Here’s a question I receive nearly every day:
“My natural waist is 30 inches, and I just started waist training. How long will it take to see real results, and obtain a natural 24 inch waist?”
Of course, the exact wording, the numbers, and the goals all vary slightly from person to person. But I will tell you what I tell all of them – and you will not be happy:
I DON’T KNOW. And unfortunately, neither can anyone else. If someone claims that they CAN give you a specific duration of time that you will achieve your waist training goal, they are flat out lying.
If you look at these Before / After Waist Training examples, you will see that people have achieved all kinds of results, in all different durations. Some saw a marked difference in three months, while others achieved less dramatic results over two years. It’s different for everyone.
WHY is this?
The (semi)permanent results of waist training is dependent on a number of factors, including your body’s current state and your genetic pre-disposition, the quality of your corset and its compatibility with your body, and the way you train in your corset. Let’s break those down in further detail:
Factor #1: Your body type and current body stats
Your Body Fat
- Adipose tissue can immediately compress down a lot more than muscle in a corset, but it also bounces back when you remove the corset. Some with a high body fat % are able to cinch down 10 inches in the waist, while someone with very low body fat may only be able to cinch down 2-3 inches.
- Weight distribution also plays a role. Do you tend to carry more weight in your belly, or do you carry more weight on your hips and thighs? If you do carry weight in your belly, do you have a lot of visceral fat or subcutaneous fat? Subcutaneous fat sits under the skin but above the muscle, and makes your skin soft and malleable. Visceral fat is the more ‘dangerous’ fat that sits under your abdominal muscle, between your organs. Someone with more subcutaneous fat (even over their tummy) will probably have an easier time lacing down than someone with visceral body fat.
Your Muscle Tone
- Very toned, dense muscles may be more difficult to cinch down compared to less toned muscles, BUT if you time your workouts well, you can actually use your resistance exercise regimen to your advantage in waist training to change the morphology of your oblique muscles and have them almost “grow” into the hourglass shape encouraged by the corset. Also, once you get to higher reductions, you have to “stretch” those side muscles, and also the tendons and ligaments. Some people’s bodies seem to more readily accommodate to this than other people’s bodies.
Your Skeletal Frame
- Do you have wider ribcage or smaller ribcage? Are your ribs flexible and are you able to accommodate corsets with a conical ribcage easily, or is your ribcage very inflexible and difficult to move? Those who are easily able to train their ribs are likely to see faster waist training results than those whose ribs are very rigid. My article on the corset’s effect on the skeleton goes into more detail about this.
- More mature waist trainers have bones that are not only less dense, but less malleable compared to younger trainers. For more information on how age can affect your corseting, see my article on waist training and age restrictions.
- When you look at human anatomy in a textbook, you’re seeing a general “average” of the size and orientation of organs. But not everyone’s organs look like that! Some people have larger organs, some have smaller organs. Even the position and orientation of organs can very slightly differ between individuals, and that small variation might make a huge difference in how well your body can accommodate the restriction of a corset. For further information, see my article on corsets and organs.
Your Water Retention
- What’s your water content like? If you are often bloated or have water retention, either due to your lifestyle or because of a medical condition, you not only won’t be able to lace down as much or as readily, but you have more of that “temporary squish” to you as opposed to contributing to that “long term training”.
Whether You’ve Been Pregnant Before
- Have you had a baby before or not? While this point is a bit more anecdotal, it seems that mothers are (on average) able to lace down more readily/ more comfortably/ to higher reductions compared to nulliparous women. Maybe this has to do with the fact that the baby had moved around a woman’s organs (especially in the final trimester), or the relaxin in your system during pregnancy had stretched out some tendons and ligaments already, or the woman was already accustomed to the feeling of restriction or breathing higher up in the chest, so she may be psychologically more comfortable with the feeling of being corseted. Read more about corsets after childbirth.
Factor #2: Your Corset
- Is your corset comfortable? Does your corset fit you properly: when you lace down, does it reduce only the waist, and is it lying flat and gently supporting your upper ribcage and your hip area? Is your corset gap straight or uneven? Or is the corset overall not curvy enough: and is it giving you muffin top, pinching your hips or causing any lower tummy pooch to spill out underneath? A well-fitting corset is not only more effective at shaping, but it’s also much more comfortable, so you’ll be encouraged to wear it longer and more often.
- Is the corset strong? Does it hold up to the tension without buckling? Are the seams securely stitched? Are the bones creating a proper scaffold and not digging into your body? Are the grommets holding in? Having to put your training on hold – not because you want to, but because your corset breaks every 2 months and you have to replace it – is not cost effective and it’s not time-effective. If you’re in this for the long haul, invest in something strong and custom. See my article on Waist Training vs Tight Lacing, which also covers different requirements of a suitable corset for each.
- Is the corset the right silhouette to do the right job? If you want to train your ribcage, you might need a conical ribcage corset, which gradually tapers down and increases the pressure on the lower ribcage. A corset with a mild silhouette or with a corset with a rounded ribcage will give you a different effect. Be sure that the corset you are using is designed to do for you what you want. You can’t force a round peg through a square hole and expect a triangle to come out.
Factor #3: Your Lifestyle Habits and Training Methods
- Are you exercising alongside your waist training? Adding or increasing core resistance training can help you see results faster by encouraging your muscles to “heal” in a certain way. Even if you have no intention of losing weight (you only use a corset to see a change in your silhouette), exercise is still important! If you don’t add some core resistance training, your torso may see some shaping from the corset, but it may be squishy and complacent, and not hold that hourglass shape as well as if you were combining it with resistance training.
- Are you eating clean? Are you getting enough fiber so that you stay regular when corseting? Are you avoiding foods that you know can cause bloating or discomfort in your corset? Are you having regular small balanced meals, or are you the type to fast and then feast? Corseting over a large meal can be uncomfortable and difficult, and the quality of that meal also counts. You don’t necessarily need a specific diet for waist training, but eating sensibly goes a long way.
- Are you staying hydrated? Are you getting a lot of clean water or tea? Are you keeping your electrolytes balanced (this ties in with water retention). Are you watching your blood pressure (which relates to your blood volume)? Do you take in a lot of caffeine or other diuretics, and are you making sure that your water intake balances that out?
Duration of your corset wear (and reduction)
- To get the best results in a corset, you have to use it. What method of waist training are you using? There is Romantasy’s “Roller Coaster” method, and there is the Contour Corsets “Cycle” Method (see the differences between the two waist training methods). Some people use a combination of both, or they may try a different method altogether. Some people consider waist training as wearing their corset only 8 hours a day while they’re out working. Others waist train by only wearing a corset to bed at night. Some people wear their corsets 12 or 16 hours a day, and a few very dedicated ones wear their corset 23 hours a day.
- The body responds best to consistency – for reasons I’ll explain in an upcoming article, you’ll probably see more results (and more comfortably!) if you wear a corset at a light or moderate reduction for long hours, as opposed to tightlacing or overlacing your corset for an hour and then not wearing it again for a few days.
Let’s use an infomercial exercise program as a metaphor for waist training expectations. Many exercise programs say that you CAN lose UP TO 20 lbs per month (as an example), but read the small print and you find that these results are not typical. Many of these programs are also backed up with a guarantee that with proper compliance to the program, you will see some kind of result (often within 60 or 90 days) or your money back.
But you will notice that they do not guarantee a certain number of inches lost, because people have different bodies, different fitness levels, different levels of compliance. It’s the same with a waist training program.
Ann Grogan (of Romantasy) offers the only corset training program I currently know of – in her some 25 years of working with waist trainers and 14 years officially coaching, she is able to confidently say that with her 3-month waist training program, you’re likely to see some noticable results in your natural waist with proper compliance to the program (the program covers a lot of factors: the type of corset you’re using, the reduction, the hours, the foods you eat, the exercises you do, etc). But since each program is personalized based on goals, each person’s compliance is different and each person’s body accommodates their corset differently, it’s still very difficult to precisely predict how many inches you’ll lose, or how fast.
What I have found is the highest indicator of success is whether you actually enjoy wearing your corset and find it completely comfortable. If you practice patience, and wear your corset consistently (and ironically, not be overly attached to your end goal), you are likely to see more results over time than someone who is less patient and is only corseting for the end result. But I will cover that in another article soon.
Do you currently waist train, or did you train in the past? How long did it take you to see results? Let me know in a comment below!
142 thoughts on “WAIST TRAINING RESULTS: How long should it take?”
I have a natural 25-inch waist and I’d like to reduce it to 23-22 inches. What size should I pick to achieve that? at the end of my journey should I have a corset that has a size 18″ or 20? I want 23 inches so bad..
Hi Dyee, if you have a 25″ natural waist and you’ve never worn a corset before, I would start with a size 20″ corset for you. Over time you may choose to go down to a size 18″ waist but I would not start with the 18″ for you right away – a too-small corset doesn’t fit correctly and will end up putting you back in the long run.
Hello, if I’ve successfully go down to 24″ as my natural waist, how long and how often should I wear the the corset for maintenance? thank you
Hi Kai, I have a video on permanent waist reduction and maintenance corseting here! It should answer most of your questions. :) Many people choose to sleep in their corset and enjoy their smaller natural waist during the day, but some choose to corset say in the evenings a few days a week, or whatever suits their schedule.
Can wear during sports
Hi Nancy, generally speak I don’t recommend wearing corsets during sports. I have an article here explaining why.
I would like to know where you get your information?
Hi Deb, in the context of this specific article, I have a degree in health sciences (which has involved several anatomy and physiology courses), a certification in nutrition, including sports nutrition where I’ve spoken with personal trainers (waist training has some crossover with other types of physical training), as well as I’ve consulted with many nurses, several physicians, and a chiropractor on the physical effects of wearing corsets.
I’m also a trained corsetiere (I am able to make custom corsets) and have over 14 years of experience wearing them, including tightlacing and waist training – but beyond my own experience, I also source information from speaking with well-established authorities in the corset industry like Ann Grogan of Romantasy (30 years of corset experience), Fakir Musafar (over 60 years of experience) among others. If there are any specific areas or topics where you’d like more in-depth information, please let me know and I can direct you to various books, people or other resources.
Hi I would like to let you know it only took about 1 week of using my corset to see really noticeable results. However, I was also doing small amounts of exercising, nothing extensive just some stretching, squats, push-ups and a bit of cardio from dancing. I also cut super salty foods and super surgery foods out of my diet and I lost almost an inch within 15 days.
Hello Lucy, first of all thank you for this site. Secondly, I’m in a bit of a bind haha, and I am really, really desperate for some insight. So if you read this I’ll be eternally grateful.
I’m going to cali theme parks in a few weeks. Sounds fun. I love thrill rides. I love rides. I love parks. Except…I’m fatter than I used to be. Fat enough that on a local carnival ride, I was almost too fat for the over chest bar and lap bars to latch. (About 54″ waist and 52″ bust). I have large boobs, but I carry most of it in my stomach that hangs kinda low and round like santa claus.
Yeah…I have plenty of reason to fear being kicked off rides this time, and I don’t want that to happen not just cause of embarrassment but because I really…really have a thing for rides, like I want to go on them.
So I decided for the next few weeks, I’m reducing calories to under 900 a day, and adding intense daily workouts as I can.
I also bought a cincher corset in the hopes that will help. Is there any chance that my plan will work out in a way giving me better hope for roller coaster lap bars fitting on me? Like for example, hope that all of this combined with a corset routine will get me down from 54″ to below 44″? I realllly hope so, that’s all.
Hi Achew, with weight loss and a genuine corset together, you may be able to reduce your waist to 44″ with the corset on (some plus models are able to reduce their waist 8 inches for photo shoots without any change to their diet at all!) but for changes in your natural waist, I would definitely take more time for such dramatic results. Usually waist training results can be seen in a minimum of 3-6 months.
I’m also a registered nutritionist and I’m worried that you’re cutting down your calories too much. The body has ways of protecting itself and when calories are dropped so low, it can cause cortisol to surge and encourage the body to hold onto weight (and pack on more in the future as a defense mechanism against further famine). And those who have high cortisol tend to preferentially hold weight in their waistline (read up on HSD1 – even if you have perfect willpower, the enzyme will still put weight on the tummy). By all means eat healthily (at least 1200 calories) and exercise, but give yourself more time to see results. I completely understand the appeal of losing weight quickly for an event, but crash diets so rarely work and do so much damage to the metabolism that I can’t really condone them.
Thank you for the reply! It makes me feel better to know I shouldn’t have to be so dramatic with the weight loss since it won’t happen in time anyway. I can definitely up my calorie intake a little if it’s healthier, a breath of fresh comfy air. I was going by a calculator telling me how much I’d have to reduce to lose any pounds by a certain date.
But it’s also nice to know I might be able to temporarily do something about my waist size by wearing my corset to the park. I really want to fit the lap bars! I’ll squeeze it in or whatever it takes lol. Maybe it’s an irrational fear and I wouldn’t have a problem on the rides but being embarrassed seeing the attendant struggling with the lap bar at the fair even though I sucked in my tummy…set off some alarms.
Hi, I’ve been measured for a corset and am currently wearing mine for the first day. very excited. I had a baby 5 years ago now and have never managed to get my original shape back so I’m hoping this will help. Do you have any tips for post pregnancy waist training? (especially as it’s been so long since I was pregnant!)
I am around a size 6-8 but what size waist trainer would I need to see the best results.
Hi Lauren, corsets aren’t usually sold by the same sizing method as other clothing. Most of the time they’re sized by circumference around the waist, in inches. I have a free sizing guide and contact form on this page, I’m happy to recommend a corset for you!
I am 5 foot 1 and weigh around 113 lbs. I have a small waist naturally but quite wide, square hips. I’d like more definition in my body to emphasize the size of my butt. Is this something I can do with corsets or clinchers.
Hi Marine, sorry for the late response – we’ve been having issues with the comments section, but it should be resolved now. Corsets unfortunately don’t allow your bum to grow but because of the smallness of the waist, it makes your bips and bum appear larger by contrast. But if you want to increase the size of your bottom, I highly recommend exercises like squats, donkey kicks, etc to build the muscle.
Hey im using waist cincher , will it help my tummy to slip down and have a hour glass shape?
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