Does Jiggling Burn Fat? (Science Behind Shaking)

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: March 25, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Dr. Kristy Dayanan, BS, MD
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As a personal fitness coach, I see people do some crazy stuff in their weight loss journeys. Unfortunately, the more desperate people are to lose fat, the more likely they are to fall for clever marketing of really bad products.

But I had an interesting conversation about jiggling and vibrating fat with a physician a few weeks ago.

So, we decided to do some more research into how vibrating machines could possibly burn belly fat.

There were quite a few surprises.

Quick Summary

  • Jiggling can help burn calories, provided it is combined with a healthy diet and aerobics workouts.
  • Vibration training works by standing on a vibration plate, after adjusting your required settings.
  • Weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise, emphasizing the importance of a balanced, nutritious eating plan alongside regular physical activity for effective results.
  • From my experience, vibration training offers a unique approach to fat loss that, when combined with regular exercise, can yield impressive results.

Does Shaking Your Fat Help Lose Weight?

Shaking fat of someone's belly

Shaking fat, when combined with a calorie deficit diet and aerobic exercise, can aid in weight loss.

As a fitness coach, I've seen clients benefit from adding vibration training, like whole-body vibration (WBV), to their regimen, especially with a disciplined diet.

Beware of gimmicks like vibrating belts promising quick abs—these became popular in the early 2000s but are misleading.

Research in the National Library of Medicine shows WBV can positively impact lean muscle mass and weight loss [1]. Remember, it's not a workout replacement but a supplement to regular exercise and a balanced diet.

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How Does Vibration Training Work?

Person measuring their waist

Vibration training involves standing on a vibrating plate with varying intensities, shaking your entire body.

It's beneficial not only for weight loss but also for special needs groups like those with Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and elderly adults, showcasing its wide-ranging uses.

I remember one of my clients who was initially skeptical about vibration training. However, after incorporating it into her regular workouts, she not only saw a reduction in thigh and belly fat but also felt an overall improvement in her fitness levels.

But the important thing is how you incorporate a vibration plate into your routines. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

Fix Your Diet

First of all, don’t bother with supplements or vibration machines if you haven’t fixed your diet.

Weight loss is about 70% diet. You simply won’t get rid of abdominal fat if you keep eating junk food and candy bars all day.

Instead, you’ll need to switch to a low-calorie diet of nutrient-rich and fresh food. That means low-fat foods, lean protein meat, and ideally, no added sugar.

Incorporate Physical Exercise

The next step involves getting into the habit of daily physical activity.

That doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym every day. But you’ll need to do aerobic workouts 3-4 times a week and go for walks on the other days.

Only then should you consider adding the vibration plate to your routine. And it should be an addition, not a replacement of a few sets or exercises, as per reports by the National Institutes of Health [2].

“​​With whole-body vibration, you stand, sit or lie on a machine with a vibrating platform. As the machine vibrates, it transmits energy to your body, forcing your muscles to contract and relax dozens of times each second.”

- Edward R. Laskowski, MD, MayoClinic.org

Choosing The Right Vibration Machines

Person using a phone

If you're aiming to enhance belly fat loss in your weight loss program, focus on choosing the right vibration machine. I suggest avoiding vibrating belts; my clients have seen better results with full-body vibration plates.

It's worth noting that in the early 2000s, the Federal Trade Commission took action against marketers of ab belts for misleading claims [3], highlighting the need for caution with fitness product claims.

Unlike belts, full-body vibration requires a stand-on plate. For the best results, adjust the vibration settings to a comfortable level during your strength training.

FAQs

Are Vibrating Exercise Machines Good for Pregnant Women?

No, vibrating exercise machines aren’t good for pregnant women. The whole body vibrations could harm the baby, and it would be safer to have a professionally planned exercise regimen to help you maintain a healthy body weight.

Should Vibration Machines Replace Exercise?

No, vibration machines shouldn’t replace a diet and exercise regimen. There is evidence that they can help to lose fat, but only when added to a training routine where you burn more calories than you eat.

Trigger Fat Loss The Right Way

It’s tempting to think that you could create a weight loss program by just getting your body to vibrate. But you’ll only end up wasting your time and effort.

Without the right diet and training program that burns as many calories as possible, you’ll just be at risk of weight gain. Try using vibrating exercise equipment as an addition, and then consider adding any of these excellent fat burners for women to your diet.

These can trigger metabolic processes that make it easier to get rid of belly and thigh fat. Just don’t take them as a substitute for skipping a training session or having some sugary drinks.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5792008/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14750005/
  3. https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2003/07/marketers-fast-abs-exercise-belt-pay-over-5-million-settle-ftc-charges
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About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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