Working at SHAPE magazine means I'm no stranger to the weird and sometimes wacky world of weight loss. I've seen and heard about almost every crazy diet you can think of (and I've probably tried most of them too), but last week I was thrown for a loop when Jessica Alba admitted to Net-a-Porter that she used a corset to get her pre-baby body back after her two pregnancies, including her last one in 2011.
"I wore a double corset day and night for three months,” she told the magazine. “It was brutal; it’s not for everyone.” However, she went on to say it was "sweaty but worth it."
In addition to double-layering the corsets for support, she exercised, ate a very healthy diet, and drank a lot of water until she reached her goal weight, Alba's publicist told SHAPE. She also waited three months to begin her diet and exercise regime after her first baby was born, and two months after the second.
The idea of using an actual corset to lose weight seems old-fashioned and almost quaint, but the concept behind "waist-training" remains popular. Several celebrities including Kourtney Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer Garner are all rumored to have used abdominal binders of some kind to slip back into their skinnies fast, and post-partum binders or girdles are often recommended for women who've just had a C-section as a way to help ease the pain during recovery.
RELATED: We can't believe it, but Alba says she wasn't always as gorgeous as she is. That's why she won one of our Hollywood's most-improved awards.
However, while some experts agree that wearing a corset might encourage you to eat less and will help you ultimately lose weight, simply wearing one will not change your body composition. Further, some experts express concern that relying on corsets as a long-term form of weight loss can cause permanent damage.
“If you’re wearing a corset 24/7, it can do a couple of things to your body,” Sara Gottfried, M.D., told ABC News last October. “Namely, it will be squeezing your ribs so much that you can’t take a deep breath. Corsets can squish your lungs by 30 to 60 percent, making you breathe like a scared rabbit. They can also put a kink in your organs and cause constipation.”
Yikes! That said, there's no denying Alba looks amazing. What do you think? Would you ever try wearing a corset to lose weight? Let us know in the comments below!