Is waist training a waste? Kim Kardashian would say no. So would Jessica Alba. But how does the medical community weigh in on this diet trend that promises you an hourglass shape when you wear a waist training corset for eight hours a day, every day, for six weeks? Some consider it to be ineffective, and even dangerous. Here’s why:
WAIST TRAINERS DON’T ELIMINATE FAT
“If I were to take a rubber band and wrap it around my finger, tightly, and leave it there for an hour,” says Dr. Paul Jeffords, a spinal surgeon at Atlanta’s Resurgens Orthopaedics, “I’m going to have this indentation in my soft tissue, but...an hour later, it’s going to look normal again.”
When you wear a trainer, you’re merely smooshing your fat around, instead of eliminating it. No matter how long you wear a corset, the fat will return to where it was. “Spot reducing doesn’t exist,” states Christopher Ochner, PhD, nutrition and weight loss specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York. “You can’t reduce the collection of fat in only one particular area of your body.”
WAIST TRAINERS CAN DAMAGE YOUR ORGANS AND MUSCLES
If you wear a waist trainer for a long time it can choke your organs -- sometimes permanently -- by cramming your diaphragm, liver, stomach and small intestines together. Additionally, it forces your ribcage upward, potentially bruising organs. The longer you rely on a waist trainer for support and shaping, instead of your muscles, the greater the likelihood that those muscles could atrophy.
WAIST TRAINERS CAN CAUSE ACID REFLUX
Acid reflux (also known as heartburn) is a painful condition caused by acid backing up from the stomach into the esophagus, inflaming its lining. When the trainer compresses your middle, it presses on your stomach, increasing the likelihood of indigestion. If this pressure continues, not only will you experience pain, but the acid can permanently burn the esophagus walls.
WAIST TRAINERS CAN BRUISE YOUR BONES
Victorian Era corsets were made of steel boning strong enough to permanently skew the shape of women’s bones. While today's waist trainers aren’t that forceful, they can still bruise your bones. Bone bruises hurt more than ordinary bruises, and last much longer.
WAIST TRAINERS MAY CAUSE YOU TO SUFFOCATE
Imagine this: While your stomach is being squeezed, everything inside your torso contorts to fit the waist trainer. Your diaphragm is squeezed and your oxygen supply is cut short. This can cause lightheadedness, shortness of breath or fainting. An oxygen shortage can also lead to fluid buildup in the lungs, setting you up for pneumonia or pulmonary edema.
WAIST TRAINERS CAN CAUSE DEHYDRATION
Trainers broil your core and cause extreme sweating, so you will lose water weight (which you’ll gain right back when adequately hydrated). But if you consistently wear one, and are not careful to drink enough fluids, you could be at risk for headaches, fatigue, fainting and seizures.
For waist-shaping, a piece of fabric isn’t going to give you an hourglass figure. It’s just a temporary, superficial transformation that will end when the trainer comes off. Save your corset for an evening out on the town, for a party....or for a night in the boudoir.
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