Updated: Nov 18
Especially thanks to the Kardashians, waist-trainers have been all the rave.
They've taken the internet by storm, and there is a handful of conflicting information out there. Are they really dangerous or not? Are they an effective weight-loss method? Do they really work?
I decided to see for myself to have the answers once and for all.
Now you will too.
I’ve always been curious about what the real verdict is since some people, including doctors, say to avoid waist-trainers as they restrict your breathing, shift and compress organs, can activate reflux, and weaken muscles. Contrastingly, I’ve heard others praise waist-trainers, express no complaints, and share their transformation photos.
I asked my doctor what she thought about it and she told me the former, but I was still curious because many users insist they're safe, unlike actual corsets, because they moves with your body so they don't restrict you the way a corset does.
With all this contradicting info, I knew the only way to get the real verdict was to try it for myself.
I initially tried ordering one of the cheap $5 ones from Alibaba, and that was a total fail since it ripped pretty quickly. It also looked super weird when it was on because it had a bunch of bumps on each side. I wish I had a photo to share, but it’s long gone and chilling in a dump yard somewhere. So, point 1, the cheap versions achieve nothing. The quality is not the same, no matter what the photo looks like, and it will be a complete waste of money.
Next I decided to spend more money on the real-deal waist trainers to get a proper answer. I chose to order two types from Luxx curves (pictured on the left) since the site had good reviews and the owner made a lot of waist-training YouTube videos. I tried starting with just 4 hours a day, and it didn’t last long.
I’m so annoyed at all the influencers that endorse waist-trainers and act as if they’re totally harmless, because I definitely felt restricted. And that totally makes sense given that they're designed to change the shape of your body.
All those influencers that say they jus pushes the fat around instead of squishing your organs, that’s a lie. I have a low body fat percentage too so there’s not much fat to be pushed around to begin with. Please don't fall for this false claim.
That said, I would love to hear a larger woman’s experience with waist-trainers because I wonder if that statement holds true for individuals with higher amounts of body fat. However, if you are average or on the thinner side, I guarantee your breathing will feel restricted.
To clarify, the owner of Luxx curves did say to take it off if you feel pain of any sort, but it wasn’t exactly pain I was feeling, just extreme discomfort. Which, again, should be expected from something that is altering the shape of your body where your lungs, stomach, and intestines sit.
Please note that I’m not accusing these companies of faking the results, because, as seen in the waist-training Facebook groups, they do work if you keep wearing them.
Not only do they give you a smaller waist, but they make you lose weight. This is because your stomach feels tight so you’re more aware of the food going into your body and you don’t feel comfortable eating as much.
It also is true that they’re not rock hard like a corset that doesn’t budge at all, so yes, they do move with you. It will be tight and uncomfortable but you can twist and bend (not easily though.)
I also read that they’re good for back support, and yes, that is also true that they improve your posture since they force you to remain upright all day. However, I wearing it too much could weaken your back muscles, which totally makes sense to me after trying it. When I took the waist-trainer off after just a few hours, I felt relief from both the tightness and the sweat, but I also felt lighter and weaker. Probably because it was the device straightening my back, and not my back muscles doing all the work themselves.
For those that managed to wear it enough to actually see changes in the shape of their body, especially the thinner women, I don’t know how they did it. I did not manage to complete the 30 day challenge of 6 hours a day for a month because it was just too uncomfortable, bordering on painful after a certain amount of time.
As stated by Dr. Travis Stork, if you want to buy one to an event for a short amount of time, that’s fine. But to wear it every day and use it to change the shape of your body is not fun and can even be painful and dangerous.
I think your time would be better spent going to the gym and embracing your natural body, instead of feeding into these unhuman body standards.
I know I’ll be over here breathing freely and enjoying life with a waist that’s as square as SpongeBob, looking forward to the day that the 1920s boyish bodies come back in style. Feel free to join me.
Don’t waste your money or your sanity.