The Corset Diet is a new commercial weight loss plan for women, which combines an effective corset with a diet plan to help you get your body back in shape. According to the official website the plan has been approved by doctors and dieticians.
The idea was first developed by a Dr Alexander Sinclair, a plastic surgeon from Beverly Hills. The commercial website which people are talking about now was set up by Henry Parslow-Jones to sell corsets.
The idea of the corset diet is the avoid having to follow a really strict diet and exercise plan to get in shape. It is half cheating really, but wearing a corset was very popular from medieval times through to the Victorian period. They only lost popularity in the last 100 or so years.
The Corset diet claims that it is its simplicity which makes it almost guaranteed to succeed.
Rather than wearing the corset when socializing it is just worn before and during meals. The main purpose of the corset is to act as in a similar way to stomach reduction surgery. By restricting the amount your stomach can expand during and after eating you will reduce your appetite, and in time you should lose weight.
History of the Corset Diet
The Corset Diet was first developed in January 2008 after its founders watched a Channel 4 production on UK television called The Diets That Time Forgot. The program looked at fad diets from the past and while many were similar to what dieters to today, the corset diet gave them an idea for creating a new weight loss plan.
The corset diet was first tested on female volunteers who were approached via the Obesity Forum. They each followed the diet for 6 weeks, wearing a corset during the day. If they saw a reduction in stomach fat the corset would be replaced with a smaller one.
Does it work and is it safe?
The corset aims to reduce your waist by two inches immediately, simply by controlling the stomach area. Instantly the smaller waist causes a smaller stomach area and this affects appetite.
The tight corset reduces hunger which reduces snacking and binge eating when not actually hungry.
The corset does not need to be worn all the time; instead it can be worn just when cravings start to appear, although many women do choose to wear it as much as possible.
It is certainly a lot safer than gastric band surgery and it may work well for many women. The trick is to ensure that you keep the corset on until after hunger passes because it is really still down to you to follow the “plan”.
Corsets come in a range of sizes from an 18 inch corset (for 22 to 23 inch waist) up to a 40 inch corset (for 44 to 45 inch waist).
Henry Parslow-Jones explained that: “It reduces the area of the stomach by applying gentle and constant pressure — more like a reassuring hug than a squeeze. Women who struggle with portion control, or are yo-yo dieters, find it leaves them without hunger pangs.”
Parslow-Jones believes that wearing a corset for three to four hours a day can lead to permanent weight loss. This would happen after you have reprogrammed you brain to accept that you have eaten enough food.
Their website has several testimonials which suggest that it can work very well for some people. One woman, called Claire, said “In my first week I lost 8 pounds and I lost a further 6 in my second week. I did not change my diet at all.” Of course, Claire must have changed her diet somewhere, maybe just fewer calories.
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However, some health experts are not convinced that it is a safe way to lose weight. Wearing such a restrictive piece of clothing for long periods of time could be placing the body at unnecessary physical stress.
Professor Pierre-Marc Bouloux, endocrinologist at London’s Royal Free Hospital, said: “Using corsets as a restrictive device means your stomach can’t distend — there’s only so much space. While you aren’t likely to displace internal organs, you could hinder respiratory movement. Obese people already have decreased lung capacity, so applying additional pressure to the diaphragm could cause breathing problems.”
Many other professionals have spoken out against the Corset Diet. Emily Shire wrote in The Daily Beast that wearing a corset can lead to bruised internal organs and it could also restrict oxygenation, which leaves the cells lacking the oxygen they need for healthy functioning.
Fun facts about corsets
- Victorian women felt that a woman’s waist should be equal to her age. So an 18 year old woman should have an 18 inch waist, and a 30 year old woman could have a 30 inch waist. This led to some shocking images of women with tiny waists that could not have been healthy at all.
- During Edwardian times the swan-bill corsets were popular – these pushed the breasts up and the butt back to create a sexy S shape.
- During the 1920s many women wanted smaller breasts, so corsets were designed to flatten the chest.
- In the 1950s and 1960s new materials Fibre K, Spandex and Lycra were invented which allowed washable corsets to be worn against the skin. Corsets finally because an item of underwear rather than just a control item.
- People have worn a form of corset for a very long time. The phrase “tighten your belt” refers to making your belt tighter around your waist so that you would not wish to eat so soon and therefore not need to spend the last of your money on food.
The corset diet certainly has its risks. However, if you are only looking to lose a small amount of weight then they may well prove to be a more effective method than trying to eat less and exercise more through willpower alone. So long as you do not over-tighten the corset and understand that the purpose of it is to help reduce your appetite and not immediately produce a perfect figure, you should be OK.