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Waist Trainers; Do They Work and What You Need to Know Before You Try?

Sneakers at the waist squeeze the waist and train the hourglass figure. This is a corset with a modern twist.

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The trend towards waist trainers may be partly due to celebrities posting and rave about them on social media. Famous people may swear by them, but this does not necessarily mean that they are useful and safe to use.

Keep reading as we find out what waist trainers are and if they pose any health risks.

What is a Waist Trainer?

The waist trainer is underwear made of thick fabric and durable metal. It is worn around the abdomen, pulled together with a lacing system, hooks or Velcro.

It is designed to be worn tighter than a belt or shaping underwear to provide a smoother, narrower waist. Although the results are visible immediately, "training" requires frequent clothing over several months.

Corsets have been about for at least five centuries. Initially, they hid most of the female figures between the chest and hips. Sometimes, in the 1800s, corsets evolved to accentuate the feminine form, aiming for a valuable hourglass figure that required a slender waist and curvy hips.

The idealized tiny waist size kept getting smaller until corsets went out of style due to discomfort and health concerns.

What are the intended benefits?

Hourglass figure

An instant transformation can be impressive, and the theory is that you can train your waist to maintain that shape.

According to the American Council of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) blog, a waist trainer won't change your body shape much. Even if your body temporarily conforms to this shape, your waist trainer is unlikely to have a lasting effect.

Weight loss

You can temporarily lose weight by wearing a waist trainer, but it is more likely to be associated with fluid loss through sweating, not fat loss.

You can also eat less while wearing the machine simply because your stomach is tight.

This is not a healthy and sustainable path to weight loss. Even companies that create and sell waist trainers offer exercise and a healthy diet as part of your weight loss plan.

While some waist trainer proponents may advise you to wear them while exercising, this is a bad idea. This can severely restrict movement.

Besides, tissues and muscles need oxygen, especially during exercise. Your waist trainer can get it difficult to take a deep breath, making it much more difficult to continue exercising.

A small 2010 study evaluated the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of losing weight on a very low-calorie diet. The researchers also looked at whether wearing a corset would help support weight loss in the long term.

They found that a very low-calorie diet is possible even after a year. They were unable to assess the effectiveness of wearing a corset because most of the study participants refused to wear it because of the discomfort.

Decreased appetite

It makes sense that squeezing your stomach is likely to make you feel full faster. This can cause you to eat less.

To visit healthy and get the vitamins and minerals you need, you need to eat enough nutritious foods. By limiting the amount of food you eat, your diet may not be sufficient to maintain your health.

Better posture

Waist trainers can promote correct posture while wearing. Wearing it too often can weaken your core muscles, leading to back pain and poor posture.

The trend towards waist trainers may be partly due to celebrities posting and rave about them on social media. Famous people may swear by them, but this does not necessarily mean that they are useful and safe to use.

Keep reading as we find out what waist trainers are and if they pose any health risks.