Now that summer is around the corner, we can’t help but think of quick fixes to get into the best shape possible. As bikini season rolls in, is there really a quick fix when it comes to dwindling down your waistline? Hollywood celebrities Kim Kardashian along with her sisters Kourtney and Khloe, Jessica Alba and Snooki all seem to think so. So how did they get their teeny tiny waistlines? They’ve all admitted to using waist trainers to speed their way to a tiny waist and flat belly.
So what exactly is waist training? Does it work, and is it safe?
Waist training is a gradual process of waist reduction using an extremely tight corset. It became popular during the Victorian era when women would wear them to visually appear slimmer and obtain the fashionable hourglass figure of the time.
“Wearing a waist-cinching corset, exercising and eating a healthy diet can radically reduce your waist size and instantly give you a beautiful sexy silhouette while permanently getting rid of unwanted inches around your waist,” claims Waist Gang Society, the company that provided the Kardashian sisters their waist trainers.
And, while the Kardsashians have praised this trend through Instagram and social media, actresses Brooke Burke-Charvet and Jessica Alba have also come forward saying that they’ve done it in order to help them get back into shape after giving birth.
“I wore a double corset day and night for three months. It was sweaty, but worth it.” Alba revealed to Net-A-Porter.com. “It was brutal; it’s not for everyone.”
The idea is to wear the corset or waist trainers for hours each day in order to train your waist to reduce in size over a short period of time. Companies that sell them claim the corsets strengthen the core and improve posture. Wearing the constricting garment is also said to create thermogenisis that allows your body to rid itself of harsh toxins and impurities, through heat and sweat. Waist training also claims to reduce the amount of food you eat throughout the day due to the tight compression.
But as popular as this trend has become, it’s come to light that it may not in fact be healthy. In fact, medical practitioners are warning against falling into the trap of this “quick fix.”
“Medically, it doesn’t make sense that cinching your waist tightly will make it permanently smaller,” says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine. “Once you take the garment off, your body will return to its usual shape. It’s also uncomfortable, restricts your movements, and if you wear it really tight, it can even make it difficult to breathe and theoretically could cause rib damage.”
According to Dr. Caroline Apovian, professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and a spokesperson for The Obesity Society, this type of training will only give temporary results and should be worn cautiously. “If you’re going out and want to look really thin, I don’t see a problem with wearing one of these for an evening,” she told Health.com. “In fact, wearing a waist trainer may even help boost some women’s confidence and encourage them to exercise and eat healthy. “If you look in the mirror and like what you see, it can potentially be a good thing.”
But in terms of weight loss and wearing it on a daily basis, Dr. Apovian doesn’t endorse it. “In my opinion, that is complete nonsense,” she said about its ability to promote fat loss. “Your stomach might get pushed up beyond the diaphragm, which could cause reflux. If you’re wearing one and you experience those symptoms, that’s a definite sign that you need to loosen it or take it off.”
We all know that when something seems to good to be true, it probably is. As boring as it sounds, weight loss should be about healthy diet and exercise. As a weight loss device, we say this is super trendy and that it’s going to pass. If you want to wear a corset for a special event or need to tuck into a bridesmaids dress and require something a bit tighter than Spanx, wearing a waist trainer might be your thing.