Does Wearing A Garbage Bag While Working Out Help You Lose Weight?

The Boston Marathon is one of the most recognized running events in the United States with tens of thousands of people from all over the world showing up each year, as per the Boston Athletic Association. And as with many marathons, certain sights are a hallmark of the day. Streets filled with runners, bystanders cheering them on, and the chaos that precedes with each race as the participants prepare themselves and jockey for position at the starting line.

But there is one sight that someone outside the world of running might find really odd and that is runners wearing trash bags, either during their warm-ups or throughout the marathon itself. However, it seems to be such a common idea that even put together a slideshow highlighting a few runners that sported the attire.

That's not to say that trash bags are to be found solely on runners in the Boston Marathon. The trend can be found in movies, like "Silver Linings Playbook," among others (per Vanity Fair). And it gained even more attention when Insider revealed that Tom Holland made a habit of running in a trash bag to lose weight for an upcoming role.

Exercising in a trash bag seems to be catching on. But does it actually help runners or anyone else lose weight?

Temporary benefits carry health risks

Like many things in the world of weight loss, whether or not a trash bag will help someone reach their goal depends on their definition of weight loss. If someone wants to lose weight fast and doesn't mind putting it back on, then the trash bag trick will net them the results they want. Insider explains that this can help athletes make weight before an event and may even reduce puffiness or water retention for a day or two. But wearing a trash bag doesn't lead to long-term weight loss.

The experts at Children's Hospital Colorado state that trash bags — and their official equivalent, the sauna suit — only equate to the loss of water weight. In fact, wearing either option can quickly lead to overheating, which is a quick route to dehydration.

Dehydration is not something you should risk, especially not for a temporary drop in the number on your scale. The condition can lead to dizziness, confusion, and fatigue (per Mayo Clinic). It can also increase a person's risk of heat damage, including both heat exhaustion and heat stroke. So you might see fast, temporary results by adding a trash bag to your gym clothes, but the risks to your health may not be worth it.