Do Ab Toning Belts Work?

The commercials on television promise you an abdomen just like the models on screen. Because viewers so desperately want to believe in a quick and easy fix, it’s not hard to dupe people with weight loss promises.

How do Ab Toning Belts Work?

Ab Toning Belts are based on a technology known as the Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS). They use electrical impulses to facilitate muscle contraction. The impulses are generated externally in a machine and through padded and insulated electrodes delivered on the abdominal muscles. This entire mechanism comes hidden in a belt. Theoretically, the impulses imitate the actual ones coming from the central nervous system and cause your muscles to become active. This technology has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA for use as a treatment for muscle spasms, to increase blood circulation, and as muscle therapy following a surgical procedure. However, the FDA has always rejected approval to devices which have used EMS to promote weight loss.

slim waist

Some Facts about Ab Toning Belts

  • Even if abdominal toning belts were an effective means of strengthening your muscles, they would not impact the fat around your waist.
  • If you are morbidly obese or extremely overweight, it is not likely that you are going to see any real impact just by using the belt.
  • If you are overweight or under-toned, a regular exercise regimen and a healthy diet will provide the results you are looking for.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration; FDA Import Alert; Electrical Muscle Stimulators and Iontophoresis Devices; Import Alert # 89-01; FDA.gov; November 28, 2011;

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration; Guidance Document for Powered Muscle Stimulator 510(k)s; June 9, 1999;

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