3 Terrible Things People Have Done To Lose Weight

For as long as people have wanted to lose weight, companies have peddled us products they promise will do it for us. They've mostly been god-awful. SciShow's new video, "3 Terrible Old-Timey Ways To (Not) Lose Weight" exposes the non-science behind three of the worst offenders: "sauna pants," electric shockers, and the "fat-jiggling belt," each of which is more likely to drive down your bank balance than your size.

Sauna pants, for example, warm your legs through insulation, electrical heating, or both, leading to perspiration and resulting in — voilà! — a lower number on the scale. (They call to mind the layers of clothing or even trash bags that my crew teammates and I donned before a race to sweat out a pound or two and meet our weight limits, but, spoiler alert: We'd instantly regain whatever weight we'd lost as soon as we took a sip of water or a bite of food.)

Electric shockers, or "electronic muscle stimulation devices," meanwhile, have been advertised as effortless muscle-builders, since the currents they send cause muscles to contract, ostensibly strengthening them. Fun fact: A 165-pound person can burn maybe 76 calories shocking himself with one of these devices. A nice, hour-long walk, on the other hand, burns that person 326 calories. Watch the video above for the full skinny on these three non-practical contraptions.

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