Since the beginning of time, women have always been attracted to products that claim to narrow their midsections and flatten their bellies. In the 18th and 19th centuries, we witnessed the domination of whalebone corsets and tight-cinch girdles. Now, in the 21st century, we have the well-loved waist trainer. But does a waist trainer actually work?
This modern take on the whalebone corset is said to be an essential aid for losing belly fat and sculpting stubborn cores. Countless models and influencers have uploaded videos of themselves working out while wearing waist trainers, and for god’s sake, they all have the perfect hourglass silhouette.
Keep reading, and we will see whether they are really effective or just some marketing hype!
Simply put, a waist trainer is an elastic compression band made of thick, sturdy fabric. Many also come with hard metal boning. To wear this undergarment, you fasten it around the torso with hooks, Velcro, or a lacing system. Some affordable ones cost around $20, but the best waist trainer for women can cost up to $100.
Since a waist trainer’s purpose is to support and mold your waistline by pulling it as tight as possible, users are recommended to wear it much tighter than a girdle or shaping underwear.
Most brands (including Kim Kardashian’s super popular Skim line) promise instant results. Still, according to them, you have to wear the garment frequently for several months to achieve a long-lasting effect.
Some of the benefits waist trainers claim to bring include:
- Hourglass figure
- Slim waist
- Weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Better posture
But can they actually do that? Let’s see what experts have to say about these affirmations.
Well, it does, but only to a certain extent.
Perhaps you are persuaded by all the winged words and have purchased a waist trainer for yourself. If it’s the first time you wear one, the instant transformation will surely impress you. Wearing this shaping garment will make your waistline look slimmer right away.
However, this hourglass figure won’t stay for long. According to American Board of Cosmetic Surgery research, a waist trainer doesn’t drastically transform your body.
That’s because you can’t destroy fat cells around your midsection by squishing them. Even if your body type takes on that shape temporarily, a waist trainer is not likely to create a long-term impact.
Regarding the “weight loss” claim, some users may see a slight weight loss after wearing waist trainers. Nonetheless, rather than losing fat, this is more likely to be a loss of fluids through perspiration.
Indeed, waist trainers can decrease your appetite. There’s no surprise, though: Of course, you will feel full faster when your stomach is squeezed!
While this is a point in the product’s favor, eating less shouldn’t be a sustainable path to losing weight. Even companies that sell and promote waist trainers advise exercising and following a healthy diet to get your dream body shape.
Finally, wearing a waist trainer may help you maintain proper posture. However, excessive use of it could weaken your core muscles. This results in discomfort in the back and bad posture.
So, yes, waist trainers do benefit you in some way, but they mainly offer temporary, short-term effects. Strapping it around you for too long (8 hours or more every day) might lead to these unwanted side effects:
Research from the ABCS shows that excessive use of waist trainers can cut your lung capacity by 30-60% in the long run. This makes you uncomfortable and drains your energy. Pull the straps in tight enough, and you might even black out.
More serious consequences include inflammation and an accumulation of fluid in the lung. In addition, problems with your breathing might, over time, have a negative effect on your lymphatic system – responsible for helping the body get rid of toxins.
Your torso is not all about skin and fat – it’s also home to the liver, kidneys, stomach, intestines, and other essential organs. When you wear a waist trainer, you are putting pressure on these organs, too.
What exactly is the long-term effect of this unnecessary pressure? As the organs are being squeezed into the corset, they have no choice but to adapt. They end up being trapped in an unnatural position where they are too packed to function well. This might damage your organs, disfigure your body, and even fracture your ribs.
Under the pressure a waist trainer causes, the stomach acid might be pushed up to the esophagus, leading to painful heartburn. Wearing this corset for too long will aggravate existing symptoms of GERD.
As mentioned earlier, a waist trainer can help you stay in good posture. Wearing one in everyday life, though, will make your muscles depend on its stability and support. That will just backfire and weaken your core muscles instead of training them.
If you want an instant hourglass shape for a special occasion, it’s safe to wear a waist trainer once in a while under your costume. It will sculpt your body nicely for a few hours.
For your comfort, always invest in the best waist trainer for women. Since this piece of garment will wrap tightly around your torso, a low-quality one might irritate your skin.
Also, make sure that you don’t feel restricted by it. If you start feeling light-headed or short of breath, loosen or take off your waist trainer as soon as possible.
We don’t recommend strapping a waist trainer around you for 8 hours or more. Wearing it during exercise is a no-no, too, since it can restrict your movement and airflow, making the exercise session much more draining.
So, does a waist trainer actually work? It can temporarily give you the perfect waistline you have always dreamed of. However, to really lose weight and take inches off your waist, this tight-fitting corset is not the solution. The only way to achieve long-term results is to change your exercise and diet.
If you are still adamant about trying one out, just pick an option that isn’t crazily restrictive, and remember not to pull it too tight!