Zaggora Hot Pants: Review of Bioceramic Anti-Cellulite Slimming Shorts

| January 22, 2012 | 38 Comments

zaggora-hotpants-flamesIntroduction
Zaggora HotPants (and similar products like Delfin Spa Bio Ceramic Anti Cellulite Shorts) employ the overarching marketing theme “wear our shorts for a slimmer, less cellulite-ridden you.”   Based on my observations, I believe many of Zaggora’s claims are leading and loosely worded which leaves the consumer with unrealistic expectations of what the product can actually deliver.

Remember that marketing is unilaterally intended to do one thing: sell product.   The favourable aspects of the product are highlighted while inconvenient truths are often downplayed or omitted.   I’ve always been of the mindset that consumers should receive full disclosure so they can make an educated decision in their purchases. I have no problem with consumers purchasing Zaggora Hotpants provided they have both sides of the story.

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What are bio-ceramic shorts?
Zaggora Hotpants™ are the latest in a long line of slimming garments which, according to company marketing materials, are “specially designed sports shorts that contain bio-ceramic technology, which emits far infrared rays and reflects back the heat naturally generated by the body to deliver warming up of tissue deep below the skin’s surface.”   Zaggora maintains this will “visibly reduce the appearance of cellulite” and trim inches off your hips and thighs, with the effect further enhanced by wearing them during exercise.   This sounds impressive, but is there any merit to these claims?

Zaggora marketing claim:   Bio-ceramics emit far-infrared rays (heat waves) promote deeper warming of tissue and breakdown of fat cells.

Response:  The concept of ‘spot reduction,’ selectively stripping fat off specific areas of the body, remains unproven.  The phrasing of this marketing claim gives me the impression that simply wearing bio-ceramic shorts will reduce fat under the skin.   The heating of the muscle may alter the regional fluid compartment which might temporarily give the appearance of slimmer hips or thighs, but this should not be mistaken for fat loss.

Zaggora also claims that the effects will be enhanced by wearing the shorts while you exercise.  However, this also seems to be “wishful shrinking.”  A recent study by Kostek et al. (2007) investigated the impact of exercise on regional fat depots measured by both skinfold thickness and MRI technology.  The salient finding was that the less accurate skinfold method seemingly showed differences in local fat stores, but this was not reflected in the comparatively more accurate MRI scan.  The authors noted that exercise likely induces a “pumped up” effect in muscle which temporarily makes the skin tighter, resulting in a reduced skinfold thickness (with no change in fat tissue).

Zaggora marketing claim: Wearing HotPants “…results in much higher levels of perspiration leading to “flushing out” of toxins and edemas that contribute to the appearance of cellulite.”

Response:  It may be true that HotPants result in a greater level of perspiration which, as mentioned above, could plausibly alter the skin surface appearance.  However, this should not be misconstrued as “melting away the fat.”   This is not that different from the concept behind those old 1970s vinyl “sweat suits” which reduced scale weight mostly in the form of fluid loss.  I am unaware of any scientific evidence to date supporting the notion that you can sweat away fat localised to one part of the body.

Zaggora does not mention which “toxins” the shorts purportedly address (though I’ve got an inquiring mind and I’d certainly like to know).   The “eliminating toxins” scare tactics have always made consumers easy prey and sadly far too many fall for it.

Zaggora marketing claim:  Wear HotPants for “…30 minutes a day while you are doing exercise and you will feel and see the results – visibly reducing the appearance of cellulite.

Response:  There is no mention of how the “30 minutes a day” recommendation was determined.  The mention of “studies” confers a a scientific stamp of approval.  However, Zaggora does not provide the reference or a link where the results can be independently verified.  The burden of proof should be on the company to conclusively verify that the product does what the marketing states.

Zaggora marketing claim:  “Whilst studies have shown they (shorts) are effective whilst not exercising, best results will be achieved when worn during a workout.  HOTPANTS™ delivers best results when used in conjunction with exercise and worn consistently. The effectiveness of the product depends on the quality of your exercise routine and the consistency of use. The harder you work at it, the harder HOTPANTS™ will work at it.”

Response:  This claim uses the “cause and effect vs. coincidence” marketing strategy which is very common amongst questionable slimming products.   You should be aware that doing exercise, no matter what kind of shorts you’re wearing, is clearly a step in the right direction and will have an influence on overall body fat stores.   ‘Exercise’ your critical thinking skills by separating cause and effect from coincidence.  It is more likely that you lost fat (and scale weight) from your daily walks, hard work in the gym, non-exercise activity time, and healthy eating (cause and effect) while you just happened to be wearing HotPants (coincidence).   Unfortunately, many consumers unwittingly surrender the credit for all their hard work to the latest slimming garments, dietary supplements, or questionable infomercial gimmicks like the Ab Circle Pro (which comes with a low-calorie diet).

Zaggora marketing claim:  The bio-ceramics contained in the HOTPANTS™ material, contain far-infrared reflective particles, enabling the reflection of body generated heat back into the tissue.  Far-infrared rays are widely used in sauna equipment and have been proven to reduce body fat content and assist with weight loss in obese patients.

Response:  There is limited evidence that far-infrared saunas may help alleviate some cardiovascular conditions, but there is scant to nil scientific evidence that it can effectively reduce body fat stores.  The research at this point is speculative and inconclusive at best and warrants further investigation.   Moreover, it is stretching the truth to extrapolate results from sauna studies and apply them to bioceramic garments which have not been independently and conclusively shown to reduce body fat stores.  As previously mentioned, a reduction in thigh or hip circumference likely stems from localised alterations in the fluid compartment, but do not constitute fat loss (which may coincidentally occur due to exercise).

Zaggora marketing claim:  “What if it doesn’t work for me and I want my money back?  We are happy to accept returns of unworn and new items within 30 days of purchase. Naturally, if the goods are faulty, we will exchange them. Sadly, we cannot accept returned goods that have been used on health and safety grounds.”

Response:  I’m not quite certain this is much of a guarantee.  You’d want to try out the shorts and see how you go, but once they’re worn, you can’t return them?  I understand the health reasons for this, but my interpretation of this is that if you’re not satisfied and you want your money back, then that’s just tough luck.  Something of a catch 22.  Though if I’m missing something, I’m certainly open to correcting this.

The “bottom line” (pun intended)
The cellulite game is a billion dollar market and it seems every week there’s some new gadget, potion/pill, diet, or gimmick with “fat marketing claims” looking to separate you from your hard-earned cash.   I believe the marketing claims surrounding Zaggora’s HotPants are spurious but definitely not the worst I’ve seen.  The marketing is heavily “suggestive” and tends to blur the line between what consumers might expect from exercise alone versus exercise in conjunction with wearing the shorts (cause and effect vs. coincidence).   Greater disclosure and transparency with scientific evidence would be helpful, though to the best of my knowledge, I am unaware of any research articles which conclusively support the efficacy of the shorts for reducing fat on the hips or thighs.

Zaggora also appears to be heavily invested into social network marketing (Facebook, Twitter, blogs) which tends to lend itself well to what I call “validation by testimonial.”  While testimonials might be compelling, they are not scientific, further adding to the difficulty in verifying how “results” were quantified.  I’ve seen images on the internet of women measuring their thighs over top of the HotPants, but any “girdling effect” the shorts may provide could plausibly give the appearance of a reduction in girth where in fact there is none.

In conclusion, I would discourage you from purchasing this product based on scant to nil independent evidence of efficacy.   You would be better served investing your time and money into regular exercise and healthy, nutrient-rich eating – both of which have been shown to boost metabolism, reduce weight, and improve the appearance of “cellulite.”   Despite our desire for easy fat loss, the old adage still holds: If it appears too good to be true then it probably is.

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Category: Health Watchdog, Obesity

About the Author ()

Dr. Bill Sukala is a clinical exercise physiologist, university lecturer, and health writer. He holds a PhD in Exercise Science with a research focus in obesity and type 2 diabetes, a masters degree in Exercise Physiology with an emphasis in cardiology, and a bachelors degree in Nutrition. In his free time, you will find him traveling and surfing around the world! Follow him on Facebook, , and Twitter.

Comments (38)

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  1. Nick Lo says:

    I would also suggest that promoting “much higher levels of perspiration” in the shorts area is exactly what you don’t want to be doing, especially in a climate like Australia has.

    One word: Chafing.
    Two words: Fungal infection.

    • Bill Sukala, PhD says:

      Very true Nick. I’ve seen a number of reviews on message boards and blogs stating that Hotpants cause sweating, and these are people in the northern hemisphere now (which is in winter). I can’t imagine wearing them in summer on a humid day on the Gold Coast.

  2. Bill, another home run by you! I found it interesting that they say that Hot Pants emit infra red waves to break down fat. I’ve heard that some dermatologist are now freezing fat as a way to rid people of troublesome areas (apparently fat freezes at a lower temperature than epidermal tissue).

    If that’s the case, I wonder if “cold pants” can’t be too far off ;)

    • Bill Sukala, PhD says:

      Hey Joe, thanks for the comment. Can’t agree more. Funny you should mention about the cold pants, I was just thinking that the other day. Might not be too far off! Of course it might shrink your wedding tackle a bit which might be uncomfortable and reduce sperm count!

      • opinion says:

        Don’t be surprised – there are cold pants out there
        I have a joymag pants (similiar) to the zaggora (im in south africa) love my pants and it does work – i have lot of centimeters – i do not sweat excessively though i wear it around the house as it makes a wetsuit sound :) ive been meaning to order from zaggora but their lack of responses made me wonder how legit it is.. Will see if i can find the link to the cold pants :) Think you will enjoy it
        Here you go – I found the link :
        http://www.thatsfit.com/2010/07/30/we-tried-it-cool-shapes-contouring-aparel/

  3. Jennifer says:

    Fantastic review! Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Sam says:

    HotPants, a name created by heavily invested internet compaigns, are full of false and misleading information of the products. Their staff informed that they personally do not think the products work and they have many product returns.

  5. Antea says:

    Ha I was ready to push purchase button when I did my usual add hoaks to the end of everyithing I’m googling. There it was. Suppose it did sound too good to be true but I need scientific proof. I’m overweight but I’ve been skinny most of my life. I know how. I like to eat:) I also used to excercise every day. Then I just stopped excercising and continued eating. I’ve gotten on an a walking regiment for 22 days. I walked 8 miles every day and continued eating the same and lost 18 pounds. So there is my tried and true formula. Excercise. It’s just tough in the land of lazy:)

  6. Portia says:

    Thank you for helping me come back to my senses. There was a part of me that thought something was a little off about their ad. Please keep doing what you’re doing, it is much appreciated.

  7. Jill says:

    Thank you. This review is just what I was looking for to assist me in being an informed consumer.

  8. Marcia says:

    I bought hot pants. I wore them twice. Thy caused vaginal itching the first day. The second time they gave me such a severe yeast infection I’ve had to use cream and the pill and still have itching be some bleeding. I Hadnt had a yeast infection in like 10 years. Terrible experience.

  9. Desiree says:

    I don’t know yet, for sure as they say 2 weeks, but I’ve worn them on 3 workouts. I do a difficult workout 5 days a week and I must say I can already see a difference. I’ll give it the 2 week test and let you know but the it was worth a shot, as far I’m concerned. Lulu Lemon, Under Armour or Hot Pants? I’ll go with the Hot Pants after my limited test for now.

  10. Anam Cara says:

    BEWARE OF THIS COMPANY! I ordered a pair 26 March. I was charged for shipping through payal, so I know the order went through. They claim it didn’t. after repeated emails giving all my information several times, nothing has happened. The pants were paid for separately and I have to assume that I have lost that money. It may have cost me, but I consider it a lesson learned. I’m going to try and see if paypal will refund the shipping anyway. (Of course, if they do, I will probably have another foreign transaction fee since they were paid in British pounds.

    I wish I had checked them out before I ordered. Since they are overseas I have little hope of getting a refund. The best I can hope for is to warn others.

    • Roselle D says:

      I too had problem with the shipment, ordered on 27 April waited for more than 30 days. Emailed them and was told the parcel returned to their warehouse without the buyer’s knowledge. Options were refund or reorder with new shipping charges. Got so mad wrote back to them requested evidence of shipment but they came back with store credit with no shipping charges. Reordered and now waiting. Wanted to know whether the pants work as claimed. But deep down I knew it was some sort of mind game, normally when you have spent the money you will try to work harder to gain as much benefit from what you have spent. Thus the result was pleasing for some people cause they will then watch out their eating habits, work out harder or even start to work out and so on. LOL, knowing all these, but I desperately still want to try out. That is why the cellutie/weight loss products/programs are making billioins every year.

  11. Pam B says:

    I have these too. I have noticed a difference as well. I work out 3x a week in an hour long, intensive boot camp. I’ve had them for 3 weeks and have lost an inch on each thigh and almost an inch of my hips (yay!).
    I had an issue getting the hot pants like Anam Cara did. But, I used their customer service email and received the pants in a timely manner.

    • Vicky Galina says:

      Dr.Bill, thank you for your review. Its nice to hear both sides. Also, thank you to those comments who used the product. I also bought these via groupon, no issued in shipping. Just got these pants today, was wondering if I should return them…. I think (since they were not expansive) its worth the “risk” and if the idea of self-working shorts will motivate me to do more, I’ll take it. Will report in 2 weeks if any results. But I do appreciate your,Dr.Bill, time and detailed review. Its good to know the other side and then we can make our decision whether or not we are willing to try it. Thank you again!

  12. Teagan says:

    Thank you so much for this information!!

  13. Lynn says:

    I’ve had my hot pants now for several weeks. I LOVE THEM! I don’t feel like i’ve had a good workout unless i sweat. These pants make me sweat more than anything i’ve done besides yoga in a 101 degree room. You can’t tell me that sweating more isn’t burning more calories. I don’t care if it’s water retention (which i have a severe problem with anyway) or a temporary visual cellulite reduction. I’ll take what I can get as I’m sure most women would. It encourages me to exercise and I feel amazing after a great workout and good sweat. If it takes a pair of pants that makes a few outlandish claims and a few claims that are accurate….then that’s worth it to me!
    (I had no issue with shipping on my pants and even bought them thru a groupon for a great price!)

    • Bill Sukala, PhD says:

      Thanks for your comment Lynn. Glad to hear youre logging the hard yards in accomplishing your health and fitness goals. Best wishes in your pursuits.
      Cheers,
      Bill

  14. Hazel Flagg says:

    I ordered 2 pairs of Hot Pants through Groupon and received them with no problems within 2 weeks. I live near the beach and it’s very humid, so perspiring is already a way of life. While I was initially a bit disappointed that they were made of simple neoprene, I’ve noticed a difference already and, as some of the other women have stated, I’ll take what I can get. Besides, they will keep my legs as warm as my neoprene socks keep my feet when bicycling this winter, so it’s a win-win all around!

    • Bill Sukala, PhD says:

      Dear Hazel,
      Thank you for taking time to post your comment. I’m happy for anyone to purchase these shorts. My only concern is that people are buying them with full disclosure and not because they’re being misled by the marketing. Wishing you all the best in your health endeavors.

      Kind regards,
      Bill

      • Max Walsh says:

        I have ben waiting for these to come down in price for AGES!!!! Now they are 1/2 price which makes the cheaper than most leading brand gym pants in sports shops. I know they cane spot reduce fat, I just love the design, the wide waist and thick fabric. Also, in blustrey Britain they will keep me warm 11.5 months of the year ha ha. Looking forward to trying them!

  15. Andre Nelson says:

    Bill, great review. Was there some problem posting up the pictures of you sporting a pair at the beach? I know you took some.

    • Bill Sukala, PhD says:

      Hey Dr. Dre,
      Nah mate, no shorts necessary! I’m all about hanging loose. I like to free-ball it instead. Nothing like naked surfing….except when the wax chafes my nuts.

  16. leslie says:

    i would like to know if any one has used them whilst using a vibro plate and still got results

    • Bill Sukala, PhD says:

      Thanks for your comment Leslie. To the best of my knowledge, there is nil published research on Zaggora Hotpants and different exercise modalities. I think the company did some sort of basic pilot study but I am not aware if this was submitted for independent peer review (to a journal) where the methods can be properly vetted for scientific rigor. In reference to your question, with or without wearing HotPants, exercise is clearly a step in the right direction towards a healthy lifestyle. Cheers, Bill

  17. Chelsea says:

    Bill, you’re awesome. Great review!

  18. Megs says:

    Two Words: Swamp Crotch

  19. Steph says:

    Thanks for the review! I was just about to hit the purchase button when I thought “I wonder if they just make you lose water weight, which you then immediately gain back.” Then I read your review and hit “cancel!” Saving myself some money and just going to drag my butt to the gym to do it the good-old-fashioned way.

  20. Linda says:

    I purchased a pair thru Groupon for $26.00. Ordered them and received them within 10 days. My reason at the time was that they were much cheaper than Under Armour.
    I have worn them for my morning workout for one week. They are very confortable and I like wearing them.
    Dont expect a miracle since I am already pretty fit but I do appreciate your input regarding the product claims.

  21. Dodi says:

    These are neoprene pants – read the label. You are wearing a wet suit. Dont pay 70 or 100 dollars for this. There is no bioceramic technology they are pants that prevent the perspiration from evaporating.
    This is such a gimmick! I fell for it.. dont fall for it yourself.

  22. Jay says:

    Thank you for the great review! After reading this i have decided against the zaggoras and for the gr4tex. You should make a test of those, they worked perfect for me and actually helped me with my problem zones. I would love to hear what you guys have to say about that

  23. amina says:

    What a big waste of time and money, I bought and used them, use to wear them to the gym and guess what no change what so ever. Got way better results controlling my diet and exercising as recommended by health professional. When I got the pants I joined there Facebook page, I posted the fact that they were a waste if time and they promptly removed my comment and myself from there page and friends list. Just goes to show they don’t like people 2 c negative results. Don’t buy them. They don’t do as they say.

  24. Laura says:

    I purchased the HotPants from a Groupon as well. I’ve been wearing them to the gym for my workouts 3 x’s a week and 1 day to dance class. I def sweat more with these on, but not sure they are really doing any good on losing weight or anything else. I do like the lightweight feel of them so I guess I’ll continue to wear them. Just glad I didnt pay full price or buy a second pair. Thanks Dr. Bill for keeping us informed.

  25. Lori says:

    I wish I would have read this website before I jumped into, what I thought was a miracle, and purchased these hotpants. I purchased my first pair of hotpants in March 2012. I wore them 6 days a week for 1 hour a day at the gym. I did lose weight very quickly, 8 pounds by May 2012, how could you not lose weight sweating so much. In August 2012 I started to get really sick. I thought I had the flu so I tried to ride it out. I was just getting worse. I was having chest palpitations, sweating and flu like symptoms. I ended up in the hospital 2 times thinking I was having a heart attack. My heart checked out fine on every test they ran. I have since been seeing my doctor on a regular basis and have discussed what I think is the cause of my problems. Please, if you buy these pants discuss it with your doctor first. They depleted my body of the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy. If you loose weight that fast and you sweat that much you can do serious damage to your vital organs. I am still dealing with my health problems but I am feeling a lot better. If you have a lot of weight to lose, please talk to your doctor or a nutritionist. Sign up for a gym and speak with a trainer. Don’t do what I did. There is no easy way and what these pants are saying they can do is a lie.

    • Lori says:

      I tried to let the people of Zaggora know of what happened to me and they deleted my post within one minute. Amazing they don’t care about their customers.

  26. Shea says:

    Thank you for your post!
    I do have a couple of questions.
    What are the health risks in wearing hot pants? Also, when you say it can change the appearance of the skin, what exactly do you mean? Does this change stay indefinitely?

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