful, botanically based formula” that promise to instantly shed inches off your waistline, bum and thighs.

Instructions advise to apply to your chosen area, secure with glad wrap and leave on for 45 minutes.

The body wraps in progress. Image: @fitlifestyle_m

Big claims, but cloths soaked in herbal extracts and minerals sound harmless enough, right?

Wrong.

Dr Victor Herbert told ABC News that any weight loss that results from these body wraps are temporary, because it is just water loss.

"Be six to 20 inches slimmer today by dehydrating yourself? Sure. And you can also kill yourself... because you can throw somebody into what we call hypovolemic shock. That's low blood volume shock by dehydrating you."

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"Anything that dehydrates the body is obviously dangerous," agrees Dr Sam Hay. "We're 85 per cent water - we need it!"

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As for the other claims? "An absolute crock of shit," says Dr Hay.

"The wraps claim to work thanks to ingredients that 'soak in' and dissolve fat. It's an impossible claim - it does not happen," he says.

Think this is weird? See what unusual beauty treatments these celebs love. (Post continues after gallery.)

"We know creams with similar ingredients can moisturise and make skin look better, so it might have a temporary cosmetic effect, but it cannot be absorbed to dissolve fat. It's preposterous".

Even if you're looking for a quick fix (which we do not recommend) Dr Hay warns some people should stay well, well away.

"For anyone who has sensitive skin like eczema, skin diseases or problems with circulation like diabetes, I would not advise wrapping your body tightly in anything like this," he says.

"And of course, no new treatments should be started during pregnancy, as it could expose the baby to dangerous chemicals."

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The scary thing is that the wraps are being marketed as a way to combat post-baby weight gain, but a reviewer for losebabyweight.com argued she did not believe it was a viable way to manage weight gain.

"Weight gain is caused by eating more calories than are being burned, and no amount of wrapping and applying special gels will change that fact," she wrote.

While the major distributor of the wraps in Australia, It Works, does provide a full list of the ingredients on its website there is one telling piece of information and it's in a much smaller font under an asterisk.

Not all its cracked up to be. Image via iStock.
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It reads: "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease."

Hmm.

Up to $130 for a wrap that has yet to be scientifically proven to deliver on its claims and poses a serious risk to your health? Yeah, we think we'll skip this one.

Check out some of The Glow team's favourite body image quotes from celebs we love.

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Dr Sam Hay is a director of a Sydney GP practice and a medical consultant on The Project and Embarrassing Bodies Down Under.

Have you tried slimming body wraps before? What was your experience like?

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