Celebrities Swear by It, but Is Waist Training Actually Healthy?

We talked to the experts.

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We totally understand the struggle to lose weight—shit's hard. Lowering your calorie intake, reading nutrition labels for deceptive ingredients, exercising…ugh. So of course, when we hear about something that guarantees a slimmer midsection in a few weeks without much effort—we're on it, hoping it makes the cut for Amazon Prime. 

Enter waist training: wearing a corset-like contraption (yes, like the ones from the 1500s) to cinch your core, hips, and back. The idea is to wear it for a certain amount of time every day, and eventually, your body "molds" itself into a slimmer figure. Sounds easy enough—Jessica Alba told Net-a-Porter she used this to lose the baby weight and Khloé and Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Amber Rose have posted selfies sporting the waist-cinching tool:

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#ad I'm really obsessed with waist training! Thank you @premadonna87 for my new waist shapers! #whatsawaist

A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

Thanksgiving is over its time to get back poppin in my waist shaper by @premadonna87 #WaistGang 💋

A photo posted by Amber Rose (@amberrose) on

Now to the big question: Should you try it? Well...probably not.

When you wear this 500-year-old device, you squish your lungs and ribs, which makes it hard to breathe. (Duh.) Some women have actually passed out from wearing one for too long, says Christopher Ochner, Ph.D., weight loss and nutrition expert at Mount Sinai Hospital. And if you keep wearing it for an extended period of time? It ain't pretty: Think crushed organs, compressed lungs, and fractured ribs.

Plus, experts say it doesn't really work. (*Mic drop.*) "Spot reducing doesn't exist," says Ochner. "You can't reduce the collection of fat in any one particular area of your body. If you push your stomach in, all the fat will go right back to where it was no matter how long [you wear the corset] for." Yes, some people can get away with wearing the waist trainer without any real harm done. But for a real, long-term weight-loss plan, you're better off looking elsewhere. 

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