Don’t waist your time with weight gimmicks
Over a few weeks I've been asked my opinion of waist trainers, fit teas and other gimmicks out there.
Instagram and other social media platforms have resulted in us seeing an increase of “get-fit quick” gimmicks, and people are falling for them.
It's no surprise that companies are capitalising off their products because we live in a society where people are impatient and not willing to put in the work to get results.
As a result, there's a huge number of quick fixes and few long-term lifestyle changes.
Don't get me wrong, I've even fallen prey to some of them. Remember the Lemonade Diet back in 2006?
I was a sophomore in college studying nutrition, fitness and wellness (kinesiology) and still chose to try this fad.
My friend Val and I lasted about half a day — LOL — give us food! Today, I'll address waist trainers, as this is has been the latest big-ticket question.
1, What are they?
Believe it or not, they're not new. Remember the 15th century? The 16th? 17th? You know exactly what I'm talking about. The years of women wearing a corset to fit into their dresses, giving them the illusion of a smaller waist and wider hips — that perfect hourglass figure.
This modernised piece of clothing is meant to be worn all day, especially while exercising, to maximise weight loss and sculpt your body into that much desired shape.
2, Do they work?
Jeez, do they work? The question of the day. Just because it's been done for years (under different names) doesn't mean that it works. It simply means that as years go by, society continues to pressure women to achieve a certain shape to feel more feminine.
• They say you'll sweat more.
Well, yes, this is true. Wearing excess clothing will indeed cause you to sweat, just as a hoodie will if worn at the peak of summer.
• They say you'll lose weight due to the above
Yes, you will — water weight because of sweat. Is this permanent? No ma'am.
• They say you'll lose weight if you wear it all day.
Right, but only because the waist trainer is so restrictive that you can't bear the thought of eating anything heavy, so you eat less.
Are you now on a healthy “diet”? I think not. So, yeah, if you are content with water loss (not fat loss), eating less because of feeling restricted and a piece of uncomfortable clothing, by all means wear the corset, I mean, waist trainer.
3, It's my body and I'm not harming anyone
If used for long periods of time, you can cause harm to yourself as you are shifting your organs, especially your lungs and decreasing lung/breathing capacity. Research dating back to the 20th century shows that organ damage was inevitable from wearing the corset (now called waist trainer).
Research also found that waist trainers restrict blood and oxygen flow to these vital organs. Imagine this restriction during exercise, not a good idea.
Furthermore, as you continually wear the waist trainer, your core eventually becomes dependent on its support, making it weaker, which is the opposite effect fitness should have on your body. This in turn affects your posture when not wearing the trainer. Not cool.
Profuse sweating while wearing the trainer combined with your inability to drink large amounts of water because of the restrictive feeling, can result in dehydration.
Reduced lung capacity, a weaker core, dehydration — all while working out (because people swear down they'll still work out) — doesn't sound like a great combination nor a healthy alternative to hard work, patience and dedication to a healthier lifestyle.
The truth is, nothing beats hard work and there are no true shortcuts to life-prolonging results. In fact, simply eating better and working out (whatever makes you happy — yoga, lifting weights, running, kick-boxing) has been proven to give more permanent results. It also shows that you are strong, mentally tough and have the ability to make changes to better your health and prolong your life.
I challenge any woman tempted to buy a waist trainer, fit tea or whatever gimmick is now out there, to refrain.
I challenge you to simply commit to better eating — whole grains, fruits, vegetables — drink plenty of water and pick a workout regime that you'll enjoy.
Love yourself as you are, but enjoy building the body that you so desire. Better yet, accept that we all are not hourglass, big booty women.
Want the small waist? Eat properly and work for it.
Want the butt? Again, eat accordingly and never skip leg day.
Have patience, no shortcuts. Be you and be happy!
• Dre Hinds is a retired track and field athlete who is now a personal trainer, aerobic and yoga instructor and fitness “addict” with more than 20 years' experience. She specialises in nutrition, weight and sprint training, operating out of HindsSight Fitness and Wellness at the Berkeley Cultural Centre. Contact her on email@example.com or 599-0412. Find her on both Facebook and Instagram under @Absbydre