Ask Heidi: Do Waist Trainers Actually Work?

As women, it is so common to want to have a tiny, feminine waist, and sometimes that desire for perfection causes us to go to great lengths to achieve what we believe is “perfection.” All it takes is a quick scroll through Instagram or a few minutes of TV surfing to find celebrities popping fad diet pills or cinching their waists with waist trainers as a quick fix to thinning out…but does any of this actually work? After recently posting some pics and videos of myself on social media in what may be confused as one of these popular waist trainers, I received several questions as to whether or not these devices actually work. So today I’m setting the record straight as to what I actually wear around my waist in the gym and whether or not waist trainers are the key to a tinier waist.

One of my favorite, must-have tools in the gym is a weight belt. While both men and women can wear a weight belt to support their spines and core during heavier lifting (which I totally recommend), I wear my weight belt for ALL of my lifting, and I actually cinch mine a bit tighter. This serves as a constant reminder to 1) keep my core nice and tight while I’m lifting, and 2) to pull my belly button back toward my spine, which is one of the best ways to train, stabilize, and protect your back and core muscles, especially if you have any post-baby ab separation issues.

While waist trainers might be a temporary way to get a tinier waist, unless they’re worn religiously—even daily—the results are not permanent. The only way to get that tinier waist is to eat properly and work out regularly. Cardio will help burn that layer of fat that’s hiding your dream waist, and strength training will help build those muscles, which will make your whole body look fit and trim—including your waist!

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Related reading:

Carb Cycling 101
All About Exercise
Fabulous Abs in Just 5 Minutes
Sexy Summer Shoulders
My 11-Week Booty Building Workout
Mix Up Your Cardio Routine with Intervals


  1. Sara Saunders - July 15, 2018

    Hi Team,
    Thanks for sharing your resources. Very helpful information for me. I am facing some problems of my waist. I need a top waist trainer in uk.

  2. Ava - March 30, 2018

    How many hours a day should you wear a waist trainer?

    • Team Powell - March 30, 2018

      Hi Ava: Heidi recommends you not wear waist trainers but that you consider wearing a weight belt during resistance workouts to protect your core and remind you to keep your core tight while doing resistance workouts. 🙂

  3. Georgianna Procopio - June 7, 2016

    Hi me an my daughter was watching u with the twins very good job my daughter is alms 300 pounds if not already 300 an she is only 14 years old an lazy what can I help.her with she has a very important day of her life sept.10 this year an she needs to loose the weight an look good anything that can help.her ty

    • Team Powell - June 7, 2016

      Hi Georgianna: Thank you for watching the show! Here’s a post that Heidi wrote specifically for teens and those who love them: I hope you can find some tools you can use to help your daughter develop healthy habits that will benefit her throughout her life, and we wish you both the best!

  4. Tatiana - May 21, 2016

    Hello Heidi!
    Please tell me what exercises will help to pump up a beautiful relief press?

    • Team Powell - May 21, 2016

      Hi Tatiana: I’m so sorry, but I’m not understanding your question. Would you please clarify?

  5. Debbie - February 18, 2016

    Hi Heidi! I know how extremely busy you are but wondered how I can send you a private message? I follow you and appreciate your tips and encouragement for good health.

  6. Natalie - February 18, 2016

    I have just started extreme transportation. I am also training for my first marathon. I need to know if its ok to have low carb days Friday and Saturday if my long runs are Saturday or if I need to adjust my carb cycle week. Please help! Thank you.

  7. Ashley - February 18, 2016

    I do everything I think and I can’t lose my weight need help.

    • Team Powell - February 19, 2016

      Hi Ashley: You can learn about Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, the same program they use on the show, here: And be sure and follow all the links within the post too. Make that first promise, choose a cycle, and go! You can do this!

  8. Lindsey - February 18, 2016

    My hubby and I are starting the 21 day weight loss, I am still a busing mom. My baby is 7 months old, and is eating some solids… However still nurses frequently! How do I modify the carb cycling diet plan for breastfeeding?

    Thanks in advance!!!

  9. D David - February 18, 2016

    Is the turbo cycle the fastest cycle or is the extreme cycle faster? I am looking to start carb cycling again and I had good results with the turbo cycle. I bought the new book but I’m unsure if the extreme cycle is supposed to be even better than the turbo.

  10. Randi - February 17, 2016

    I have a anterior pelvic tilt which makes my tummy pooch out a little. I bought a waist trainer to help hold it in tighter while I workout. Not sure if it was a waste of money. What do you think?

    • Team Powell - February 18, 2016

      Hi Randi: That’s totally up to you! As with anything, always do what’s best for you and your goals.

  11. Barb Hayes - February 17, 2016

    Hi Hiedi,
    I have a very hard time remembering to engage my core while exercising. I do not do lifting, just workout with weights. I am tired of buying things and not using them or buying things that don’t work. Before I purchase this, do you think would this help remind me with my non lifting workouts to keep my core engaged as well?

    • Team Powell - February 17, 2016

      Hi Barb: I don’t think we’d recommend wearing a weight belt for non-lifting workouts (cardio). You could wear one while doing your weight work though.

  12. karvachauth - February 17, 2016

    i temporarily used a waist trainer after pregnancy to help my tummy go back down to shape. when it reached the shape that i desired, i stopped using it – about 3 months postpartum. however, i didn’t JUST use the waist trainer. i was also exercising and eating healthy to promote postpartum weight loss. i also agree that keeping your waist cinched or sucked in helps in developing (or redeveloping) the muscles and promoting a smaller waist. i think the waist trainer helped get my body back a little faster and allowed my hips to go back down (i got a binder that also put pressure on the hip area)

    i don’t use a waist trainer when i’m slimming down for non-pregnancy related weight gain though. the weight is placed on the body much slower in comparison to the relatively rapid weight gain and weight loss associated with pregnancy.

  13. Bess - February 16, 2016

    Do you have a recommendation for womans vitamin supplements?

  14. Jackie - February 16, 2016

    I do a cardio strength class at the gym that does a lot of isometric work and uses bands, body wt, etc. anyway, I have about at 3in diastasis and I’m 6 mo PP. do to think wearing something (weight belt or something else) around my waist during the class would help.

    • Team Powell - February 16, 2016

      Hi Jackie: With diastis recti, it’s best to discuss this with your healthcare team first and then follow their recommendations. You need to be careful so that the condition doesn’t get worse. We wish you the best!

  15. Jahdiel - February 16, 2016

    Would you ever have a show for people who are not “overweight” but need help loosing baby weight and are inspired to work hard to look like you do after children!! ?

    • Team Powell - February 16, 2016

      Hi Jahdiel: Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program can work no matter how many pounds you’d like to lose or if you’d simply like to develop some healthy habits. You can learn about the basics of their program here: You can do this!

  16. Mathangi Ganesh - February 16, 2016

    I am currently overweight and working to loose it. How do i decide how much wgt loss is enough?? I am a 35 year old mother of two boys

    • Team Powell - February 16, 2016

      Hi Mathangi: Your ideal weight range depends on several factors, including bone structure and muscle mass. It might be a good idea to discuss this with your healthcare team, and then follow their recommendations. We wish you the best!

  17. Grace - February 16, 2016

    I was wondering what carb cycling plan Heidi and Chris follow, if any. I know Heidi posted one day of eating, but I was curious about some of her other go to snacks.

    • Team Powell - February 16, 2016

      Hi Grace: Heidi is following a modified carb cycling program that her coaches have helped her put together.

  18. Courtney - February 16, 2016

    What size do you have?

  19. Kathryn - February 16, 2016

    How can I get rid of flabby thighs? My mother had them my aunt does and no matter how slim I am my upper thighs stay flabby?

  20. A - February 16, 2016

    I hear all the time ‘ to pull my button back toward spine” but I never really understand what that means. does it mean sucking in your stomach???

    • Team Powell - February 16, 2016

      It means to contract those abs, which is basically sucking in your stomach, but concentrate on those abs. ?

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