Do Waist Trainers Help You Lose Weight?

Do Waist Trainers Help You Lose Weight?

Losing weight can be hard. It can take dedication and hours and hours of work in the gym and kitchen. It takes motivation, perseverance and tenacity.

But every now and then we are overtaken by the latest internet craze that promises a better physique without the hours and hours of work. A brand new, state-of-the-art, celebrity endorsed phenomenon that grips the world as the next big thing.

This year it’s the time of the waist trainer.

In this article we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this latest weight loss craze and exactly why it won’t work for you.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What is a waist trainer?
  • Fat cell science – can waist trainers help you lose weight?
  • Are there any potential side effects?
  • What are the better options?

What Are Waist Trainers?

Known as waist shapers or clinchers, waist trainers are corset-like contraptions. They are latex or steel-boned belts worn around the midriff and are often elasticated or tightened with lacing or Velcro.

The corset itself has been an important feature of clothing for hundreds of years. Rewind back to the sixteenth century and that’s when these fashionable devices first became popular, particularly within the French court. From there they subsequently became popular in Britain and other parts of Europe.

Other than very early versions dating back over 2000 years, the corset was always worn as an undergarment. It pushes the bust inwards and upwards so as to raise and shape it, whilst at the same time emphasising a small waist. It was also intended to provide support for the back and improve posture – an important part of class and decorum.

Modern waist trainers are designed to force your body into an hourglass shape by pulling in your floating ribs and internal organs whilst accentuating the natural shape of the hips and thighs.

The main purpose of waist trainers is to achieve a permanent hourglass figure by flattening the area between the ribs and hips. This is primarily the area around the abdominal muscles and obliques. Similar to corsets they also aim to accentuate your breasts by pushing them inwards and upwards.

It is also proposed by many advocates of these devices that you should work out whilst wearing it in order to maximize weight loss. Manufacturers claim that exercising whilst wearing the device assists in weight loss in these distinct ways.

  • Increases body temperature and boosts thermogenesis 
  • Trains your tummy to a new, more pleasing shape
  • Reduces how much food you eat
  • Compresses fat cells and attacks impurities within your body

These benefits are said to combine to allow waist ‘taming’ to take place – a snazzy term meaning that your waist will get thinner. This is essentially the process of moulding the waist into a narrower silhouette whilst at the same time helping you lose weight.

But does it do this? Let’s find out…

Waist Trainers and Weight Loss

The US fitness and weight loss industries make millions each year selling their gym products and DVDs to unsuspecting people wanting to lose weight. But when you look at the claims made by manufacturers of waist trainers with common sense you very quickly see that they are not built on any science whatsoever.

Here’s why they don’t work:

Compresses Fat Cells

Other than the skeleton, the human body is soft and malleable. When you push it in – like with waist trainers – you are able to contour its shape to suit. But that’s only whilst you have it on.

Fat cells, or adipocytes – are actually quite clever. When we are infants, they multiply in number as part of normal development but once we reach adulthood they remain in constant numbers. If we eat too much and don’t exercise enough our bodies start to fill each of these fat cells up and we put weight on. The more overweight you are, the fuller these adipocytes are. When we start to lose weight our adipocytes start to empty – but never really change in number.

Diet and exercise can ‘kill off’ a very small number of adipocytes through a process called adipose cell apoptosis [1], however these are usually quickly replaced. Simply pushing your tummy inwards with a waist trainer will have absolutely zero effect on how many fat cells you have, or how much fat in stored within them. All you are doing is pushing them elsewhere in your body – temporarily.

As soon as you take your waist trainer off your body will quickly rebound back to its normal shape.

Boosts Thermogenesis

Thermogenesis refers to the process of increasing the core temperature of the body in order to increase metabolic rate. Primarily all enzymatic reactions in the body rely on thermogenic chemistry, so any increase will result in an higher amount of energy being used.

True thermogenesis increases the amount of fatty acid uncoupling that takes place. Food ingredients such as green tea and cayenne pepper found in Instant Knockout have been shown to do this. Unfortunately though, all your waist trainer will do is cause you to sweat. Yes you’ll lose weight. But it’s water not fat. And as soon as you have drink and some carb-based foods you’ll just put it back on again.

Incidentally, a few years previous to waist trainers was the body wrap craze. It had the same premise too – wrap the waist up (this time in plastic, blankets or muslin) in order to build up body heat. A number of studies found these products had no effect on weight loss or cellulite [2, 3].

Interestingly, even though the volunteers in body wrap studies thought their appearance had changed, no statistical measure could find any differences in fat cell depth or girth, or reductions in cellulite whatsoever.

Removes Impurities

This commonly heard piece of nonsensical jargon is often used by manufacturers of products that don’t work. It’s a seemingly last-ditch attempt to sound ‘sciency’ but really just misinterpreting (either by mistake or on purpose) actual elimination of impurities from the body.

You’ll often see this as ‘removes toxins’ or ‘promotes detoxification’ as well. But the removal of impurities from the body is the job of the liver, kidneys and respiratory tract – and nothing else. These organs work hard to regulate your internal environment by removing any cellular by-products through sweating, breathing or urination.

There is no scientific basis at all that this occurs with waist trainers other than they make you sweat a bit. Other than that they make absolutely no difference to so called toxicity.

Reduces How Much You Eat

This is probably the only thing that a waist trainer offers that might lead to weight loss. Whether forcing yourself to eat less is healthy or not though is as different point.

To lose weight you need to restrict the amount of calories you take in. If it is less than what you burn off each day then you’ll lose weight. But restrict your food intake too much and you’ll run the risk of losing muscle mass and not being able to exercise effectively – both important aspects of successful weight loss programming.

Having control of your daily intake of calories is important to help you feel content whilst dieting, not feeling hungry or restricted. Having an external device controlling how much you can eat is neither healthy nor safe.

Are There Any Side Effects?

By wearing a waist trainer on a regular basis you run the risk of some serious side effects. Firstly, you’re compressing your internal organs – you’re pushing your kidneys, digestive tract and lots of other parts of your body into places they shouldn’t be. This includes shifting the position of your lower ribs inwards. They’re not as supportive and structured as the ones that attach to your sternum.

This can lead to impaired blood flow and a lack of oxygen and nutrient delivery. Secondly it can lead to digestive issues as well.

Wearing one of these devices to exercise in can lead to improper breathing patterns, as your diaphragm will be restricted by the space your internal organs are taking up. This means that you won’t be able to transfer oxygen to your muscles as efficiently, leading to a much poorer quality exercise session.

You’ll also find that your core muscles become de-trained, weak and unresponsive too. You might feel strong through your abs with the waist trainer on, but once it’s removed you’ll not have the support that your muscles should provide you with.

Is There a Better Option?

In order to promote healthy weight loss you should follow a proper nutrition plan that provides all of the necessary nutrients to support your body. A  small calorie deficit ensures gradual weight loss whilst maintaining muscle mass.

Regular exercise – including strength training – will boost your calorie burn for the day, but at the same time promote lean muscle tissue that boosts your metabolism.

You should also consider a high-quality, all natural fat burner supplement such as Instant Knockout to help you achieve your goals.

As an industry-leading fat burner that helps you achieve your fat loss goals, Instant Knockout boosts your metabolism in a safe way. It uses ingredients such as cayenne pepper and green tea extract, alongside a host of vitamins and nutrients.

It’s even been endorsed by multiple MMA fighterswho have seen benefits such as:

  • Increased Calorie Burning – Lose fat faster and safely
  • More Energy – Work harder for longer
  • Appetite Control – Reduce food cravings and stay on strict diets with minimal effort
  • Day-Long Fat Burning – Keep that metabolic fire high


  1. Sorisky, A et al. Adipose cell apoptosis: death in the energy depot. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000; 24 Suppl 4: S3-7
  2. Collis, N et al. Cellulite treatment: a myth or reality: a prospective randomized, controlled trial of two therapies, endermologie and aminophylline cream. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1999; 104(4): 1110-4
  3. Melo, ASC et al. Clay body wrap with microcurrent: Effects in central adiposity. Applied Clay Science. 2013; 80-81: 140-146