Does the Contour Belt Work? Is it a Scam?
If you’re looking to lose weight, then exercise and eat right. That’s all there really is to it. Because it’s usually harder than it sounds and requires commitment, many people look for the “easy” way out. As a result, desperate people turn to over-priced products and programs that in most cases are outright scams. Remember, there are no shortcuts to real success.
Looking through the internet, I was shocked with the amount of “broscience” surrounding this product, which is essentially a sarcastic term for the false claims made by individuals who consider themselves more credible than scientific research. I had to sift through a huge facade of misleading information and try the product for myself before I finally found the truth behind Contour Abs.
Is Contour Abs a Scam?
Let me start off by saying the products advertised on TV are usually hyped up.
With this product, you basically strap on a belt around your waist which creates vibrations that supposedly slim down your waist and give you a 6 pack. Contour Abs is a miracle product for desperate people who are looking for a device that will burn fat without having to do any work at all.
How It Works
The Contour Belt is advertised to work by using electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) which transfers impulses from the belt into your abdominal muscles, forcing them to contract and mimic real ab exercises.
What really gives you “sexy” abs?
The ability of your muscles to show definition is primarily dependent on these 4 factors:
- Color of your skin
- Thickness of your skin
- Muscle underneath the skin
- Body Fat
Why do you think that bodybuilders dehydrate themselves and spray on tanning lotion before a competition? Because it brings out the tone and definition of their muscles. And to achieve 4 and 5, a lot of it has to do with how clean and nutritious your diet is.
Spot reduction is NOT possible
There is no evidence behind spot reduction – you can’t lose fat locally by doing lots of sit ups, let alone strapping on a machine to do all the work for you.
Any fat that is burned off by doing say, sit-ups, will result in fat that is lost evenly throughout your body, NOT at a specific area.
Losing or gaining weight is simple; it all comes down to the energy balance equation.
Want my advice? Stick to exercises that require core stabilization like squats, deadlifts and planks.
So can the Contour Abs Belt really give you “rock hard” abs?
The better question is, where’s all the evidence? High quality trials conducted on ab belts are quite rare.
While an electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) device like Contour Abs may be able to temporarily firm or strengthen a muscle, no such devices have evidence showing that they can provide weight loss, waist reduction, or “rock hard” 6 pack abs.
This claim was confirmed following a 2007 study by Professor John Porcari who compared the Slendertone Ab Belt to a dud device that made a humming sound. He found that while there were temporary increases in abdominal strength and toning, there was absolutely no reduction in weight or waist size. Contour Abs has been cleared by the FDA based on these similar claims.
For those of you who are overweight, I wouldn’t expect an ab belt to do much, if anything. For starters, the electrical muscle stimulation will not effectively penetrate through thick shrouds of skin and fat tissue. This statement is supported by Andy Leyland, who is managing director of Bio-Medical Research’s Physiology department. All the research on ab belts have been conducted on individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 30, which automatically rules out those who are obese.
Lastly, the amount of calories you burn using an EMS device is almost negligible. The most calories are burnt when your whole body is involved in physical exercise rather than only a specific location. The whole body basically involves the heart, respiratory system and several muscles all being used at once.
But at least it won’t hurt to give Contour Abs a try…?
What’s worse is that there have been reports of people getting shocked, bruised, burned, and aches associated with using such EMS devices. Unless you enjoy wasting money, I wouldn’t recommend it.
The Bottom Line
So unless you’re willing to commit to a solid workout routine and healthy diet, the only results you’ll get from Contour Abs are irritations and maybe a burn to add insult to injury.