I think it's safe to say we'd all love to score a tiny waist and some killer curves with minimal effort.
While there is no magic diet pill to give you the body of your dreams, there is a shortcut to getting that hourglass figure you've always wanted.
Yep, if you've been keeping up with the Kardashians, you may have seen some of their selfies showing off the power of waist training.
If you haven't heard of waist training before, let me fill you in.
Waist training involves wearing a corset or waist trainer (AKA tight bands of material usually made out nylon and neoprene) to shed inches from your midsection.
The logic behind this fad is pretty simple.
After wearing this thing for some time, your body will start to conform to the shape of the rigid waist trainer, thus losing inches and creating the appearance of a slimmer waistline in the process.
Waist training is nothing new. Corsets have been around for ages and waist shapers are popular in South America.
This leaves us with a few important questions about waist training:
First of all, does waist training actually work?
Since I'm always down to lose weight the lazy way, I jumped on the waist-training bandwagon a while back.
To be completely honest, I actually saw Kim Kardashian sporting one of these bad boys in a mirror selfie on Instagram, and I knew I had to try it.
For two months, I wore my waist training corset every day.
I was pretty skeptical in the beginning, but two corsets and three-and-a-half inches later, I can attest these things actually do work.
I didn't lose much weight in the process, but waist training totally delivered when it came to turning my straight, boyish midsection into the sexy, curvy hourglass figure I was never able to achieve from eating rabbit food and spending hours in the gym.
What should you expect when waist training?
If you're ready to embark on your journey to a smaller middle, you should know waist training isn't exactly a walk in the park.
Yep, saying these things cause discomfort would be an understatement because, as you can imagine, suffocating your midsection by wrapping a tight band around it for hours at a time will make you pretty miserable.
For the first week, I'm pretty sure I had a severe case of RBF that basically put Kanye's infamous expression to shame. However, you do get used to it after some time, and as the inches come off, wearing this torture device becomes much more bearable.
Are there any drawbacks to waist training?
The answer is yes. While I slowly watched my middle whittle away, I did notice one major issue.
I'm pretty sure this device was actually making my core weaker. Within the two months of wearing this thing 24/7, I went from having strong, defined abs to having a skinnier stomach with no definition.
However, once I stopped wearing my waist trainer during the day and started only wearing it at night, my abs returned. Plus, I found wearing this thing while I slept was a lot more bearable than running around with it on all day.
Wearing my waist trainer at night also solved all of my wardrobe woes, since I no longer needed to figure out how to look chic while concealing this damn thing under my clothes.
Waist trainers severely limit your #OOTD options, since it's pretty hard to conceal a neon pink corset under any garments that are cropped, fitted or remotely sheer.
Most importantly, is waist training safe?
While we all want sexy, to-die-for curves, I think it's safe to say none of us actually want to die in the process of getting them.
There's a lot of controversy surrounding waist training. While there are those who claim waist training is completely safe, some health professionals say waist trainers come with a variety of health risks.
Corsets and waist trainers may squeeze the ribs, restrict blood flow and prevent your lungs from fully expanding, which can result in difficulty breathing, dizziness and fainting.
But that's not all. Putting constant pressure on your internal organs can result in health problems that range from chronic pain and bruising to high blood pressure, heartburn, constipation and, in severe cases, fractured ribs.
So, what's the final verdict ?
In most cases, people can wear waist trainers without running into any major medical problems.
However, most experts don't see waist trainers as an effective long-term solution to staying slim.
Waist trainers are not intended to be worn for extended periods of time and the results produced in the short run don't normally last.
I know, life can be so unfair.
Waist trainers don't really eliminate fat, they simply compress it and move it around. So once you finally decide to ditch the corset, you'll inevitably end up right back at square one.
The bottom line is, waist training can provide you with a temporary, quick-fix for your waistline but experts are still mixed about the possible negative effects.
If you want a more permanent solution, you're going to have to rely on the old-fashioned method of diet and exercise to get the waist you want.
Disclaimer: Author is writing based on personal experience and is not a medical or health professional.