Dr. Koenig weighs in on the latest body contouring trend

Dr. Koenig weighs in on the latest body contouring trend

Quatela Center for Plastic Surgery

A plastic surgeon's perspective on waist trainingThe newest trend in weight loss borrows directly from a practice that phased out in the early 20th century.  The trend of an hourglass figure is back and so is the method to achieve the look: corsets, currently called “waist trainers.”  This practice, now known as waist training, is advertised as a fitness hack to achieve a tighter core and shape the abdomen area, while accentuating the breasts and hips/buttocks.

Khloe and Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Amber Rose have all posted selfies wearing the device and many have jumped on the waist training movement.  But is it worth all the fuss?

Behind the premise of waist training is that when worn for a certain amount of time each day, the waist will be “trained” into a smaller shape.  However, nothing has ever disappeared just by being squeezed, so the fat is simply moving elsewhere.  And once the trainer is taken off, the body will settle back into place.  At best, results are temporary.

Not only that, but due to the constrictive nature of the waist trainer, when worn during exercise the ability of the lungs to fully expand is limited, which does not allow the body to get the amount of oxygen it needs during activity.  This can cause you to become lightheaded, which can lead to passing out.

The root of the problem with waist training is that people are forgetting about how it affects the physiology of the internal organs.  The green line represents the diaphragm, dark blue line: liver, light blue line: stomach, red line: colon, and yellow line: small intestines.  As you can see, with the overuse of shape wear and waist trainers, the organs are forced to move, which can cause a myriad of other health problems.


Overall, the only way that the waist trainer can help you lose weight is by lessening your food intake due to a squished stomach.  It is in no way a safe or long-term solution to contour your waist or lose inches permanently.

Dr. Koenig says that while there are compression garments that are used for patients post-operatively with good results, they aren’t nearly as tight and are only for temporary post-surgical relief and healing.  Neither are they used to re-shape the body or for weight loss.

In the end, while you might like the look of your waist when wearing a waist trainer, it’s important to remember that results are not permanent.  For weight loss, the tried and true tactics of a healthy, balanced diet and exercise are best.  And in order to contour the body or remove fat cells permanently, surgical body contouring procedures can give long-term results.

To learn more about body contouring procedures, call our office at (585) 244-1000 to speak to a Patient Consultant.

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