What are waist trainers, and do they work?
A waist trainer is used to reduce your natural waist size and emphasize your curves. Whether or not it works or just creates more problems than solves them, is very debatable.
Many celebrities swear by using waist trainers, especially during their workout routines. These celebs include Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Kylie Jenner, and so many more.
These are sometimes compared to shapewear, but there is large difference between them, one being that the trainers need to be worn regularly and slightly tightened overtime. Due to this some have claimed that it helps with weight loss and assist you in achieving more of an hourglass shape. Some would recommend this when you are going through postpartum. In truth, shapewear cannot cause weight loss.
There are three things that happen when you are wearing a waist trainer and those are:
1. Squeezing. They squeeze your waist extremely tight but as soon as it’s taken off your normal shape reappears.
2. Sweating. You may sweat more than what you usually would without it, but this will only cause you to lose water weight, but this affect is only temporary.
3. Shrinking. By wearing this on a consistent basis it will cause your core muscles to atrophy and shrink in size, due to lack of use. Since your stomach is being squeezed, you are most likely not to overheat while you wear one.
What risks do waist trainers cause?
Besides the discomfort, waist trainers pose some big and serious health risks.
· Difficulty breathing
Wearing a waist trainer makes it difficult for your body to receive all the oxygen that it need buy nearly 30 and 60%. Due to this fact it can be extremely dangerous, especially if you’re wearing a waist trainer while exercising, which a lot do.
· Weakened Core
Waist trainers provide support to your abdominal muscles that would normally come naturally. If you wear a waist trainer without strengthening your core you will have severely weakened abdominal muscles, which can ultimately lead to poor posture and back pain.
· Weakened Pelvic Floor
After giving birth, naturally your pelvic floor muscles are weakened and the surrounding organs all need time to fully heal, hence why if you use a waist trainer it will make the matters worse. Due to the constant pressure on the pelvic floor, while the damage may not always be visible, it could lead to incontinence or prolapse.
· Meralgia Paresthesia
Extremely tight clothing and waist trainers could cause nerve damage. Waist trainers may compress the nerve that runs down from the groin. This may cause meralgia paresthesia – burning, tingling, and numbness in the outer thigh.
· Gastrointestinal (GI) Symptoms
Due to waist trainers compressing your stomach, it may cause you to eat less, which could lead to weight loss. But it could lead to unpleasant digestive symptoms. Waist trainers can also worsen discomfort caused by existing food intolerances or GI issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
· Rashes and Infections
Waist trainers are often manufactured using synthetic fabrics and are meant to be worn tightly. They tend to capture moisture – such as sweat – instead of allowing it to evaporate off your skin. This causes irritation, which leads to rashes and could even cause bacterial yeast infections.
· Organ Damage
When wearing a waist trainer, it compressed not only your stomach but also your organs, which most of them are in your midsection, this includes your bladder, kidneys, and liver. In some cases, your organs may even shift positions, or you may experience reduced blood flow, which will affect how well they function. If waist trainers are used for long periods of time these issues could be permanent.
Many waist trainer advocates would suggest that one wears it for 8 or more hours at a time. It’s not good to wear them for long periods at a time, and you should not sleep in them. Even though many brands recommend that you wear them whilst training, but this is not advised either, not only will it cause your abdominal muscles to weaken but it will also deprive your body of the oxygen that it will need to perform.
To limit the risks of wait trainer, if you are still interested in wearing one, you should only wear it on special occasions underneath your clothing on a night out or as part of a costume. Even in this circumstance make sure it is not suffocatingly tightened, and make sure you are also able to move freely. If you experience shortness of breath or dizziness, then it would be best advised to remove it immediately.
In conclusion, if your desire is to lose weight or gain muscle, then you should look into eating a healthier diet and working out at least 3 times weekly.