Can You Wear a Corset to Lose Your Belly?

Tightlacing, or gradually altering your shape with a corset, may result in the desired "wasp waist" or exaggerated hourglass figure, but your fitter, healthier appearance may only be an illusion. Corsets do not burn fat or tone muscle. They merely shift your existing mass into a new shape, and misused corsets can cause permanent health problems. So, if you use a corset, do so only for short periods and consult your doctor about possible side effects.

Belly Size vs. Belly Fat

While a corset can alter your shape, tightlacing won't reduce belly fat, and burning fat is more important to your health than simply reshaping your body. Visceral fat around your abdominal organs is especially dangerous, as it may lead to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Diet and lifestyle are your most effective tools to combat body fat. However, tightlacing does limit the amount you can eat, which has an indirect effect on body fat.

Short-Term Weight Loss

Binding yourself within a corset compresses your stomach, forcing you to eat less or endure extreme discomfort, so you can lose weight this way. Over a few days or weeks, you may naturally reduce your belly and waist size, but maintaining your new shape after the corset is off requires willpower. While you can shrink your belly, corsets won't shape or tone your abdomen, and drawbacks may include shortness of breath and chaffed skin.

Long-Term Health Effects

Tightlacing can physically alter body shape over time, gradually compressing the ribcage and displacing internal organs. While this thins the waist and gives the outward appearance of a fitter, healthier body, health problems can arise. Some wearers report pelvic or leg pain from pressure on the nerves, while ribcage damage also reduces lung capacity and stresses the heart. Abdominal compression and organ displacement may also hinder digestion, and future organ failure is possible.

Alternatives to Tightlacing

Corsets aren't necessary for a slimmer waist. Foundation garments, or shapewear, temporarily reduce visible tummy bulges and back fat via smoothing. Girdles also achieve a thinner appearance without the discomfort of corsets. However, permanently shedding belly fat requires dietary changes and aerobic exercise. Seek healthy options because, while everyone likes to look their best, your health is too high a price to pay for looking good.