Do Waist Trainers Really Help Dieters Lose Weight?
It’s the newest fad for weight loss that several celebrities that include the likes of Kim Kardashian and Jessica Alba swear by - waist trainers that they claim helped them lose weight and slim down their bellies. But do waist trainers really help dieters lose weight?!
Physically, waist trainers are nothing more than modern-day corsets that cinch firmly around the waist providing back support for better posture and giving a woman a slimmer look. However, some users of waist trainers claim that after wearing their waist trainer for a few weeks that they noticed a definite reduction in their waist size.
One user of waist trainers is Ms. Tia Keels who after back surgery needed something to help keep her back supported as she recovered. What Ms. Keels found was that not only did the corset-like garment help improve her posture, but also noticed that her waist size was decreasing.
According to ABC news, Ms. Keels stated that, “Originally my waist was about 37 inches, and as I continued to wear my waist trainer, my waist got smaller and smaller," she said. "And at that point, other people was asking me, 'What did I do?'”
Reports of similar success by other wearers of waist trainers has resulted in this new weight loss fad boom where very visible celebrities like Kim Kardashian give credit to their weight loss success. That, and the attraction of the idea that just by wearing a particular garment—remember those space suit-like sweat jumpers—can lead to easy, albeit uncomfortable shedding of pounds of fat. One of the more recent garment-related weight loss ideas was The Cold Shoulder Vest that claimed you could lose up to 500 calories per day.
But do waist trainers really cause weight loss? Or, is this just another weight loss wearable gimmick like weight loss underwear?!
According to sports medicine internist Dr. Sameer Dixit at Johns Hopkins Medicine, there is no scientific evidence to support claims that waist trainers are effective toward losing weight.
"The waist trainer itself isn't going to cause weight loss," he said. "It may inhibit your appetite if it's tight and perhaps secondarily that could cause some loss of weight, but otherwise it doesn't directly cause weight loss."
In fact, Women’s Health magazine reported last fall on not only the lack of any evidence supporting the use of waist trainers, but that it really does not make any sense to believe in such celebrity-fed hype.
According to one health expert quoted in Women’s Health:
“Medically, it doesn’t make sense that cinching your waist tightly will make it permanently smaller,” says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine. "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.”
At best, a waist trainer may be just a simple reminder to help keep you on track with your dieting and exercise by letting you see how improved your body looks with a slimmer waistline. At worst though, health experts warn that wearing such a restricting garment too long and too tightly could cause tissue and bone damage to the human body.
However for now, all appear to be in agreement that as long as a waist trainer is wore as directed in its manufacturer instructions, that it is relatively safe. Physically, it does nothing for burning calories; psychologically though, it may give some dieters that extra push to lose weight with added dieting and exercise.
For more about celebrity weight loss, here is how one celebrity actually lost 14 pounds in just 2 weeks.
ABC News affiliate WMAR Baltimore― “Waist trainers: Just another form of shapewear or useful weight loss tool?”
Women’s Health― “The Dangers of Waist Training”