Oh infomercials, my longtime friend when insomnia strikes, I’m sick and laid out on the couch, or I’m bored out of my mind and have nothing better to do. In three minutes, a pitch man can make me believe I must have that product and my life without it is unimaginable, or that all of the bad things in our culture like laziness, instant gratification, and unrealistic expectations just collided into one awful mess of television advertising.
Fitness and diet infomercials are in their own category of skepticism and hilarity, and part of me actually wants to try the product. Whether it’s car wax or food storage, there seems to be a solution for everything. Diet and fitness isn’t immune and we found some of the newest and crazy As Seen on TV fitness gadgets.
Sauna Pants/ Slimming Sauna Shorts/ The Belly Sauna: While these products have some key differences, their goal and method is largely the same. With the Sauna Pants, just slip on the orange shorts, turn on the heat dial, and your extra water weight is promised to be gone in no time with 50 minutes a day of use. The Slimming Sauna Shorts don’t heat up, but they’re made of thick, non-breathable Neoprene (like what Scuba divers wear), so you’ll definitely compress and sweat in these. And they come with an adjustable Velcro strap! My favorite, however, is The Belly Sauna. It’s just what it sounds like – a sauna for your belly. Bizarre.
Slim Away: Did you think society banished the corset ages ago? It’s back in the form of Slim Away, a unisex waist tightener. Like the Sauna Pants, the Slim Away seals in body heat for weight loss with one quick zip. It’s the instant diet with no dieting needed.
Booty Slide: “Your butt will change,” promises Booty Slide’s creator, Rebecca Kordeki, in the site’s video. Booty Slide is a DVD workout with some gimmicks but also tried-and-true exercises to get yourself in shape and toned, especially in your rear. It uses foot booties, hand sliders, and your body weight to perform a fast-paced cardiovascular workout.
Hoopnotica Travel Hoop: How many times have you been on vacation and wanted a quick exercise session but then realized, shucks, you didn’t bring your unwieldy hula hoop with you? Enter the Travel Hoop. A collapsible hula hoop with six segments, this fitness tool promises to bring back childhood memories and deliver a challenging workout.
Sensa Weight-Loss System: Also called the Sprinkle Diet, a 2-month supply will put you back $90. To use, sprinkle the Sensa crystals on your food and they will make you feel fuller faster, hopefully leading to weight loss without any other changes in routine. Just shake it on like salt and pepper, the ad says, and the pounds will melt away.
Bender Ball: This is one of the least gimmicky products I found, with a price tag that doesn’t seem like the makers are trying to get a fortune out of you. It’s basically a ball to put at the bottom of your spine when doing crunches to increase your mobility. It comes with a DVD to show you more workouts to do with the ball that will increase your stability. It does not, however, give a workout plan, and a study at WebMD said a standard playground ball would work just as well.
So there’s just a few of the newest fads to have their 15 minutes of fame on the small screen. But don’t be fooled that weight loss can be yours with just a click of the remote, it will still take time and discipline.