If you've ever wished you could burn a fair amount of calories just by sitting around, and you don't mind that just-jumped-into-a-swimming-pool feeling, a NASA scientist may have a solution: his Cold Shoulder Calorie Burning Vest. Dr. Wayne Hayes, who has studied both ice and the effects mild cold exposure have on calorie burn, designed the vest to take advantage of the body's tendency to try to warm itself in cold conditions. He tells the Chicago Tribune that wearing a freezing-cold vest may not be the only way to expose oneself to mild cold conditions, but it sure beats the pants off, say, running nearly nude in February, which he calls neither comfortable nor practical.
But apparently a $199.99 vest with ice packs that feels "just like jumping into a pool" is a no-brainer, and earlier this year 1,524 backers raised an astronomical $281,319 for Hayes' idea on Kickstarter. (He originally asked for $13,500, reports CNET.) Hayes recommends wearing it for 60 to 90 minutes twice a day. A handful of testimonials from early Cold Shoulder testers suggest enticing results, but a larger sample size is about to put the vest to the test now that the first Kickstarter orders shipped out in September. Being a scientist, Hayes wants to make one thing perfectly clear: "Let's be blunt: There is no magic pill for weight loss, and The Cold Shoulder is no exception to that rule. The cold, hard truth is that the foundation of weight control is your diet." The vest, he proposes, is simply a way to accelerate calorie burn for those already eating well and exercising. (Is veganism the best weight-loss diet?)