Fact 1: Shapewear produces a permanent waistline
The idea of using a Wholesale Shapewear & waist shaper to irreversibly give your body the shape you like is similar to wearing a mouth guard to keep your teeth from shifting. It is thought that if the waist is flattened regularly to give it a slender shape, over time the body will inevitably retain that shape.
The beauty of Javale McGee’s rings: A visual celebration of the player’s championship hardware.
But unlike teeth, which can be moved and held because they’re bones, the fat, organs and flesh around your waist won’t be trained to stay in a new position, said Colleen Tewksbury, manager of the bariatric program at Penn. Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (USA), and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Maria Lombardo, a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in breast and body surgery, said that fat cells cannot be moved or destroyed. “When you put something around your waist to cinch it in, the fat is becoming distorted within that fat cell, but the fat cell isn’t breaking down,” she said. “It’s not moving somewhere else. It’s just getting flattened.”
Fact 2: Focused sweating leads to fat loss
Advertising by bulk waist trainers for waist shapers suggests that sweating in the belly region can break down fat cells faster. Just as fat can’t be redistributed by pressure, it can’t be shed by sweat, said Edward Laskowski, a professor and specialist in sports medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
In fact, any post-workout weight change you may notice is likely the result of fluid loss. There are some medications that can help you lose weight, but only surgery can remove fat from a specific area. Diet and exercise are usually more accessible, and even then, everything slowly shrinks all at once, no matter what you’re wearing.
There is no such thing as “targeted toning,” says Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. “I know as humans we want to feel like we’re in control, but the reality is we just aren’t.”
Fact 3: Pressure creates a caloric restriction
Hypothetically, wearing something tight around your midsection could make you feel full faster, thereby limiting your calorie intake, said Amy E. Rothberg, a professor of medicine and director of the University of Michigan Weight Management Program. However, because girdles can be so uncomfortable, you’re not likely to wear them long enough to make a difference in how much you eat, she said.
For example, in a Swedish study published in 2010, researchers sought to show that wearing corsets after weight loss in obese patients could help them maintain what they lost. But they were never able to draw firm conclusions on that issue because the corsets were so uncomfortable that less than a quarter of the participants wore them regularly.
“There is no scientific evidence and very limited data, if any, that corsets actually contribute to weight loss,” Rothberg concluded.
Are there long-term risks?
Most doctors agree that a girdle would have to be worn too tight, for too long, to damage internal organs. And in the short term, any discomfort you feel will likely force you to loosen it up.
If you ignore the discomfort and stick with the girdle, eating too few calories is likely to be unsustainable, or even harmful. Restrictive diets can slow metabolism and cause future weight gain, or can cause eating disorders and weakness. And the pressure itself could cause gastrointestinal problems, such as bloating or constipation. “This can also contribute to acid reflux by interfering with the normal digestive flow,” Laskowski wrote.
A waist shaper can also impair the natural movement of the diaphragm, which, in turn, can affect breathing. This is especially true if used while exercising. On rare occasions, Lombardo said, people can pass out.
Waist trainers are part of a growing world of unproven and often ineffective products being sold to women frustrated with their weight. “There is popularity in the waist trainer drop shipping. That’s why we have a multi-billion dollar weight loss industry: We want the easy way out,” says Lombardo.
That’s not to say that smoothing out lumps and bumps under a night-out outfit isn’t worth it. Confidence is important, and if girdles make you feel better, go ahead and wear them. But for long-term, sustainable results, it’s much better to eat a healthy diet, incorporate strength training into your exercise routine, and above all, be kind to yourself.
“There is nothing better than the fundamentals of healthy eating, physical activity, and strength training, including exercising your core muscles,” Laskowski wrote. “The best ‘brace’ you can give your midsection is your core muscles working together, and the best ‘brace’ is your muscle ‘brace’.”