Is Corset Waist Training Legit?

by Miki Hayes

Kim Kardashian is at it again. The reality star that everyone loves to hate (but let's be honest, it's more like hates to love) has posted some of her controversial shenanigans on Instagram. This time, it's in the form of Victorian-era shape-wear. That's right, Kim K is the latest celeb to tout the sorcery of the corset. Just like Jessica Alba, Brooke Burke, and others before her, Kardashian is a practitioner of the "waist-training" trend. In case you're unfamiliar, this form of diet? workout? (I'm not even sure what you can technically call it), centers around wearing a corset for anywhere from a couple of hours to 12 hours a day, or even overnight. The idea is that, by physically restricting one's waist for a given amount of time, it will (magically!) shrink it over time, giving her an hourglass figure. Does it sound too good to be true? Probably because it is.

When using a waist-cincher, what is actually happening is organs beneath the cincher are also being (surprise!) cinched. This means that lungs will be compressed, making it harder to breath; the stomach will be compressed, making it harder to eat; and other organs such as the liver and kidneys will also be subjected to potential harm from being under too much pressure. And while it might seem as though the waist does get smaller after wearing a corset for an extended period of time, it is simply due to loss of water weight (not fat) through sweating, or the redistribution (not loss) of fat from the pressure.

So the moral of the story here? If you want to save your breath and your organs, and actually lose fat instead of just water weight, it's all about good, old-fashioned diet and exercise. Waist-training is just the most recent futile fad.