You pick up your phone and press the Instagram app. Once you scroll down the explore page you see, social media influencers promoting waist trainers. The one with the pink cheetah print design catches your eye, and you notice all the likes her photo has and read all the comments mentioning how amazing she looks. As you read the caption, you see a “Thot10” promotional code to get 10% off your order. You recognize the waist training company tagged in the photo, and you start to wonder if buying it means you’ll finally discover that dream hourglass shape. The reality of the situation is that waist trainers are not the secret to the dream waistline and are often abused. Before you invest in one, you should know the facts.
What is Waist Training?
Waist training is a corset that you wear daily over long periods of time. In theory, your stomach and back will start to take on the hourglass silhouette shape. This process was really popular in the 1500’s. Women would wear ribbed corsets underneath their dresses to create the highly desired hourglass figure that we admire today. As we all know, trends cycle through and become more modernized. A waist trainer is a modernized corset. It’s been redeveloped to fit today’s society. Women can wear it under anything, whether they’re at work, at home, or at the gym. Sounds great right? Not exactly. There are many undisclosed risks to abusing a waist trainer, and these are risks I think you should be aware of.
The Risk To Waist Training
1. Mental Health
Waist training encourages the myth that while trying to lose weight, you can isolate a particular area of the body. But spot training is not possible. It’s crucial that you understand that wearing a waist trainer alone will not permanently flatten your stomach, even if you wear it daily for a few hours. If you want to burn fat, you must eat a proper diet and exercise. The fat loss will be minimized all over your body, not just isolated in one area.
Aside from encouraging the spot training myth, waist trainers can also be addictive. Many people become addicted to the refined silhouette that the waist trainer gives them. As a result, they wear it all day to feel better about themselves. They believe wearing one daily produces the ideal look and become self-conscious about their body without it.
2. Skin Irritation
Many people break out in rashes because waist trainers are typically made of Latex, and you must wash and clean it multiple times per week to get rid of the bacteria. Having a tight waist trainer around your skin for an extended time period can also cause chaffing and a pretty ugly and itchy rash around your stomach area. You could end up with an infection that scars your skin, all while leaving you without your ideal shape—making the process not worth it at all.
3. Breathing Issues
Many people do not purchase a waist trainer based on their measurements and end up buying it a size too small, which makes it tighter than it should be. By wearing one for extended periods of time, and even working out in it, they are applying a lot of pressure on their organs. Over time, this could cause decreased blood flow and impact the functionality of their liver, kidneys, and intestines. A strict waist trainer can also apply too much pressure to your diaphragm and cause you to take in less oxygen. If this happens while you’re training super hard at the gym, you could potentially faint. It’s kind of scary when you think about it.
While in a waist trainer most people notice tons of sweating. The latex heats up which helps with water weight loss. This can lead to excessive amounts of sweat around the stomach area or all over your body. Yes, losing water weight is a good thing, but if you aren’t properly hydrated, the water you lost can put your body at risk for dehydration. Severe dehydration can lead to headaches, dizziness, fatigue, fainting, and even seizures.
As you can see from above, if you don’t waist train correctly the risks are pretty serious. But if done the right way, there can be benefits to waist training as well. I will admit, during my fitness career, I have worn a waist trainer. I was aware that it would not alter my shape at all. However, my reasons for wearing one were entirely different from the masses.
The Benefits to Waist Training
Waist training can help with correcting your posture, stabilizing your back, and stabilizing your core muscles. When I wore mine, I did as advised and made sure to wear one based on my measurements and never decreased in size. I used it for core stability and only wore it while I was training. If used responsibly, I believe that wearing a waist trainer can support better posture, water weight loss and—while wearing it—the illusion of a slimmer waistline. I do not, however, think the pros outweigh the cons, and for most people, it is best to stay away altogether.
It’s also important to understand that many people wearing a waist trainer for extended periods of time must do so for surgical rehab (Lipo or BBL). They’re required to wear one 10-12 hours a day for six months. After their doctor performs their surgery, it’s essential that a body suit or waist trainer is worn so that when the body starts to heal, it takes the shape of the mold. So, to reiterate, some of the people on social media you see wearing waist trainers are wearing one because they have to. This means without first getting the body job, your shape will not look like theirs.
Remember, social media is designed to make you wish you had what you do not. The goal is to market a solution to a problem that their product was never intended to fix. The things you think you see aren’t exactly what they appear to be and, if you’re not careful, they can come with massive, long-term side effects.