Can a waist trainer help you lose weight? We've worked with thousands of women over the years who are waist training, and we can confirm: a waist trainer doesn't magically melt your belly fat (contrary to some celebrity claims).
The truth is, a waist trainer is only helpful in trimming inches off your waist when used as part of a weight loss program. We've heard from many women who combine waist training with healthy eating and exercise to shrink their waists. Here are some real before and after examples.
How does a waist trainer work?
Wearing a waist trainer can help reduce your appetite at meal times. It also "shapes" your waist into a more classic hourglass shape. The waist trainer essentially acts as an external LAP band, reducing the amount you can eat.
"The corset physically restricts your stomach, and that can make it impossible to overeat," New York City nutritionist Brittany Kohn, R.D. told Shape Magazine.
Again, waist trainers don’t melt fat … they simply redistribute it while reducing appetite at meal times. If you want to lose weight, exercise and eat your vegetables!
If you decide to proceed from here, you can make the waist training process safer and more comfortable by following some basic rules.
But is it dangerous?
Waist training is not dangerous if you are willing to use common sense and listen to your body. We suggest the use safe and sane practices anytime you wear a waist trainer, whether you're a serious waist trainer or you're simply wearing a corset as a complement to your fashion. The conversation goes something like this:
"Is your waist trainer causing you pain?"
If the answer is a resounding "YES!", then loosen it or take it off completely! The idea of no pain, no gain does not apply here. Slow and steady is the rule of thumb for waist training.
If you're wearing your corset more for support (or fashion) as opposed to waist training and are not looking to lose any weight-then certainly you will want to remove your corset prior to eating a meal. For small snacks, removing the corset can be hassle-but clearly that choice is yours to make. If you feel uncomfortable-then remove the corset.
If you have committed to a serious waist training regimen, then there isn't any reason to remove your corset. You will find that you are not able to eat as much in one sitting-sort of like an external lap band. Some women choose to loosen rather than remove their corsets, especially when eating raw veggies or other foods that cause bloating (and we wouldn't want to discourage anyone from eating their veggies!).
Your eating habits will need to change as you will be forced to eat more frequently and smaller portion sizes. Sarah Chrisman writes in her book "Victorian Secrets" that she learned to eat better while corseted, not fill up on worthless calories.
For most of us, the smaller, more frequent meals will provide all the nourishment you need and is a better way to eat.
We have customers ask us all the time if corsets burn fat or help you lose weight. The answer is NO! But if you choose to stay properly corseted throughout the day-you are likely to lose some weight as the corset will limit your food intake.
It's important to always put your health first. If you find that perhaps you are not drinking enough water or getting enough calories (many women who waist train are not looking to lose weight-just reshaping), then by all means take that puppy off and eat, drink and be merry! It takes time and patience to develop a level of waist training where you are comfortable corseting all day long. And there's no rush!
Types of Waist Trainers - Which One is Best?
Considering wearing a waist trainer? We've listed below the ones we recommend for getting started based on your body type and torso length. "Waist Trainer" is a generic term that refers to waist cinchers, corsets and other similar shapewear. See here the differences between corsets and cinchers.
A short latex cincher with strong shaping power. The shape memory latex helps in streamlining the abdomen, decreasing waist size, correcting posture and urging the bust upwards.
- Compression Level: Strong
- Torso Length: Average
- Dimensions: 10.5" Front / 8.5" Back
- Features: Inner and outer nylon and spandex lining. Color options.
- Best for: Average torso lengths with all levels of curve.
An extra firm short waist cincher designed to nip the waist. Works great for short torsos. Use this garment to target your pooch or create an extra curve at your waistline.
- Compression Level: Extra Firm
- Torso Length: Short
- Dimensions: 7.5" Front - 6.5" Back/Side
- Features: Completely encased steel bones for increased support.
- Best for: Short to average torso lengths with all level of curves.
A shape memory latex cincher that helps in streamlining the abdomen, decreasing waist size, correcting posture and urging the bust upwards.
- Compression Level: Strong
- Torso Length: Long
- Dimensions: 13" Front - 11" Back
- Features: Front hook and eye closure with 2 rows for customized comfort.
- Best for: Long torso lengths with all curve levels.
The CS-201 is a ridiculously comfortable corset that "hugs the body" without an extreme cinch. And, because it is relatively short, it will fit most body types and torso lengths. The mesh is ultra breathable for comfort.
- Curve: Moderate / Extreme
- Torso Length: Short / Standard
- Dimensions: 9.5" Front / 8.75" Back / 7.25" Side
- Best for: If you are "hip-py" with a short torso (under 8") and lots of natural curve.
- Not Recommended: Women with less natural curve.
The CS-411 corset is a popular style that will fit many shapes. It has plenty of curve at the waist, but is relatively short and does not require an ample hip. The mesh is breathable for wearing comfort.
- Curve: Moderate / Extreme
- Torso Length: Standard
- Dimensions: 10" Front / 10.5" Back / 8.5" Side
- Best for: Most body types. However, you need at least a moderate amount of curve to fill it out.
- Not Recommended: If you have an extreme athletic build or very low waist to hip ratio.
The best-selling corset style, the CS-426 features an extremely contoured underbust and longline length that extends down over the hips for most women. Satin is the best fabric for wearing under other clothes.
- Curve: Extreme
- Torso Length: Long
- Dimensions: 13.5" Front Center / 13" Back / 12" Side
- Features: 6 hidden garter ties, and some variations come with hip ties
- Best for: Long torsos with natural curve
- Not Recommended: If you have a short/standard length torso. You need a longer torso to make this corset work (as well as ample curve at both ends).
So how long until you see results?
The answer is ... it depends. We've put together a little video below that helps answer this question.
Tips for Success with a Waist Trainer
- Make sure you get your size right. Poor fitting waist trainers are uncomfortable, and wearing a trainer that’s too small won’t get you results any faster.
- Find a waist trainer that fits your body type. Waist trainers come in many different styles designed to fit different body types. Here’s a corset style guide. You’ll be more comfortable, and get better results, in a waist trainer designed for your body type.
- Only wear your trainer 1.5 – 2 hours the first time you wear it. Repeat this step several times over the first several days of breaking in your waist trainer. This applies not just to those who wish to waist train, but also those people who have purchased a corset for a special occasion like a wedding or event. Listen to your body and take it slow!
- If you plan on waist training, the keyword is “gradually.” Don’t tighten to the point where it’s painful. We recommend gradually increasing your time from 1.5 hours a day to around 6-8 hours a day over the course of 10-14 days. Take your time getting the trainer down tighter ... don’t rush it! We know you want to see your results TODAY, but you risk hurting yourself if you try too much too soon.
- Give yourself a break. Even the most aggressive waist trainers take days off. You will find that some days you can wear your corset for many hours, and other days only for a few.
- Partner your waist training with a healthy diet and exercise regimen … specifically core strengthening exercises. If you take care of your body, you’ll have a great chance of seeing results and feeling great both in and out of your corset.
See our full list of waist training tips here.