Can Hot Pants Make You Slim?

"Hot Pants” are a new brand of gym equipment like heated cycle shorts and there’s a whole folder of testimony from women who swear they lost pounds using these shorts. I tried them for 3 weeks. My testimony differs a bit...
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“You want fame? Well fame costs. And right here is where you start paying. In sweat!”

The words of Lydia Grant, one of the stricter mistresses at New York's Fame Academy, giving the don't-smile-until-Xmas speech that all school teachers give at the beginning of term.

I never wanted to be famous, but I wouldn't mind being as lithe and good looking as Ms Grant (AKA actress Debbie Allen) and if you can achieve that by sweating, I've got a definite edge on the competition. If sweat is the currency you need to buy your way to happiness, then I am blessed with natural riches. A combination of being good at most sports, a heavy drinker and by extension, almost clinically obese, means I'm almost permanently damp. Unless you catch me on a day when I've gone 48 hours since my last drink. Once, at a job interview where I'd had to jog from the station and was then plunged straight into a centrally heated reception area for five minutes, the first question I was asked was “Is it raining outside?”.

So, you can imagine my joy when joy when I was sent a press pack about Hot Pants, which promised to turn turn my biggest social disadvantage (gushing sweat glands) into a competitive edge. Hotpants, if I'm interpreting the marketing material correctly, will allow you to shed pounds, stones even, if you wear them while exercising. In fact, they still work if you wear them around the house. Somehow these thick rubber shorts had made the women featured in the press pack drop several dress sizes. City worker Janie Marie, 28, lost two inches and 1 per cent of her body fat in 14 days. (Judging by the picture, she had no fat to lose. So imagine how much I could shift in that time!) Meanwhile, Nicola (@nicolamp) lost 7 inches off her hips, while Dessi 'lost' two jean sizes and Lorraine (@lozhxx) dropped from a size 16 to a 14.

Once, at a job interview where I’d had to jog from the station and was then plunged straight into a centrally heated reception area for five minutes, the first question I was asked was “Is it raining outside?”.

Bring it on. My glands could out-compete these lady glowers any day. With my sporting work ethic, (I'm unfeasibly fit for a fat bloke) and capacity to excrete through my skin pores, I'd be a size 34 in no time. Better still, these Hot Pants are aimed primarily at the female market (for some inexplicable reason) so the designer garments promised some enjoyably kinky work outs.

When the review shorts arrived, I wasn't disappointed. Thick rubber, in stylish but not too feminine colours, I couldn't wait to get cracking. They do crush your nuts a bit (there's no give in the groin at all) and I worried about testicular twisting (my brother lost a gooly that way) but thankfully that didn't happen. So I went to Richmond Park and got on with what I do best. Running up and down the hill and dampening my clothes. After 45 minutes of hill running, I did indeed lose seven pounds on my first try out. In fact, it happened every time I did a big work out with the shorts. Cycling, boxing, running, it's all good. I wore them around the house for a day, but all that achieved was an acne attack.

After while though, I began to have my doubts. Perspiration is 10 per cent inspiration, and 90 per cent moisturisation. Surely, any water you lose through sweat will be replaced with the first beer you have after exercise. Or the second at least. The third fourth fifth and sixth will definitely see your tissues restored. Now I think of it, I have been sweating off seven pounds in the park, but putting them straight back on again a few days later. I imagine the beers don't help, but it can't be helped - these shorts make you work up an enormous thirst. Also, I never seemed to put the weight on immediately after a heavy drinking session, but it did pile on the day after. I wonder if anyone has a medical explanation.

Still, to be fair, these hot pants are dirt cheap. There are plenty of women who swear by them and, as we know from the media, women are the stronger, more sensible sex. They wouldn't fall for any nonsense would they? I'm not sure there's any medical evidence to back up the argument that rubber pants will make you lose weight. But I had a great time anyway. Maybe Kronebourg or Heineken should sponsor them.

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