06 Oct Why waist trainers are bad for you
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but
waste waist trainers don’t work. Here at fabufit.co.za we want to be your watchdog, your trusted source of information in health and wellness. So when we heard about this ‘wonderful’ undergarment that helps reduce your waist size, we had to investigate and report back to you all the facts.
Sadly, with most quick fixes, it has proven to be a case of “too good to be true”. In fact, not only does it not really work – it can be quite dangerous if worn for prolonged periods of time.
Firstly, let’s just say, the frenzy around ‘waist trainers’ started with celebrities like the Khloe Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Jessica Alba posting pictures endorsing them and Alba being quoted in the media saying it helped her get her figure back after giving birth. So naturally, people rushed out and bought them.
The craze has hit South Africa’s shores earlier this year, and local celebs have also posted pics online of them wearing their waist trainers. Several local suppliers of the under garment have also since popped up.
These are the claims made by waist training supporters:
• Achieve an hourglass shape and sculpt your body
• Shrink your stomach so you eat fewer calories
• Force your body into a new shape by conforming to the shape of the corset/waist trainer
• improve posture
However, the advocates of these waist trainers choose to ignore the lack of scientific evidence to support their claims.
With all this said, this is what the international medical and fitness professionals have to say about waist trainers…
Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine was quoted in an online publication saying, “Medically, it doesn’t make sense that cinching your waist tightly will make it permanently smaller, 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.”
Other risks include:
• When a corset/waist trainer squeezes the outside of your body, it’s also squeezing your internal organs. Excessive pressure on internal organs can cause serious health concerns.
• When the lungs can’t properly expand, it could increase the risk of pneumonia. It also makes it more difficult for your body to get the oxygen it needs – which is especially dangerous when you’re at the gym.
• The stomach and colon can’t expand, it has been shown to increase the risk of chronic constipation and heartburn.
• Constantly restricting the ribs and muscles can cause bruising across your upper body and constant, chronic pain – even after you take it off.
• One of the most serious hazards of wearing a corset/waist trainer is that it can reduce blood flow to and from the heart. This can lead to dizziness and fainting.
So is there some truth to the weight loss claim? To some extent, yes, the waist trainer simply forces a woman to eat less food, which will inevitably lead to some weight loss.
However, weight loss and nutrition expert at Mount Sinai Hospital Christopher Ochner, Ph.D. was quoted in a publication saying, “You can’t reduce the collection of fat in any one particular area of your body. If you push your stomach in, all the fat will go right back to where it was no matter how long [you wear the corset] for.”
Internationally acclaimed fitness expert and SWITCH founder, Steve Uria echoes what international experts are saying, “Clearly this is a complete gimmick endorsed by Kim Kardashian which makes it even more of a joke.”
Uria continues, “… if one was to wear this device your natural lung capacity would be compromised which in essence inhibits your cardio vascular output and reduces your volume of oxygen capacity, not to mention the pressure on the internal organs,”
“Any restrictive device including bodybuilding weight belts cause your supporting muscles to weaken and become lazy which is also the opposite result anyone ever tries to achieve. There is no substitute for proper nutrition and exercise.”
THE BOTTOM LINE: Corseting/waist training cannot result in significant weight loss or sustainable body shaping. The risks of wearing them at length is high. Unfortunately ladies, a balanced eating plan and regular exercise is the only responsible and effective method for weight loss and body transformation.