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LMU 162 – The Weighted Path to Effortless Weight Loss: Unveiling the Power of Artificial Gravity

LMU 162 – The Weighted Path to Effortless Weight Loss: Unveiling the Power of Artificial Gravity

Source: journal E-ClinicalMedicine (April 2020)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (May 9, 2020)


Intriguing new research suggests that our bodies have an internal weighing mechanism, which can make weight loss challenging. However, a simple solution might involve wearing weighted vests or ankle weights. These devices could influence our internal scale, helping to control appetite and calorie burn. Discover how adding extra weight strategically may aid in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight in this discussion.

A Pioneering Study That Defied Conventional Wisdom

In April 2020, the journal EClinicalMedicine published a groundbreaking study that challenges our understanding of weight loss. The research, conducted by a team of innovative scientists, delved into the fascinating world of artificial gravity and its remarkable effects on shedding excess pounds [1].

  • The Weighted Vest Experiment
  • The study embarked on an extraordinary journey by enlisting sixty-nine overweight participants, each carrying a body mass index (BMI) ranging from 30 to 35. These individuals were asked to don a peculiar accessory: a weighted vest. For three weeks, they lived their lives as usual, with one exception – eight hours a day were dedicated to wearing this weighted vest.

    The participants were divided into two groups: one group wore a lightweight vest, a mere 1 kg (2.2 pounds) in weight, while the other group had the privilege, or perhaps burden, of wearing a significantly heavier vest, weighing in at a substantial 11 kg (24.2 pounds).

Astonishing Results

The outcome of this experiment left researchers and participants astounded. After three weeks of wearing these unconventional vests, the group adorned with the heavier 11 kg (24.2 pounds) vests experienced a transformation that was nothing short of remarkable – they shed 1.6 kg (3.5 pounds) of pure fat. What’s even more astonishing is that their muscle tissue remained virtually unaffected. In stark contrast, the group wearing the light 1 kg (.66 pounds) vests barely managed to shed a mere 0.3 kg (0.66 pounds) of weight, far less than a pound.

The Enigma of the Gravitostat

To understand this phenomenon, one must delve into the enigmatic world of our internal body scale, often referred to as the gravitostat or internal weighing machine. Intriguingly, both animal and human studies have suggested the existence of a mechanism within our brain or nervous system that sets a “comfortable” weight point. Even when we tip the scales towards overweight, this internal body scale seems to conspire to bring us back to that set point. It’s a puzzle that has long confounded dieters worldwide.

  • The Weighted Vest’s Deceptive Magic
  • The magic of the weighted vest lies in its ability to trick the body’s internal weighing machine. Wearing a hefty 11 kg (24.2 pounds) vest seems to send a signal to this internal scale, convincing it that the body is bearing a significant load. Consequently, the body responds by either adjusting appetite and food consumption or boosting calorie expenditure to bring the body’s weight back down to its predetermined set point.

    The science behind this is intriguing: when we sit for prolonged periods, the reading on our internal scale drops too low. The body perceives less weight when seated compared to standing, and this may be a contributing factor to the well-documented link between excessive sitting, obesity, and poor health. Weighted vests can reverse this trend, elevating the reading on our internal scales. As a result, the body mobilizes its resources to shed excess weight and reach that elusive set point.

Ankle Weights: The Secret to Enhanced Caloric Burn

Building upon the concept of adding artificial weight to the body, we stumble upon another intriguing revelation. In his New York Times Bestseller, “The Sports Gene,” David Epstein shines a spotlight on research demonstrating the impact of ankle weights on calorie burn during exercise [2].

  • The Power of Ankle Weights
  • It turns out that wearing 4-pound ankle weights on each ankle can increase calorie burn during running by a staggering 24%. A similar outcome likely applies to walking – you burn more calories when your ankles carry more weight. Interestingly, using an 8-pound weighted vest around the waist only yielded a 4% increase in calorie burn during running.

Practical Takeaways for Weight Management

Armed with these insights, individuals looking to shed body fat can consider incorporating weighted vests and ankle weights into their daily routines. Here are two practical takeaways:

  • The Weighted Vest for Daily Use
  • For those with sedentary jobs or lifestyles, wearing a 24-pound weighted vest throughout the day could make a significant impact. By influencing the body’s internal scale or gravitostat, it may naturally reduce caloric intake and promote calorie burning.

  • Ankle Weights for Enhanced Walking and Running
  • If your exercise regimen includes walking or running, consider swapping the weighted vest for 4-pound ankle weights on each leg. This simple adjustment can potentially boost calorie burn by up to 24% during your workout, making your efforts even more effective in the battle against unwanted body fat.

A Bright Future with Weighted Solutions

In a world where obesity and its associated health risks are on the rise, these findings offer a glimmer of hope. The unconventional approach of weighted vests and ankle weights could pave the way for more accessible and sustainable weight loss methods.

As we continue to explore the complexities of our body’s internal systems, it’s clear that the answers to age-old questions about weight management might be hiding in plain sight – in the form of a weighted vest or a set of ankle weights.


  1. Claes Ohlsson, Edwin Gidestrand, Jacob Bellman, Christel Larsson, Vilborg Palsdottir, Daniel Hägg, Per-Anders Jansson, John-Olov Jansson. Increased weight loading reduces body weight and body fat in obese subjects – A proof of concept randomized clinical trial. EClinicalMedicine, 2020; 100338 [Link](
  2. “The Sports Gene” by David Epstein, Pages 196-197, Portfolio/Penguin – 2014


Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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