Are there long-term risks?
Most doctors agree that you have to wear a waist trainer way too long and way too tight to damage your internal organs. And in the short term, any discomfort you might feel would probably prompt you to loosen the braces.
If you ignored the discomfort and kept your waist trainer on, consuming too few calories would probably be unsustainable or even harmful. A restrictive diet can slow your metabolism, leading to future weight gain, or cause eating disorders and weakness.
And narrowing itself can cause gastrointestinal problems, such as bloating or constipation. “This compression may also contribute to acid reflux by interfering with normal digestion,” wrote Dr. Laskowski.
A waist trainer can also hinder the natural movement of your diaphragm, which in turn can affect your breathing. That’s especially true if you wear one while exercising. In rare cases, said Dr. Lombardo, people can pass out.
“Having good airflow, the way you’re designed, is a good thing,” she said.
it comes down to
Waist trainers are part of the ever-expanding world of unproven and often ineffective products sold to women frustrated by their weight.
“That’s why we have a billion-dollar weight-loss industry: we want the easy way out,” said Dr. Lombardo.
That’s not to say that for some it’s not worth smoothing out bumps and bumps under a night out outfit. Confidence is important, and if shapewear makes you feel better, go ahead and put it on. But for long-term sustainable results, eating a healthy diet, incorporating strength training into your workouts, and most importantly, being kind to yourself are much better bets.
“There’s nothing like the basics of clean eating, physical activity and strength training, including core exercises,” wrote Dr. Laskowski. “The best ‘brace’ you can give your abs is your core muscles working together, and the best ‘corset’ is your muscle corset.”