After actress Jessica Alba swore that she shed all the weight she gained during pregnancy by wearing a tight-fitting corset for three months, the “corset diet” has been making the rounds. The theory is that by constricting the waist, the internal volume of the stomach is reduced.
“The wearer no longer craves the feeling of a full stomach as the pressure of the corset literally leaves you with a contented feeling on the eating of a smaller adequate meal,” reads a statement on a British website for the diet. You’ll eat less because you feel full faster. Wearing a corset for up to eight hours a day, the site promises, can help you lose one to two pounds a week.
While the corsets sold on TheCorsetDiet.com website hover in the $200 range, you can get waist cinchers for $40 to $55 on a shapewear website. A Yahoo Shine blogger tried wearing a corset for a week and said it wasn’t as uncomfortable as she expected and it prevented binge eating — though she said she felt like she was “going to barf” 30 minutes after eating a Thai noodle dish for lunch.
Besides the usual complaints of this being yet another fad that’s doomed to fail the minute the corset is scrapped, some physicians have expressed alarm because of its potential dangers. Bariatric physician Dr. Jyotindra Shah told the Huffington Post that “long-term use of a corset can bruise internal organs, damage skin, and restrict breathing.”