Asking questions is always a good thing when you're starting a new waist training regimen or fitness routine. But here's a question that's a little bit misleading: “What are the side effects of wearing a waist trainer?”
The truth is that a waist trainer is merely a shaping garment. It's not a medical treatment, prescription or a procedure that comes with a long list of risks and side effects. So in reality, the question isn't quite framed right.
In fact, the two primary "side effects" of wearing a waist trainer are actually its benefits:
- 1)Visibly reduced waistline: You instantly look 1, 2 or even 3 sizes thinner while you wear the garment.
- 2)Increased perspiration during physical activity: By wearing a waist trainer during exercise, you sweat harder. This maximizes your workouts, which is great for long-term slimming goals.
Those "side effects" are exactly the reasons to wear a waist trainer in the first place.
But we completely understand your concerns: if you're new to waist training, you just want to be sure it's safe.
So let's go over some basics about what waist training really is and what to expect when you're getting started.
Setting the right expectations
As waist training has exploded in popularity over the last few years, so have the myths and misconceptions.
We get it.
When you see celebrities taking gorgeous selfies in their waist trainers, it's easy to get excited about the possibilities for your body. And the truth is that you don't need to be a celebrity to reap the rewards of wearing a waist trainer. Women of all ages, sizes and shapes use waist training to instantly slim their midsections and optimize their workouts.
But wearing a waist trainer is not a magic pill. Simply putting it on doesn't make you lose weight or cause permanent changes to your body. It simply compresses your midsection while you wear it, and your body returns to its normal shape when you remove it.
In the long term, it can be an effective tool for maximizing your exercise routines as it increases your perspiration when you work out (even during low-intensity activities, like walking). So the more you wear your waist trainer, the more you know your exercise is working.
Immediate effects (and wow factor)
One of the first things you'll notice when you try on a waist trainer for the first time is how strong the compression is.
It should be tight, but not painful. And while it may feel a bit strange at first, your body will soon become accustomed to the compression, especially if you start wearing it for longer periods (jump below for some tips on how to do that properly).
2 important points:
- Pain and pinching are NOT side effects of wearing a waist trainer, unless the garment is improperly sized for your body. If you feel discomfort, or the compression affects your breathing, remove it immediately—your garment is probably way too small.
- The immediate noticeable effect you'll experience from the compression is your reduced waistline. High-compression waist trainers can visibly reduce your waist measurement by up to four inches while you wear the garment.
You're going to love how you look in the mirror—but don't stop there. Take waist measurements before and after you put on the waist trainer to see how dramatic the sculpting really is.
Range of movement
A natural side effect of wearing a waist trainer is a slightly restricted range of movement around your midsection. This is completely normal.
A high-compression latex waist trainer will usually be designed with pieces of flexible steel inside, known as boning. These columns help to sustain the compression, while also giving you a straighter, more confident posture.
Slouching and bending at the waist will naturally be more difficult while you wear the waist trainer, but that is exactly what the garment is designed to do. In addition to giving you a curvy figure and straighter posture, this compression can also bolster the intensity of your fitness routine by making you work harder for each rep.
More sweat during exercise
We can't stress this point enough …
Waist trainers maximize workouts.
Latex waist trainers (especially workout waist trainers) are designed to stimulate thermal activity in your core while you exercise. This extra heat makes you perspire more during physical activity, including walks, runs, cardio, high-intensity interval training and other workouts.
And BONUS: the perspiration occurs right where you probably need it most: in common trouble areas like your belly, abs, back and love handles.
Aside from the dramatic compression, this increased perspiration is literally the #1 reason to wear a waist trainer. It makes you sweat more without an increase in effort.
More sweat = more intensity = a more effective workout for your long-term slimming regimen.
No, wearing a waist trainer won't magically curb your hunger, but it can make you feel fuller faster, which can support your overall slim-down goals.
As the garment compresses your midsection, it creates less "room" for your stomach to expand from overeating. That means you'll experience the sensation of fullness before you normally would.
For many women, this is a very handy strategy for maintaining portion control. By wearing your waist trainer during meals, you may be less likely to binge. And as we all know, eating smaller portions of nutritious meals is essential for weight loss.
- Tip: If you do find yourself eating smaller portions, be sure you're eating healthy. As with any diet strategy, you want to be sure you're still getting the nutrients your body needs, especially if you're limiting your calorie intake.
Working out? Drink plenty of water
If you're using a waist trainer to maximize your workouts, be sure you're drinking lots of water.
Remember: an intended side of effect of wearing a waist trainer is increased perspiration. If you're sweating harder, then your body will be losing water at a faster rate. That can increase the risk of dehydration if you're not replacing those fluids.
Boosting the intensity of your exercise is a good thing! Just make sure you're hydrating. Whether you're working out at home, the gym, the track or somewhere else, bring a bottle of water with you, so you can take sips throughout your routine.
- Tip: As a rule of thumb, if you feel thirsty, then you're already on your way to dehydration. Take a quick drink in between exercises and sets, before thirst starts to set in.
Treat your skin
Another potential side effect of working out regularly in your waist trainer is skin irritation. This is caused by the fact that your skin can dry out more easily when you're sweating harder. And since the waist trainer covers up your midsection, this moisture will be trapped beneath the garment, which can lead to irritation.
Skin irritation is more common with those who have sensitive skin. But there are a few things you can do to prevent it:
- High-quality waist trainers will have a specialized lining, fabricated from materials like cotton and spandex, which will absorb moisture and provide a soft layer against your skin so that it doesn't become irritated.
- Consider wearing a tank top, camisole or other lightweight cotton garment beneath your waist trainer. This can increase the air flow, helping your skin stay drier.
- Have a latex sensitivity? You still have options! There are numerous latex-free waist trainers that provide the same slimming power you're looking for.
- If you want maximum airflow for your skin, consider a mesh waist training corset. The mesh will allow your skin to breathe, while still flattering your figure with high compression and a sexy, see-through design.
- Applying a good moisturizing lotion can also do wonders for sensitive skin. Consider this slimming gel, which is specially designed for waist training and has powerful, clinically proven body-contouring ingredients.
IMPORTANT: Choose the right size waist trainer
Choosing the right size waist trainer is the single most important factor for achieving the right fit and maximum effectiveness.
If the garment is too small, it will be very uncomfortable—and very unflattering!
Some customers mistakenly choose a smaller size thinking that it will produce more dramatic curves. But actually, the opposite is true. It creates an "overflow" effect, causing bulging in the wrong places and overall making your body look unnatural.
Also, if it's too small, you may not even be able to put it on in the first place. And if you are able to, it can cause painful pinching side effects, as we mentioned above.
If the garment is too big, it won't provide the slimming power you're looking for – and the waist trainer may bunch up in the center.
- Be sure to use the size chart listed on the product description page. At Hourglass Angel, we customize the size charts for every product to make sure you get the right fit – so be sure to review the sizing before you buy.
- Take accurate measurements before you select a size. Use measuring tape (fabric or vinyl) and measure at the narrowest part of your waist, where there's a natural bend when you lean to the side. Be sure the tape is level and not too tight: you should be able to slip two fingers underneath without difficulty.
See the results for yourself
Starting a waist training routine can be a fun, flattering way to slim your midsection and supplement your long-term slim-down efforts. And by choosing the right size and incorporating the right exercises, wearing a waist trainer for extended periods of time will be easy and comfortable.
Putting on your waist trainer for the first time may be difficult, but it quickly becomes easier as you wear it for longer stretches of time. Start slow in the beginning—try wearing it for an hour or two, and then add an hour or so each day. Once you get the hang of it, aim for 8-12 hours a day (broken up into 2 or more sessions).