The Scientist: Gina Sam, MD/MPH, Director of Mount Sinai Gastrointestinal Motility Center, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Attending Gastroenterologist
A waist trainer is meant to be worn short-term. There’s no medical data yet on the safest length of time to keep one on, but don’t believe celebrities’ hype that makes it seem like they spend all day, every day in a colon-pinching corset. Celebrities may walk the red carpet with a corset on under a gown for one evening, but there’s no medical evidence to suggest hitting the gym while wearing a waist trainer (a la Kourtney Kardashian) will help you lose weight faster or shape yourself into an hourglass figure.
If you feel heartburn or pressure, your waist trainer is too tight and you should remove it immediately. Cinch too tight, and you could even break a rib! Keep tabs on your body to be sure that you’re comfortable at all times. (Accurate bust-waist-hip measures will help you find the right size for you.)
Key takeaways: The name “waist trainer” itself is misleading, as you won’t be losing any weight or “training”/permanently changing your body by wearing one. Overall, if you’re looking to alter your figure, there’s no substitute for plain old diet and exercise.