This is probably the most popular trend on the Instagram platform by far. This trend has been going strong since 2014. With tags such as #waisttraining #waistgangsociety #getwaisted and celebrity endorsements from a reality TV stars, this concept of waist training has bubbled over. The idea is that you will gradually shed inches off your waist by wearing the constricting corset-device for sometimes up to 12 hours in a day. From the website of a popular brand of waist training corsets:
high quality Reshaping waistshaper is a unique latex material which attacks unwanted fat and impurities within your body. Our reshaping line will strengthen your core all the while improving your posture. The thermogenisis created within your body will allow your body to rid itself of harsh toxins and impurities, through perspiration. While wearing a garment or waist trainer , the tight compression will help to reduce food volume intake which will help acheive the healthier practice of smaller meals, more often, rather than three large meals a day.
Now while that might sound like enough to get you to pull out your credit card and throw it in the bag, health experts like Christopher Ochner PhD insist there are no shortcuts to weight loss:
“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.”
There’s also the matter of passing out, fractured ribs, crushed organs and lungs that make the idea of subscribing to the Victorian-era device to be nothing more than a waste of time. (or “waist” of time–get the pun? Nvm.)
*A Different World Mr. Gaines Voice* “Now why on earth would anyone want to wrap themselves tighter than last night’s leftovers in saran wrap in the name of losing weight?” This method was first popular in the late 80s and early 90s and known as “herbal wraps.” Now, the idea of body wraps for weight loss have reappeared singing the same old tune. There are different types of wraps: plastic (saran-wrap style), mineral-soaked bandages and clay. Now while body wraps have been shown to reduce water weight by dehydration, the weight loss is temporary and returns within a few days. Consequentially, this is also very dangerous according to Dr. Victor Herbert of Mt. Sinai Veterans Research Center:
“Be 6 to 20 inches slimmer today by dehydrating yourself? Sure,” Herbert said. “And you can also kill yourself … because you can throw somebody into what we call hypovolemic shock. That’s low blood volume shock by dehydrating you.”
In 1985, FDA Consumer Magazine denounced any claim to effectiveness of these so-called wrapping treatments:
There is no scientific or clinical evidence to support the use of body wraps or sauna suits for controlling weight. Nor is there any data to back up promoters’ claims that these products will eliminate cellulite and bulging fat, or make “spot reductions” possible, or improve the “calorie burn rate,” or control appetite. Accordingly, there are no FDA-approved body wraps or sauna suits.
Just like double popped collars and jerri curls, we should leave this trend in the 80s.
One of the newest trends is to bubble off on IG are detox teas or teatoxes. Bloggers who are more than likely just naturally skinny will pose with the teas and caption the photos “I use ABC teatox to get my flat tummy.” These teas claim to get rid of toxins in your body which in turn will help you shed pounds. Registered Dietitian, Cynthia Sass points out since teas are often encouraged to be used alongside diet and exercise, it’s difficult to decipher their true effectiveness:
…difficult to know whether the weight-loss results people are getting from these teas are actually due to drinking them, or simply the result of a cleaned-up diet and consistent workout routine, which we already know can lead to weight loss.
These teas typically contain a mixture of laxatives to flush out your colon and diuretics which trigger the loss of “water weight.” Yes, just like the body wraps, true fat isn’t being lost. In fact, if you ever stop drinking the teas, that weight will return. Many times a natural laxative called senna is used in these teas and too much of senna brings on the bubble guts according to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database:
the potential side effects of senna use may include abdominal pain and discomfort, cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, and diarrhea; excessive use can lead to potassium depletion and other electrolyte abnormalities, which can trigger muscle spasms and an abnormal heart rhythm.
So there you have it. Believe the hype or don’t. However, there’s just no substitute for good old fashioned exercise and cutting down on the macaroni and cheese intake. (Oh, yes, that one was about me!)
Have you succumbed to any of these instagram fads?