Whether on social media or being touted by celebrities, chances are you’ve probably seen waist trainers somewhere on the internet lately. They’re those corset-like garments that supposedly give you an hourglass shape over time.
While they may be trendy, they’re not likely to help you lose much weight around your middle. In fact, they can be dangerous and may be risky to your health.
Keep reading to learn about what waist trainers do and whether they’re worth the risk.
With access to celebrity-endorsed weight loss and body altering ‘cheats’ at an all time high, it’s perhaps no surprise that women around the world are desperate to modify their silhouettes.
China has seen perhaps one of the most alarming, with the recent “A4 waist challenge”. Women are taking photos of themselves holding an A4 piece of paper in front of their bodies to show that their waists are narrow enough to fit behind it. While the #A4Waist will hopefully be just a fleeting obsession, waist training is sadly showing little sign of disappearing.
When Kim Kardashian was seen wearing a corset showing off her tiny waist on Instagram, it duly became a “fitness” craze that many people were talking about.
Waist-shaping corsets aren’t new – in fact, tightlacing (also known as corset training) was quite common in the late Victorian era and came into existence in around 16th century.
But when TV royalty Kim K was seen wearing a modern-day latex version to shape her post-baby waist, we wanted to know more.
Soon other celebs like sisters Kourtney and Kim, Jersey Shore’s J-Woww and Snooki, Luisa Zissman and Danielle Lloyd were posting pictures of their tightly-cinched waists to kickstart this latest body-shaping movement and we took notice.
A waist trainer is a shaping garment similar to a girdle. The waist trainer pulls a person’s midsection in as tight as possible. The idea behind a waist trainer is that the pulling action gives the person a sleeker, smaller waist.
Waist trainers usually consist of a combination of tough fabric and hard fibers. Hooks, Velcro, lacing, or other strong fasteners hold the trainer tightly in place.
Advocates believe that it is possible to “train” the waist to retain a slimmer shape after frequent wearing of the garment over an extended period. Some people suggest that wearing a waist trainer while working out can aid weight loss.
Below are some harmful effects of waist trainers:
1. Skin Irritation.
Having a waist trainer so tightly fastened to your skin over a prolonged period of time can result in chafing and in turn, discomfort. Itchiness usually happens after you take off your waist trainer, although not everyone experiences it. It is caused by sweat and heat when wearing your waist trainer.
2. Breathing Issues.
Besides putting pressure on your stomach, the added pressure and unnecessary tightness can make it harder to breathe and can result in you passing out. And no, it will not be glamorous when you pass out at your desk at work, no matter how good you think you look doing it.
Basically, the entire internal network of your body is being pushed in order to fit into the shape of the waist trainer. This restricts your diaphragm and reduces the amount of oxygen you can take in which reduces the effectiveness of vital functions of your body.
3. Harmful to your organs.
Wearing a waist trainer for a long period of time can harm your organs, misplace them and cause permanent damage. It will also limit blood and oxygen flow to your vital organs which can lead to dizzy spells and difficulty breathing.
4. Causes dehydration.
Waist trainers will heat up the core temperature and can cause excessive sweating. This means you’ll lose water weight and is at risk for dehydration.
5. Increases the chances of indigestion.
The waist trainer also pressing on your chest area will increase your chance of heartburn and indigestion. Not only can it cause pain, but recurring acid reflux can cause long-term damage by eroding the walls of your esophagus.
6. Weakened core.
Waist trainers provide support that would normally come from your core muscles. If you wear a waist trainer but don’t train your core, you could end up with severely weakened abdominal muscles.
Weak abs can ultimately lead to poor posture and back pain.