I Test-Drove the "Vest That Makes You Lose Weight"

And I basically just chilled (literally and figuratively).

Vest That Makes You Lose Weight
(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

Pizza. Pizza is why you can't lose weight—that and maybe because you haven't got the right accessories.

Developed by NASA scientist Dr. Wayne Hayes, the Cold Shoulder vest's premise is that you burn more calories and fat when you've got a bunch of knobby ice packs strapped to your torso that cause your body to expend more energy staying warm—up to 500 calories daily, according to the press release. It's a bit of a why-didn't-I-think-of-this-and-put-it-on-Kickstarter-first idea—especially when showering at a lower temperature and drinking ice water have been repeatedly touted as weight-loss strategies—but the vest is definitely the least uncomfortable and most elegant iteration of the concept.

Here's how it works: Put the ice packs in the freezer alongside the broccoli and vodka. Once hardened, insert them into the fleecy life jacket's back and shoulder compartments. (There are fewer nerve endings in those areas, so you don't end up shaking like a poodle during a thunderstorm. Very considerate.) Strap yourself in, and watch Ice-T slam bad guys against walls or go Instagram deep-diving or whatever.

The accompanying brochure recommends you start out wearing it 5–10 minutes daily, building up to 6–8 hours or however long it takes the packs to reach room temperature, but you'll probably find you won't feel shivery at all—if you follow their instruction to wear the vest over a shirt. (LOL. But someone *would* get freezer burn, and there'd be a frivolous lawsuit about it.)

My take? Nothing infomercial-miraculous happened during the week I tested the vest out, but 1) if you wear it before bed, it improves your sleep quality, which is in itself really valuable/can help with weight management, and 2) it's kind of heavy, which has to help with calorie expenditure too. Dr. Hayes also says that, over time, the vest becomes more effective because of "cold acclimatization," meaning your body's conditioned to "turn on its internal furnace" to burn calories. 

So I'll stick with it. It's way better than the waist trainer, anyway.

Woman pointing to back of vest that makes you lose weight

(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

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Chelsea Peng
Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.