Kim Kardashian and her sisters aren't afraid of showing their love for Waist Gang Society waist trainers on social media.
The love is partly financial — they're getting paid to promote these waist trainers — and partly because they swear the corset-like wraps help whittle their midsections in a quest for a perfect hourglass figure.
The problem? These waist trainers aren't doing what they say they'll do — and customers are upset. So much so that several of them have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company. WGS says its waist trainers can "radically reduce your waist size" and "permanently [get] rid of unwanted inches around your waist" while attacking "unwanted fat and impurities within your body."
A piece of nylon doesn't do that, according to one plastic surgeon.
"External compression via a waist trainer has absolutely zero permanent effect on fat distribution, intra-abdominal organ positioning or body contouring," Dr. Daniel Maman, a Harvard-trained cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, told Cosmopolitan. "The number of fat cells we have are fixed, and as we gain and lose weight, these fat cells either shrink or expand. The only way to physically remove or redistribute fat is via liposuction, direct surgical removal or cryolipolysis [a fat-freezing technique] like CoolSculpting,"
While they might not help you burn fat, one SheKnows writer said her waist trainer had a dramatic impact on her core post-pregnancy.
"When I went in for my six-week postpartum checkup, rather than being disapproving, as I had feared, my doctor was delighted I'd done it," wrote Charlotte Andersen. "My diastasis recti, the separation between my abdominal muscles in the front, was almost completely healed — something that had never happened this quickly or completely with my other babies. My doc explained the girdle had acted as a splint, allowing my muscles to neatly knit back together by taking the pressure off them to hold up my core."
The takeaway? While a waist trainer won't eliminate fat, it might be able to help in other ways. Just don't expect a miracle.
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