There has recently been an obsession with waist trainers. Celebrities the likes of Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, and Beyoncé.. just to name a few.. have been praising their waist trainers for giving them the much coveted and sought after ‘hourglass’ shape. Social media has also been a big part in giving praise to these updated medieval corsets. And now they have made their way into the fitness industry.
This angers me.
If you follow any fitness account on instagram, you are likely to have come across some ‘fitness pro trainer’ endorsing waist trainers or cinchers. They will take selfies in gym attire with a waist trainer on and credit that for their flat stomach, defined abs and hourglass figure.
THIS IS NOT TRUE!
I won’t even get into the fact that most of these so called ‘master’ or ‘pro’ trainers are a walking advertisement for plastic surgery, but the fact that there are thousands of women, alot of them young impressionable women.. even teenage girls, who will believe that an ever-constricting cincher will give them their dream body.
Anyone who has knowledge of the body will know that you cannot spot reduce, meaning that you can not target one specific body part/ area (ex: stomach, thighs) and lose fat only there. Fat loss is universal. When it occurs you will lose fat overall, some areas may go faster depending on your fat distribution.
What is waist training?
This new fad promises to melt belly fat, shrink your waist and give you an hourglass shape. You’re supposed to wear this compressive latex undergarment similar to a girdle (think: spanx on steroids) about 8-10 hours per day.. even while working out. As time passes by and ‘inches’ are lost you cinch your waist trainer more..and then *POOF* you end up with the much coveted mid-section.
Companies selling fitness waist cinchers claim that they compress your core, ramp up perspiration, release toxins, and metabolize fat. The tight fit also restricts your abdomen, reducing your food intake during the day. Advocates proclaim that these garments will help you lose fat and inches from your waist.
Waist Training Myths
1. It slims down your waist.
As stated before, you cannot spot reduce fat. The inches that you end up losing are a result of water weight from the excess perspiration (sweat) your body releases while wearing your waist trainer. Because it is water weight you will gain it back once your body is hydrated again.
2. Gives you an hourglass shape.
Ok.. let me provide some visuals:
>Full tube of toothpaste , cap on. Take your fingers, squeeze it in the middle. What happens? Still a full tube, BUT the toothpaste that was in the middle is now pushed to the top or the bottom..
>Hold a water balloon. Squeeze the middle of it. What happens? The center of the balloon is now thinner due to you squeezing it. When you remove your fingers, the balloon goes back to being a regular ol’ balloon.
What has happened in both scenarios is a REDISTRIBUTION of mass from one point to another, making it APPEAR thinner. You have not in any way actually REDUCED it.
3. Improves posture & strengthens the core.
Ummm.. NO not really. The only reason it may seem to improve your posture is because it forces you to sit up or stand up straight because of the stiff material. When you don’t have it on chances are your poor posture will return. Also.. by wearing something that tight you are not allowing your body’s natural core musculature to develop.
4. Reduces food intake.
Since this undergarment is essentially compressing your midsection (which houses many organs..including the stomach) it will give you a false feeling of being full. Does this sound healthy to you at all?
Now let me tell you what can and does happen:
1. Constricting the abdomen and torso could impair lung function by restricting the amount of space available for the lungs to expand into the abdomen and fill with air. When the lungs don’t expand…they don’t exchange oxygen or expel carbon dioxide, and the person is short of breath. While exercising your rate of breathing and demand for oxygen is higher, so if you’re wearing your waist trainer during exercise then you will feel the effects on your breathing even more. Reduced oxygenation can also affect your metabolism by slowing it down, which in turn can affect your weight
2. Can restrict your bowels.
This can lead to constipation
3. Causes bruised skin.
Can also bruise ribs if it’s tight enough.
4. Genetics play a big role.
If you genetically don’t have an hourglass shape, no amount of waist training will do that for you.
5. Compresses & shifts organs.
I will stop there.. though there are many other dangers to this new fad. The truth is that now a days people are looking for a quick fix. It takes time and dedication to food & exercise to achieve a flat and toned mid-section.
Abs are made in the kitchen and chiseled in the gym. Don’t fall prey to these fads.. because it’s just a TEMPORARY solution.