Waist Training: The Truth Exposed
Written By: Keara Palmay
We all know what it takes to lose weight: exercise and a balanced, healthy diet. Despite the fact that we know how to slim down, some of us still take drastic measures to do so. Apparently, I am guilty of this myself.
If you haven’t heard the buzz, the latest weight-loss fad is called “waist training” or, “waist cinching.” The process involves wearing a tight corset over a long period of time to shrink your waist. Committed waist trainers wear their corsets up to 12 hours each day. Some even wear them while they sleep. Eventually, their waist shrinks. Or that’s the theory, anyway.
More and more women have been trying it out, especially after celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Snookie and Amber Rose posted ”selfies” cinching their waists on Instagram.
My followers began asking me what my stance was on waist cinching. To give them my honest opinion, I assumed the “lab rat” position and decided to try it for myself. I knew it seemed ridiculous, but hey, Kim Kardashian is popular for her looks, not her intelligence.
Sporting my new corset.
Before I tell you about my experience, I will tell you the three ways in which waist training supposedly works:
- The pressure from the corset compresses your lower ribs, which shrinks your waist.
- The corset pushes on your abdomen, which prevents you from overeating.
- The corset makes you sweat, which reduces water weight.
I won’t lie, I was super eager for my corset to arrive in the mail. I am already in good physical shape, but sometimes my muscle definition makes me feel “boxy.” Maybe waist training would be the solution to give me the hips I never had! I was about to find out.
When my corset arrived, I excitedly ripped it out of its package, sucked in and zipped.
Not exactly comfortable.
I felt like I fractured a rib just putting the darn thing on, but I sucked it up (literally) and went to work, hiding the corset beneath my clothes.
My experience was not so bad after all. The work that I do is fairly sedentary. I hate sitting on my bum, but I enjoyed how the corset at least forced me to maintain good posture while I did.
Once I began speaking with clients, however, I felt like I wasn’t fully present because I was so uncomfortable. I would have communicated more efficiently had I not been distracted by this.
After work, I hit the gym.
This “workout” was an epic failure.
Although it was leg day for me, it was nearly impossible to work my legs because the pressure from the corset made my abs feel like Jell-O. When one muscle group isn’t functioning properly, it throws off the flow of your entire workout. I was concerned about my safety, so I threw in the towel. There was no point in tackling cardio because I could barely breathe while at rest.
I continued to waist train for two more weeks, but stopped wearing my corset to the gym. Overall, I lost an inch from my waist. Was it worth it?
From my personal experience, I created a list of pros and cons.
- I was physically unable to overeat, but I always felt like I ate enough.
- The corset contoured my framework; I felt like a sexy beast!
- It forced me to sit up straight, so my posture improved.
- I could not breathe well.
- I felt very uncomfortable. This was reflected in my personality.
- My breaths were quick and shallow – much like the breathing experienced during a panic attack. This shift in my physiology made it impossible to relax.
- My ribs bruised.
- The effects of waist training only last as long as you can tolerate putting up with it, so it’s a major commitment.
- Loss of water weight is temporary and can be gained back with a single glass of water.
- I didn’t lose fat, I just redistributed it.
- The constant pressure made my abs feel weak.
Needless to say, I threw the corset in the trash.
If my long list of cons didn’t dissuade you from waist training, most doctors agree that the process is unsafe. Some of the medical risks include: displacement of the internal organs, rib damage, slowed metabolism, organ failure, abdominal pain and restriction of the bowels.
There’s a reason that fads are fads. This one will retire once the next blasphemous “weight-loss solution” is introduced.
If you want to lose weight, exercise and eat healthy. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as we tend to make it and it requires no suffocation!
I give waist training a big, fat thumbs down. If you’ve tried it, I would love to hear about your experience. Comment below with your stories.
Keara Palmay is a Certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer. Her interest in health and wellness peaked after her own personal battle with cancer. While Keara was fortunate enough to beat cancer at the young age of seventeen, chemotherapy left her body badly damaged. Because of this, she was committed to doing everything in her power to elevate her health to a level greater than it had ever been before.
Today, Keara owns her own virtual coaching business called High Off Health and is pursuing her Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition through the University of Bridgeport. Her mission is to empower others to take control of their health and well-being by living each moment to its fullest.
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