When we saw Kim Kardashian West's Instagram of her famous figure cinched into a tight blue corset (caption: "I'm really obsessed with waist training!"), we were skeptical. If getting a tiny waist and hourglass shape were as easy as buttoning up a corset every day, wouldn't we all have Kim K-like curves?
"A corset won't dissolve fat, and belly fat can lead to heart disease, the number one cause of death in women," explains FITNESS advisory board member and core-training expert, Michele Olson, PhD. Not to mention, "the compression corset hampers breathing, blood circulation, and digestion, all of which are poor for your body's organs."
Jennifer Ashton, MD, another member of the FITNESS advisory board and an ob-gyn in Englewood, New Jersey, agrees that these waist-cinchers aren't a quick fix. "Anything worn superficially doesn't come close to penetrating the multiple deep layers of your abdomen," she says. "It's possible that fat can be shifted, but it doesn't disappear." That being said, Dr. Ashton does think they can be useful to women after childbirth. "Abdominal binders are great for women to wear after delivery to provide support for the stretched muscles, but it's more for comfort and function than for cosmetic effect."
The bottom line: If you want a healthier waistline, you've got to put in the work. "You need to lose fat from diet and calorie-burning exercise," says Olson. Check out our flat-abs formula workout with moves straight from Olson, pair it with one of our fat-burning food plans, and you'll be taking your own selfies of a slimmer, stronger midsection—without ever squeezing into a too-tight girdle.