"Corset training in and of itself does not remove fat cells," said Dr. Andrew Miller, a plastic surgeon of Associates in Plastic Surgery in New York and New Jersey.
Corsets work by cinching the waist inwards and squeezing the stomach, preventing it from expanding. Logically, a person will eat less due to the discomfort. After a few weeks of "waist training," a person is likely to lose weight from eating less alone.
Miller added that the same effects could be achieved by practicing self-restraint with one's eating and pursuing exercise instead of uncomfortable Victorian-style undergarments.
Dr. Caroline Apovian, professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, also added that the effects of corset training seem to be temporary. "If people like the way it looks, that is fine temporarily," adding that it is just as effective to wear other shape wear undergarments, like Spanx.
This idea is evident in celebrities in movies who achieve certain dramatic looks for effect only. Lily James riled up the weight loss world when she cinched her waist down to 17 inches with a corset for the Cinderella movie. The look was so dramatic that many believed producers used Photoshop on the actress for the movie.
How does corset training work?
With prolonged use, the idea is that a smaller waist can be achieved after 30 days or more. A study attempted to track the progress of people who wore corsets for 12 to 16 hours a day over several months, but it was impossible to compare results with a low-calorie diet due to discomfort and lack of participation. In other words, people gave up wearing the corsets.
Waist training with a corset also has some risks. Heartburn, breathing issues, and digestive difficulties could results from prolonged usage of corsets.
"Extreme compression of the abdomen can result in elevation of the diaphragm and pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, creating an environment conducive to reflux," said Dr. Amy Elizabeth Rothberg, assistant professor of internal medicine at University of Michigan.
It seems that weight loss experts agree with dieting and exercise as the best methods to reach goal weights. However, temporary results can be achieved with waist training, and those who want a boost in their results could benefit from cinching themselves up with a corset for a few weeks or months. However, it seems, like with all things, any extreme use of corset training could lead to medical problems.