Can What You Wear Under There Make You Fit?
Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN
Let’s face it—deep down, we all know we’re most likely to get and stay fit when we’re active and eat a nutritious, calorie-controlled diet. But what if we could burn calories, shape and tone our thighs and butts, and enjoy slimmer silhouettes simply by slipping into nylon/lycra underwear? ShaToBu™-The Workout You Wear - is one of the latest products that hopes to get a share of the estimated $68.7 billion Americans are expected to spend on weight loss products and services in 2010 according to Marketdata Enterprises.
Frustrated by clients who weren’t getting enough exercise, board-certified chiropractor Denise Perron tried to figure out how to help clients do exercise without knowing it. “When I noticed more and more women wearing shapers, I decided to create a shaper that could help muscles contract while walking around” says Perron. And so ShaToBu™ -The Workout You Wear - was born. According to the ShaToBu™ press materials, typical shapers weaken muscles over time since compression keeps muscles from moving freely; on the other hand, ShaToBu™ uses seamless resistance bands to make muscles work harder (and therefore help you burn more calories) during natural movement, like walking.
But is there actual proof that ShaToBu™ shapes you up? To test its effectiveness, ShaToBu™ was studied at Mayfair Tech. Inc. (in Canada) and at the University of Virginia. According to Perron, unpublished studies at Mayfair Tech. Inc. showed that ShaToBu™ provided a 3 to 6% reduction in size compared with regular underwear. Other studies (also unpublished) at Mayfair Tech Inc. showed the shaper provided 30% more resistance and caused more muscle contraction and more toning than traditional shapers.
In a later study at the University of Virginia, researchers tested ShaToBu™ on women who walked on treadmills at different speeds and inclines. Those who wore ShaToBu™ burned up to 12% more calories than those who did not.
Perron recommends wearing the undergarment every day, as long as possible, to get the most benefit; she estimates doing so can help you burn up to 30,000 more calories and lose about 8.8 pounds after a year.
Only you can decide whether you want to give ShaToBu™ a test drive. At the very least, it’ll likely enhance your shape, much like Spanx®. At most, only well-conducted controlled clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals can show if ShaToBu™ will turn into Spanx® with benefits and provide a calorie-burning, get-fit edge. Perron admits that although ShaToBu™ shouldn’t replace regular exercise, it’s a great tool that can help women achieve and maintain a healthier body weight and better fitness level.
I don’t know about you, but for me, being strapped into a tight-fitting undergarment would only bring back less than pleasant memories of my overweight teen years during which I practically lived in control top pantyhose (I even wore them under shorts and tennis skirts thinking no one would even notice and that they’d make my less than svelte legs look slim and trim). I’ve since lost and kept off more than 30 pounds and use Spanx® or pantyhose only when I wear a form-fitting dress made of a thin, fine fabric like silk or satin. For now, I plan to stick to eating healthfully and being physically active—running around with my kids, walking, and weight training—to stay fit and trim and leave my underwear out of it!
Will you ShaToBu?
Editor's note: ShaToBu will be available at major retailers throughout the United States and online. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $50.00 for the Waist To Knee Style and $60.00 for the High Waist To Knee Style.
Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN, is a nationally recognized registered dietitian and author of Nutrition At Your Fingertips, Feed Your Family Right!, and So What Can I Eat?!. She is also a national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. For more information, go to www.elisazied.com, and www.nutritionatyourfingertips.com. Follow Elisa on Twitter and Elisa on Facebook.