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

35 Responses

    1. 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. 🙂

  1. 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

    1. 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!

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

    1. The new Extreme Cycle is the result of Chris and Heidi’s work with their clients since they introduced the Turbo and other cycles in “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” If you’ve had success with the Turbo Cycle, it’s totally okay to continue with that cycle. If you’d like to try the Extreme Cycle, then go for it! And remember, you can change cycles at any time. Here are a couple of blog posts about the Extreme Cycle that might help for quick reference: and Hope this helps!

  6. 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?

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

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