03 Feb My Thoughts On “Waist Training”
For some odd reason, waist training/waist cinching has become the popular topic ever since last year, in 2014, once Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Brooke Burke, and other celebs posted pictures online of themselves wearing a corset type garment. They touted that THIS was their “secret” to attaining their hourglass shape, so it MUST work, right? … I’m not buying it.
Doesn’t “training your waist to shrink” sound suspicious to you? It sure does to me, so I had to go out on my own and figure out why people, mostly females, would be wearing corsets/waist cinchers for 8-10 hours a day to “shrink their waist”.
Contrary to whatever you believe, you simply cannot pick somewhere on your body where you want to burn fat, also known as spot reducing. This is basic anatomy and physiology, and you will never be able to target a specific area on your body where you want to lose fat. As you begin to shed some excess pounds, through DIET and EXERCISE, your body will determine where those pounds will be lost first. This is why you see some people who have “jiggly” arms, but defined midsections; and while others have “thunder thighs”, but fit and shapely shoulders and arms. Your genetics will determine where you will lose fat first and where you will lose it last, not a corset or waist training garment.
Your genetics are predetermined at birth. If you naturally have wide hips and a thick waist, you can exercise and diet all you want, but you will most likely end up with wide hips and a thick waist, just with a lower percent body fat and more muscle! That is because this is your BONE STRUCTURE. Do you really think you can just wear a tight corset for ‘x’ amount of time everyday and gradually re-shape your bone structure toward attaining an hourglass shape? Come on. Really?
Here’s the deal. When you wear a corset or waist cincher, you appear to have a smaller waist, and that is because the fat around your midsection has now been redistributed to other areas of your body, usually your trunk. Your organs have also been pushed in tighter. So, you’re damn right you have a smaller waist! Lol.
There have also been a lot of claims regarding waist cinchers helping you to lose weight and also sweat, a lot. Waist cinchers are made from latex, so they will obviously make you perspire more than normal. However, you are not shedding pounds of fat by sweating water out around your midsection due to a corset undergarment. Once you return home, eat, and rehydrate, you will weigh yourself again and most likely be the same weight as before your workout. It isn’t the only thing, but one of the most important factors in weight loss, is the concept of calories in versus calories out. I don’t care how many hours you wear your “waist training device”; if you are still in a positive caloric intake once the day is over, you will gain weight. If you ate the same amount of calories that you expended during the day, you will have maintained your weight and stayed the exact same. If you ate less calories than you expended, you will have lost weight; waist cincher or no waist cincher.
Now I have heard claims from doctors indicating that these waist cinchers constrict the abdomen and torso, impairing lung function by restricting the amount of space available for the lungs to expand into the abdomen and fill with air. However, there have not been any studies on this particular subject, so you’ll have to take this statement with a grain of salt. No one knows whether these corset-type devices cause long-term lung damage or negative effects toward the internal health of your organs.
One thing I do know is this: the best way to shed inches off of your waist and lose fat all around your body? Eating healthy and physical activity (resistance training and anaerobic/aerobic exercise). If you are one of those waist-cinching individuals, and have found personal success with these devices, by all means, keep making yourself happy! But, take note, that just like there isn’t a “one size fits all” diet plan, or a magic pill that will make you lose 20 pounds in 5 days, there also isn’t a magical undergarment that will reshape your waist and bone structure.
Take home message: if you keep eating like a fat slob, you will remain a fat slob; no waist cincher or corset needed. ; )
Paul Hovan Jr., B.S., CPT, CSN, CSCT