Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wearing Weights To Lose Weight Is Weird

Dr. Ayaz Virji claims wearing his invention "fools" the body into burning fat

This Tampa Bay Newspapers article highlights the latest product on the market designed to help people lose weight -- body weights.

They're called BodyTogs and they are the new invention of a bariatric doctor named Dr. Ayaz Virji. He wrote a book last year called "The Skinny Book" which outlines his plan for helping people lose weight and keep it off for good. It's currently ranked #1,500,000th in book sales at

But Dr. Virji apparently didn't think his diet principles in his book were enough so he created these BodyTogs for people to wear so they can get the benefits of exercising without having to participate in organized exercise.

Okay, wait a minute. Huh?! By wearing these body weights that are "scientifically proven" (something mentioned quite a few times at the BodyTogs web site!) you will burn more calories and fat than you would if you didn't wear them. In fact, Dr. Virji contends that wearing his BodyTogs for 10 hours doing no organized exercise is just as effective as running for 90 minutes on the treadmill.

Dr. Virji thinks he is on to a revolutionary new way to help people lose weight with his BodyTogs.

“It’s a medically sophisticated fitness device, but not a medical device. It’s a first in its class weight loss product that is scientifically proven,” he proclaims.

I guess Dr. Virji is worried about people calling his invention a fad because he keeps mentioning the "scientifically based" and "proven" language when he talks about the BodyTogs. But I'm naturally skeptical of wearing weights in order to lose weight. That's just weird to me.

So how do these BodyTogs work?

According to Dr. Virji, being overweight is not bad for you, but rather the fat in your body which leads to inflammation and cholesterol build-up. Because the body's metabolism slows down as they lose weight, Dr. Virji explains, overweight and obese people need to add the weight they lose back on their body to continue to burn calories at the same rate they did when they were heavier. Are you still with me on this one?

“It’s almost like fooling the body to enhance caloric burn,” Dr. Virji notes. “You get the exercise without the inflammation and cholesterol of fat.”

Okay, so Dr. Virji believes someone who has lost weight needs to buy his 3-4 pound body weights costing about $50 a pair to help them continue to the burn calories at the same rate they did when they were bigger? Is that the bill of goods he's trying to sell us?

In my first week of livin' la vida low-carb last January, I lost 14 pounds and went on to lose 30 pounds in the month of January and 40 pounds in February before ultimately losing 180 pounds in 2004.

How does adding back 5, 10 or even 20 pounds to my body externally "fool" my body into burning as much fat as it did when I weighed 410 pounds? If my body was actually burning fat when I weighed that much, then why was I so morbidly obese?

Also, can Dr. Virji explain how I was able to continue to lose so much weight and body fat without his expensive BodyTogs?

These are strange, freaky, and just plain weird if you ask me my opinion about these BodyTogs.

You wear them on your arms and legs underneath your clothing and Dr. Virji says they are comfortable to wear and will give you the all the benefits of working out without working out.

That sounds a lot like those diet pills that claim they'll help you lose weight without making any lifestyle changes. Riiiiiggght! These BodyTogs don't sound any different to me.

Guess how much weight you can expect to lose wearing these BodyTogs? By Dr. Virji's own admission, you'll lose a WHOPPING ONE POUND of fat per month, but he believes you should supplement wearing his body weights with a "sensible weight management program."

“They’re intended to enhance what you’re doing, not replace what you’re doing,” Dr. Virji explained.

Just as the dirty little secret of diet pills is that you need to reduce your calories and exercise to make them work, Dr. Virji clearly states that his BodyTogs aren't enough on their own to help you lose weight and keep it off.

Exercise, like eating, needs to be a lifestyle change. That's what happened for me when I started my low-carb lifestyle in 2004. I changed the way I ate and I started an exercise routine that I continue to do today. The daily discipline of eating the right kinds of foods and moving my body to make it sweat and get my heart rate up is essential to succeeding at losing weight, getting healthy, and remaining that way.

While I am sure Dr. Virji means well with his product, it reminds me of a product I tried in the early 1990's when I was in college that you put around your stomach and it was made of rubber and velcro. I forget what it is called, but you were supposed to wear it underneath your clothes and you would sweat away the pounds wearing this thing. Does anyone else want to admit they bought this idiotic weight loss belt like I did? Dr. Virji, your BodyTogs are right up there with this one!

You can e-mail Dr. Ayaz Virji to comment about his BodyTogs product.

12-9-05 UPDATE: Dr. Ayaz Virji was kind enough to respond to my concerns about his product in an eloquently written and professional manner:

Dear Jim,

Thank you for your input on BodyTogs. We are very interested in the broad spectrum of feedback from consumers. I enjoyed surfing your website. The benefits of carb-controlled dieting are enormous, and I think essential when approaching the current obesity epidemic. I myself utilize a modified carbohydrate, low GI diet on about 90% of my patients. The Skinny Book (which does not contain our diet) was written for the sole purpose of enhancing awareness of the crisis of unhealthy weight in America. The book introduces some of the key medical studies that demonstrate the efficacy of carb-controlled diets in a number of people (we've done two studies
ourselves on this, see to view these studies).

Now, regarding your comments on BodyTogs. I would refer you to the studies on "Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)" done by Dr. Levine at the Mayo Clinic demonstrating the excitement of this avenue of intervention in helping individuals lose unhealthy weight. I would also refer you to our study presented at The North American Association for The Study of Obesity Annual Scientific Assembly in Vancouver last month. I don't think The Largo Times piece clearly delineated what the product is about. Please review this data if you wish to delve into the science behind the BodyTogs concept. I have contacted leading researchers in the field of Obesity Treatment, including those at the NIH, prior to even developing BodyTogs seeking their advice and opinions. These medical professionals were very excited about our product and encouraged our development. We currently have an application for an NIH grant to further research its efficacy. A number of medical and fitness
personnel across the country recommend BodyTogs to their patients/clients trying to lose weight. I use them every day as do most members of my family. We get tremendous positive feedback on a daily basis from patients and medical professionals alike on our product.

Appropriate lifestyle modifications, including diet (my recommendation in The Skinny Book is a carb-controlled diet), exercise, and behavioral change are the cornerstone of improving weight loss outcomes and weight loss maintenance. No one is refuting this! I hope that by providing a creative enhancement to these traditional measures through "Activities of Daily Living Resistance" provided through BodyTogs, others who don't use them or believe in them feel threatened. We are not talking about magnets, diet pills, tight fitting Velcro, fat burning patches..... We at BodyTogs, Inc truly believe in the product and use them ourselves on a daily basis. You will see clearly on our website, on our package insert, on BodyTogs box,....the importance of lifestyle modifications first and foremost! Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your comment.

Ayaz Virji, MD
President & Chief Medical Officer
BodyTogs, Inc

Well, I'm feeling a little better about BodyTogs now that Dr. Virji has so kindly responded and explained them a little more. I'm VERY encouraged to hear a medical doctor espousing the health benefits of a carb-controlled lifestyle.

I will look into these BodyTogs products closer and may even try them for myself to see how they work. I will report to you what the experience of wearing them is like if I decide to do this. A special THANK YOU again to Dr. Virji for being willing to respond to my concerns quickly, thoroughly and kindly. I appreciate that and he may have won over some new customers for his product by his classy demeanor.

12-13-05 UPDATE: One of my faithful readers actually went out and tried the BodyTogs product for herself. Here's her experience:

I was curious about BodyTogs, I saw them displayed at a convention I attended. I got them this morning and I hate to admit this, but I can barely fit the size LARGE on my calves. I am 160 pounds, down from 290.

Who are they marketing to?

The people on the box shown wearing them are thin. My husband is a LEAN 6'5" and they were barely able to fit his calves.

Thin people don't really need them, I don't think overweight people will fit in them.

I feel like Tom Hanks in BIG when he raises his hand in the conference room and says "I just don't get it?"

They are really heavy, don't fit a bigger leg AND it says not to wear them if you have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or most of the illnesses that afflict the obese.

I have to side with you on this one Jimmy. I will send you the pair they sent me, maybe they will fit you! LOL!

THANKS for sharing your BodyTogs story with us! I'm still going to try to use them for myself and report my findings back to you when I do. Stay tuned...


Blogger WantToChangeYourLife? said...

Anything to make a buck these days...

12/09/2005 10:56 AM  
Blogger Teresa F said...

As a fitness professional I've recommended BodyTogs to several of my clients. I myself wear them and find them to be very beneficial. I also read the article you mentioned, from what I can tell you took the doctor's comments completely out of context. Dr. Virji is quoted as saying "We recommend using them in conjunction with a sensible weight management program," He further states "They're intended to enhance what you're doing, not replace what you're doing." The theory behind this is nonexercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT which is also mentioned in the article. Next time you should make sure you have your facts straight before trying to tear someone apart. Teresa F.

12/09/2005 2:36 PM  
Blogger Teresa F said...

We must have missed your book on the Best Seller's List.

12/09/2005 3:12 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I'm not totally opposed to the BodyTogs, Teresa.

Despite your disrespectful attempts to tear me and my book down, I can appreciate your defense of this product if you have personally seen results.

I am considering trying the product for myself and reporting my findings in this forum so others can make the decision whether they can work for them or not.

Again, THANKS for writing at my blog today. But attempt to be a little more civil in your responses in the future because it only makes you look foolish in the end. :)

12/09/2005 3:52 PM  
Blogger Teresa F said...

Actually, I thought I was quite civil. Sorry that you interrepted it that way. I guess disrespectful writing tactics only work for you.

12/09/2005 4:05 PM  
Blogger Abbey said...

My primary care physician recommended BodyTogs to me about 4 months ago. I've been wearing them ever since and I love them! I wear them while I'm running the kids to soccer practice, grocery shopping, working, wherever! I've noticed more muscle definition and I've lost 5.5 pounds. I still eat right and work out 4 times a week.

12/09/2005 4:20 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I'll say it again: I'm not necessarily opposed to the BodyTogs products. I am happy to try them for myself, wear them around and report my findings at this blog. If the product is as good as it is being portrayed by people like Abbey and Teresa, then I most likely will not have any qualms with them either.

I guess the crux of my concern about the BodyTogs product is that it will be an excuse for people to NOT exercise. While I know they are meant to SUPPLEMENT exercise, some people will rationalize that they won't have to exercise in addition to the body weights.

Again, I have no vile personal attacks towards anyone associated with BodyTogs. In fact, I could become a champion for the product if it is something that I think would help people who are livin' la vida low-carb.

We shall see.

12/09/2005 5:03 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

Teresa F perhaps YOU need a class on moral decency and etiquette. Jimmy has never been disrespectful to anyone.

12/09/2005 7:24 PM  

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