If you’re not familiar with what a “waist trainer” is, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Similar to a corset, that’s not nearly as tight but is marketed as a way to lose inches off your waist. It’s been SUPER popularized by celebrities, I’m not sure who started it but seems like the Kardashians have been pushing this new trend.
The Benefits of a Waist Trainer
- Small waist
That’s pretty much it.
The Side Effects of a Waist Trainer
Dr. Ludovic O’Followell of France wrote a medical paper written in 1908 discussing the potential negative side effects of wearing corsets. This was the era where corsets were very popular, and despite the lack of technology (x-rays were just developed in 1895) Dr. O’Followell wrote about how dangerous they are.
Potential Side Effects:
- Narrowing the bottom rib cage = can impair lung function.
- Compress organs against the spine and/or shifts down into the lower abdomen = could cause long term digestive issues.
- Eating can be difficult- as we talked about your organs are displaced, so allowing them to work in normal function via swallow, digest, and do anything properly may become difficult. Apparently gas is also a big issue when you where a waist trainer.
We know that if anything is too good to be true, it more than likely is too good to be true. Just like “Juicing“, these are quick fix fads that have no scientific evidence to show that it truly does what they market it to do.
With that said, yes the waist trainer/body shaper could potentially help you minimize your waist size but at what cost? It’ll move organs and fat around but it will NOT help you reduce your total body fat percentage. While the waist trainer/body shaper will not be as drastic as a corset this doesn’t mean the side effects are to be ignored.
It’s even come to the point that questionable “The Doctors” tv show has even talked about the dangers of waist training. That’s really bad if a celebrity based tv show is standing against this popularized trend. Maybe they’re changing their ways since a report was published showing that a significant amount of their show was not evidence based.
In my eyes, if you’re going to go through all the pain of using a waist trainer/body shaper why not just do it right the first time? Workout and eat a balanced diet. It’s a win-win you’ll look better, feel better, and your health is not at risk. To top that exercise is good for your skin too, so if you’re looking at it from a pure aesthetics point of view, working out has so many positives I’m not sure why people are fighting to avoid it…
If you’re still interested in wearing a waist trainer/body shaper, Molly Fittzpatrick, wrote a great post about her experience wearing a waister trainer for a week. She goes into detail explaining the everyday situations like choosing outfits to hide the waist trainer, the difficulties of navigating the subway stairs, eating, etc…
*I just read someone mentioned pregnancy squishes the organs too, to justify promoting the use of a waist trainer. While this might be true, there is a hormone (relaxin) that is released to help with laxity, that helps open up the hips to make room for the baby, amongst other things. This is a NATURAL state the female body prepares itself for. Simply stating that your organs are “squished” too, is not the case, there’s a biological response to a pregnancy. There is no natural biological response from a waister trainer, other than forcefully pushing the organs, lungs, and rib cage out of it’s natural position, shape, and function.