We Tried It: ShaToBu, Calorie-Burning Shapewear

I’ll just come out and say it: I wear really ugly underwear. We’re talking, like, epic granny panties here. As a basic type of girl, I’m just not into the sexy thing, so a lot of the time I figure I might as well add some ugly on the inside by wearing some slimming underthings since it’s already bad enough. Unsurprisingly, my “lingerie” drawers are packed with Spanx and bodyshaping accessories. (OK, so I might have a bit of a body image issue as well. I’m a girl. What else is new? Sigh.) As someone who is already accustomed to hideous underwear, and who prefers the comfort of bed and TV to most physical activity, I was curious when I read about ShaToBu, the “calorie-burning” shaper that’s advertised as “the workout you wear.” ShaToBu might sounds like a Japanese delicacy, but it actually stands for shaping, toning, and burning. These underthings claim to burn calories with their resistance band-like construction, which makes your muscles work harder when you walk. I decided to give these babies a walk myself and here’s what I found…

  • Squeeeeeee! These suckers suck. You. In. I tried both the waist-to-knee shaper (which is more of your traditional bicycle short, tummy tucking garment) and the far more hilarious high waist-to-knee shaper, which rides all the way up your torso, ending just below your bra. In terms of how they make you look in a dress, the high-waist version gets an A+ (assuming your dress hits at the knee, because anything shorter will show the leg portion. Often with shapewear, you’ll get an indent around the middle of your torso, so the high waist deal really slimmed my line out.
  • As for muscle toning: I definitely felt different when walking. Your movement is very restricted in ShaToBu panties, so you do find yourself working a bit harder to take your normal steps. More so, however, you’re conscious of how you’re walking, so I noticed myself trying to engage my leg muscles more actively and standing up straight more often.
  • As for weight loss, my theory is this: For one, these undies are so labor intensive to put on that you work up a sweat just doing that. But also, they’re a bitch to take off, so for someone who drinks quite a bit of water, going to the bathroom became a nightmare. I cut down my drinking for a few days just because I didn’t want to go to the bathroom, and boom: water weight loss.
  • Overall: I’d say the calorie-burning claim is accurate if you wear ShaToBu everyday. But you’re not going to see a huge difference. On the upside, they’ll save your life the next time you have an itt- bitty black dress to stuff yourself into.

[$50-$60, Bare Necessities]

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