Waist Trainers: Do they live up to the hype?

Posted on May 24, 2017 by Cynthia M. Poulos, M.D.

Everyone is looking for a new way to achieve the body image they desire. Every year there is some new weight loss “secret weapon” that is supposed to make it easy to trim down your waistline by a few inches or pants sizes in “30 days or less” – Does that sound familiar?

Waist trainers are a fairly recent weight loss fad that has backing of certain celebrities and reality TV stars. These waist trainers are essentially a revision of the 100+ year old corset. The idea is that when you wear them for a certain period of time you forcibly shape your waist into the hourglass shape you desire.

So, is there any truth to it?

Well, if you couldn’t tell already from my tone in this article—there is zero medical evidence to suggest that waist trainers actually work. There is however, medical evidence to suggest that they could be harmful for you to use. Here are a few reasons to avoid the waist trainer fad:

1. Slowly Suffocate: Yeah, you read that correctly. You can actually suffocate yourself slowly by partaking in this fad long term. It can reduce your lung capacity by 30 – 60%, which can cause you to simply have less energy or it can do something more severe such as cause you to pass out or fluid buildup in your lungs.

2. Crush vital organs: As if suffocating wasn’t enough, you can also crush your internal organs by doing this—which of course is NOT doctor recommended. This can cause legitimate damage to the functions of your liver, kidneys and stomach (among others).

3. Ruin your digestive system: So, just more internal organ damage, no big deal! You can actually cripple your digestive system using a waist trainer. This is because it can create blockage in your digestive tract and give you acid reflux.

4. Waist Trainers don’t work: I figured I would save the best for last. Waist trainers don’t actually work. Contrary to what those super intelligent reality TV stars tell you, squeezing your stomach until your eyes pop out of your skull doesn’t actually do anything whatsoever! Who knew… Oh wait, countless medical professionals and doctors—that is who knew. So take it from a professional, don’t buy one of these and if you already did, it will make great tinder for a fire or a really fancy paper weight.