Is the Corset Diet Dangerous?

Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
Woman wearing black corset

Corset training, also known as waist training, has become quite popular among people seeking to shed pounds quickly and easily. The Corset Diet claims to do just that, offering rapid weight loss by simply wearing a corset around your waist. While this type of diet may seem like a dream come true, you may be left wondering if the Corset Diet is dangerous.

What Is the Corset Diet?

The Corset Diet claims to be approved by doctors and dietitians, allowing you to lose up to six pounds weekly by simply wearing a corset around your waist -- without diet or exercise. Developers of this diet say it works because wearing a tight corset two to six hours daily five days per week, especially before and during meals, restricts the amount of food your stomach can hold. It's sort of like a non-surgical gastric band. You'll feel full sooner because your stomach is being squished into a smaller size, so to speak.

Does the Diet Work?

Corset training, or waist training, can lead to weight loss by helping you reduce portions -- and calories -- at mealtime. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jessica Alba talk about wearing corsets for weight loss and body reshaping. Dr. Andrew Miller, a New York plastic surgeon, reported to CNN.com that squeezing into a corset prevents your stomach from expanding and can be effective for weight loss. However, a 2010 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care found that corset training for weight loss resulted in poor compliance; after three months only 20 percent of study subjects adhered to wearing their corsets as directed.

Is the Corset Diet Dangerous?

As expected, wearing tight corsets regularly may be problematic for your health. Some people who wear corsets have no negative side effects, but there are risks. Dr. Cassie Dougherty DC, a chiropractor in Frederick Maryland, outlines the potential dangers of waist training in her blog. Health concerns mentioned include:

  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn/acid reflux
  • Shortness of breath
  • Faintness
  • Bloating
  • Decreased lung capacity
  • Reduced organ blood flow
  • Chafing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic back pain
  • Spine degeneration
  • Hernias
  • Urinary incontinence

Bottom Line

You'll likely lose weight using the Corset Diet because of a squished stomach and resultant increased satiety. However, because of potential health risks from wearing tight corsets for long periods, chat with your doctor to make sure corset training is a safe option for you.

Is the Corset Diet Dangerous?