Why does it seem that every few months there’s some crazy new way to get rid of belly fat? Celebrities, celebrity trainers, and TV doctors are always coming up with some wild and off-the-wall option to help people “lose weight fast” or “drop 30 pounds in 24 hours.”

Here’s a harsh truth for you: there’s no such thing as fast, permanent weight loss. If you want fast, the weight loss won’t be permanent. If you want it to stick, then you can’t try to lose weight fast. It’s just the way your body works!

We’ve been keeping an eye on the latest trends and have found some pretty wacky new ones for weight loss. Stay well away from these fads if you value your health!

Carbon Dioxide Gas Injections

Known as “carboxytherapy”, this treatment involves injections of carbon dioxide gas into the fat pockets around the belly. This is supposed to alter microcirculation, which can lead to damage to the fat cells. It is touted as a non-invasive option—far safer than existing surgical weight loss and fat removal options—which can lead to less scarring and reduced downtime as the patient recovers from the treatment.

However, one study [1] found that carboxytherapy wasn’t as effective as previously believed. When 16 adult patients received carbon dioxide injections weekly, the treatment was found to cause some fat decrease after 5 weeks, but not after 28 weeks. Basically, the initial fat loss didn’t stick, and there were no long-term benefits to these injections.

When questioned about it, the lead researcher of the study said, “If carboxytherapy can provide prolonged benefits, it offers patients yet another noninvasive option for fat reduction. But we don’t feel it’s ready for prime time.”

Belts and Corsets

Waist trimmer belts and corsets are promoted as highly effective weight loss aids. They’re typically made of a material like neoprene, which heats up the body (around the midsection) to increase core temperature. The idea is that increasing core temperature is supposed to stimulate better fat activation and fat burning, leading to weight loss.

Sadly, weight loss belts and corsets are about as useful as an inflatable dart board!

There may be some minor increase in core temperature thanks to the non-breathable material, but it’s not enough to cause any significant change in fat activation. At best, you may lose some water weight because your body will be sweating a lot, but that’s not healthy, legitimate weight loss. A belt or corset is another fad that looks good on the surface, but doesn’t actually work.

Stomach Vacuum

No, this has nothing to do with shoving a vacuum cleaner down your throat to vacuum out your stomach contents. Instead, it’s a type of exercise intended to flatten abs and tone your body.

To perform the exercise, lean forward and breath in as deeply and forcefully as you can, sucking your belly button toward your spine as hard as possible. Then exhale as forcefully as possible and expand your stomach.

This exercise can help to strengthen your abdominal muscles in the same way most core exercises do, but is it really effective for weight loss? Some experts [2] think it’s a waste of time, because there’s not enough muscle activation to make any difference. At best, it’s comparable to holding a Plank or doing a few sets of crunches.

Yes, these fads are a monumental waste of your time and effort, not to mention money. Instead, why not go about reducing belly fat the healthy way?

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Diet. Cut back on processed foods, empty carbs, and alcohol. Load up on healthy fats and protein, along with lots of legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Reduce calorie intake by 10%.
  2. Exercise. Focus on Yoga or Pilates for mobility, resistance training for strength and muscle toning, and cardio for fat burning. Exercise no less than 3 hours per week, and make every minute count!
  3. Live right. Reduce stress. Sleep more. Relax more. Be happy. Find things that make you laugh. Make friends. Spend more time doing active, outdoor activities. Take up a hobby. A healthy lifestyle is far more likely to promote weight loss.

In the end, fat burning isn’t going to happen because of some miracle diet or amazing new trend. As we said above, if you want permanent weight and fat loss, it’s not going to happen fast. Settle in for the long haul, start making healthy choices today, and prepare to see results in the future!