Celebs and influencers rave about waist training to get the perfect hourglass shape. But do waist trimmers really work? Read this before spending your hard-earned money on a waist trimmer.
What are waist trimmers?
A waist trimmer is a garment worn around the abdomen area to give the illusion of a smaller waist. Corsets and waist cinchers have been around for decades and are regarded as a cult classic beauty secret. Today, waist trimmers come in many different materials and styles, and are consequently marketed to do much more than to simply enhance an hourglass figure.
Do waist trimmers work?
As a dietitian, my clients often ask me, “do waist trimmers work?”
Simply put, it depends. If you are looking for a short-term solution, such as temporary inch reduction in the waist area (and by temporary, I mean lasting only a few moments), then waist trimmers may meet your expectations.
But let’s be real– most people looking into waist trimmers are not looking for a short-term solution.
With that said, it is challenging to give a definite yes or no answer on whether or not waist trimmers work for long-term inch reduction. It is best to get familiar with the two main types of waist trimmers to better understand if a waist trimmer will align with your goals.
Two main types of waist trimmers
Waist trainers (also known as fajas) are the most popular of the two.
Social media has labeled waist trainers as one of the most effortless and flattering ways to allegedly trim the waist, all thanks to paid celebrity influence. While waist trainers look like traditional underwire corsets, they are often made from a flexible fabric. Most waist trainers have small hooks on the front, giving its users the option to modify the degree of compression.
Across the board, waist trimmers promise consumers the illusion of a smoother and flatter-looking abdomen area by acting as shape wear. However, many waist trainers take it one step further by supposedly claiming that they can help shed inches off the waistline.
Sweat belts, also known as abdominal sweatbands, are widely marketed to consumers who are looking to shrink their waistline.
Retailers claim that this garment can boost abdominal fat burn through a process called thermogenesis. Sweat belts are allegedly thermogenic because they add pressure to the stomach which turns up the heat during workouts or sauna sessions. They come in a variety of styles including abdominal sweatbands and wraps, body suits, and even battery-powered belts that heat-up.
Waist trainers, do they work?
Science & Safety
Ultimately, there is little to no research supporting the claim that waist trainers can help people lose inches off the waist. In fact, medical professionals from UCI Health warn against wearing these high-compression garments as they can cause muscle atrophy and pain. In addition, a 2018 study published in the Respiratory Care Journal found that waist trainers can result in lung impairment leading to shortness of breath and pain.
Final Verdict—Does NOT work!
Simply put, there is not enough evidence to suggest that waist trainers work. Waist trainers are not an effective or safe solution for reshaping your waist.
Instead, invest your money on eating a balanced diet and establishing a regular exercise routine, the only two proven methods to create real and sustainable changes in your waistline.
Science & Safety
Like the waist trainer, there is no research supporting the claim that sweat belts work to slim the waist or help melt excess tummy fat. One probable benefit of wearing a sweat belt however, is the back support that it may provide during a workout. Despite this small perk, medical professionals discourage use of sweat belts – particularly those that heat-up because of many documented burn injuries.
Final verdict— waist trimmers do not work!
Abdominal sweatbands are not ideal for people looking to trim their waist or burn belly fat in a sustainable way. They give very short-term results—so short that they may not even last longer than your ride home from the gym. Temporary waist reduction is likely related to a loss of fluids from sweating.
Sweat belts give the false notion that sweat is correlated with weight loss. Sweat is a physiological process that occurs simply to regulate body temperature. Sweating does not equate to inches lost.
Ditch the sweat belt and instead focus on core-strengthening exercises to naturally get a snatched waist.
- Waist trimmers are not effective and can sometimes be dangerous.
- There is no scientific data supporting claims that waist trimmers help with long-term weight loss or help with effective inch reduction of the waistline.
Gaby Vaca-Flores is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in Santa Monica, CA. In merging her passions for nutrition and skin, Gaby created Glow+Greens to provide her readers with science-backed education + digestible wellness tips.