Waist Trainers: Do They Work?

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Waist trainers are the latest weight loss craze.

You've probably seen celebrities, even your friends, posting pictures of themselves waist training on Instagram.

"It really provides just an instant slim to your waist line," says Hourglass Angel Operations Manager Jasmine Ruiz.

A lot of women turn online to buy waist trainers. Hourglass Angel is one of the companies filling the demand.

"Generally our most popular are the waist trainers and the waist cinchers," says Ruiz.

The trainers are designed for exercise. What's the purpose? She says you'll sweat more and lose weight after wearing it for a periodic time.

"It actually starts to reduce your natural waist line just from wearing the garment," says Ruiz.

Can compression from a latex device really slim your waist? Reviews online are overwhelming positive.

Some customers write:

"My waist dropped about 1-2 inches...It's so comfortable, I wore it the first day for eight hours with no problem."


"I recently had a baby..I started wearing my waist trainer a week after and it took only about a week to have my tummy flat again!!!"

Women are wearing these trainers for eight hours a day or more.

But are these popular garments safe?

Dr. Vishal Gupta, a gastroenterologist with Allegiance Health in Jackson, says although it may be too early to tell with waist trainers, doctors do know a lot about what compression like that can do to your body.

He says wearing something that tight around your waist for hours can lead to infections and more.

"It does and has been shown to increase acid reflux, increase risk of constipation," says Dr. Gupta, "you even breathe shallower, well and that can lead to your increased risk of having some form of infection, pneumonia, bronchitis."

What about losing weight from sweating?

"You don't lose weight by sweating, you lose weight by diet control and exercise," says Dr. Gupta.

The doctor says wearing a waist trainer on occasion is okay, like for a night out, but says it isn't a permanent solution.

Hourglass Angel tells me they recognize that there are some safety concerns, but with their products, it comes back to how things fit.

"Wearing a smaller size garment that what you should be wearing can cause some shortness of breath," says Ruiz.

But whatever the size, interest in the garments have stood the test of time.

At Curvaceous in Old Town, Lauren Long sells everything from lace-up corsets to nude waist cinchers. But, you won't see waist trainers on her shelves.

"I am actually protecting my shop by not carrying them, because I don't want 25 returns a week on a waist trainer for someone that says 'oh I hate it,'" says Long, who owns the lingerie shop.

She calls waist trainers a commitment that a lot of women just aren't ready for. But, whenever there's a new post, interest spikes.

"I do have people that will come in or call about waist trainers," says Long, "mainly because of pop culture and the media, people like the Kardashians."

Autumn Luciano is more interested in the past, she runs a burlesque show and pin up photography business in Lansing. The girls she works with wear steel boned corsets - not the newer waist trainers.

She's skeptical about the results, but has seen some women at the gym wearing the trainers.

"They seem to like them," says Luciano, "so I'm tempted to get like one of the exercise ones to try maybe at the gym."

The power is yours, to squeeze into a waist trainer or not.

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