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Do Waist Trainers Work? Can They Assist Losing Weight 2023?
Certain body shapes are desired by many because of how they are perceived by society. For females, an hourglass shape is considered the perfect body figure by many Westerners.
If you are after that tiny waist look, you could hit the gym and diet to lose weight and achieve your aim. This approach is beneficial for overall health, but it does involve lifestyle changes and plenty of self-discipline. Sticking to a very low-calorie diet that will help you lose body fat and trim inches from your waistline is easier.
With this in mind, is there anything else that can help to achieve the so-called perfect body shape that can accompany or replace dieting and an exercise regime?
Some individuals use physically worn products to help mold the body, but do items such as a waist trainer really work? Yes, they do. In the short term, they compress the fat tissues and in the long term, they suppress the appetite so less food is consumed resulting in weight loss. Read on to learn more.
Do Waist Trainers Actually Work?
A waist trainer’s effects on the body are thought to be temporary. If you stop wearing a waist trainer, then the chances are that your waist will gradually return to its normal shape.
This will happen as the squashed body tissue gradually expands and returns to its original state. Waist trainers can make your waist look smaller, but the results will be nothing but superficial unless you combine this with a healthy diet and an exercise routine.
What Is A Waist Trainer?
The concept of sculpting the human body into the desired shape is not new. All you have to do is think back to the invention of the corset. The purpose of this was to create an hourglass figure that was and still is desired to this day. Corsets were worn mainly by women around the waist, torso, and abdomen, and they tightened considerably, which sometimes made even breathing uncomfortable.
The nearest thing to a corset treatment today is a waist trainer, and as the name implies, it tries to train your waist into becoming a certain shape and size by squeezing it into a certain position.
While this is worn under clothing like a corset to make the waist look smaller, waist trainers are often constructed with sturdy and comfortable material and fabrics. The tightness can be adjusted by using sticky or lace fasteners located at the back of the trainer.
Those who choose to wear waist trainers gradually break them in by wearing them for more extended periods each day until they are no longer noticeable.
While the tightness can also be increased, waist trainers should never be tight enough to make eating or breathing uncomfortable.
The theory behind waist trainers is that the longer you wear one, the more it helps to mold the waist and hips, eventually creating a defined hourglass body shape. This raises certain questions, such as if they help mold the body, are the results only temporary once you stop using the waist trainer, and do they aid weight loss without harming the individuals who wear them?
Benefits Of Waist Training
Because waist trainers need to be relatively tight-fitting in order to be effective, the constriction around the waist and stomach can help individuals eat far less than they would without the waist trainer on. This can aid weight loss due to fewer calories being consumed.
A Temporary Fix
If you need an hourglass figure to fit into a certain dress for an emergency social event, then the waist trainer can give you the look you are after quickly without the need for an emergency visit to the gym.
If you like what you see and how your new body shape makes you feel, then waist trainers can be great motivators to get in shape for real. This process would involve regular exercise and healthy eating to achieve the look permanently.
Waist trainers are adjustable and can be worn to suit. They do not have to be worn 24/7, and the tightness can be adjusted and should in no way be restrictive.
Possible Health Risks Of Using A Waist Trainer
Waist trainers support the body’s core and help encourage a better posture. However, because this is being done by the waist trainer and not our muscles, the core muscles can become weak, resulting in poor posture in the long term.
It is thought that those who wear waist trainers can slowly suffocate themselves due to their lung capacity being reduced.
This can lead to lowered energy levels, and if you do any regular exercise, then you must remove the waist trainer to allow your lungs to work to full capacity. Wearing a waist trainer while exercising, or too tightly in general, can lead to fainting due to a lack of oxygen circulating around the body.
It is not only the lungs that are at risk of not functioning correctly from wearing tight waist trainers over long periods. All the vital internal organs can get squeezed into unnatural positions, which can affect the performance of the kidneys, liver, and even the digestive system. Waist trainers can unduly compress the internal organs.
Squashing the stomach can lead to health concerns such as acid reflux, indigestion, and even stomach pain. Intestinal disturbances can also be experienced as well as made worse. So, if you suffer from health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or acid reflux disease, you may want to think again before using a waist trainer.
In the long term, wearing a waist trainer may cause permanent organ damage and a fractured rib cage, two very undesirable outcomes.
Another potential hazard of wearing a trainer for your waist is that it does not allow the skin to breathe properly. Sweating can be a problem for some even though the manufacturers try to construct the waist trainers with skin-friendly materials.
Skin that is constantly moist can become irritated and sore, and this kind of environment allows bacteria to flourish and is an ideal breeding ground for fungal infections.
Safe Alternatives To Waist Trainers
The most obvious alternative to waist trainers is diet and exercise. If you follow a sensible, tried, and trusted exercise regime and diet plan, this is the safest way to get the body shape you desire. Results are seen gradually, but it gives you a lasting hourglass body rather than a temporary quick fix.
Body sculpting wear that comes in an entire bodysuit is more subtle than a waist trainer and doesn’t restrict the body’s vital organs as much as waist trainers do. If you wear waist trainers regularly, then wearing body sculpting suits should not be a problem as they are lighter in comparison.
As a last resort, you could opt for cosmetic surgery, but this is a costly and risky option that should only be acted on after very careful consideration and research.
The use of waist trainers raises plenty of questions with unclear answers. The most important question is, do waist trainers work without exercise?
The answer is yes; they can sculpt the body and suppress the appetite; you can also lose pounds through sweating. However, this is superficial and can be quite dangerous if your vital organs are continually squeezed.
Do waist trainers work while working out, and do waist trainers work with exercise? Here the answer is far more straightforward. You should never wear a waist trainer while doing any form of exercise. This is because they restrict your lung capacity, which in turn affects the oxygen levels in your bloodstream.
Exercising while wearing a waist trainer can affect performance and energy levels. The drop in oxygen levels alone can even lead to fainting.
Do waist trainers work for men, and do waist trainers work for belly fat? Waist trainers are used mainly by women, but men do also use them to try to shrink their waists. The same principles apply to both men and women and again the results are superficial at best.
Waist training does not help burn body fat directly; instead, fatty tissue can be compressed, giving the illusion that body fat is disappearing. The only way to directly burn off body fat is by exercise and healthy eating.
Men tend to store more fat around the belly than women do, which means that men tend to tighten their waist trainers more, leading to other problems which have already been discussed.
The bottom line is that waist trainers work best when they are part of a healthy lifestyle. However, the chances are that if you exercise regularly and eat healthily, you will get the body shape you are after naturally without the need for a waist trainer.
+ 2 sources
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- Max Murray Ramcharan, Adel Hanandeh, Donaldson, B. and Safavi, A. (2020). Waist Training Corset: An Unusual Cause of Acute Lower Limb Ischemia. [online] doi:https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.10465.
- Green, T. and Roby, A. (2018). The Effect of Waist Trainers on Breathing. Respiratory Care, [online] 63(Suppl 10). Available at: https://rc.rcjournal.com/content/63/Suppl_10/3012838.