Does Sleeping in a Girdle Flatten Your Tummy?

Woman lying in bed with face buried in pillow
A young woman sleeping in her bed. (Image: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

There's a reason shapewear is a multimillion dollar industry. There's nothing like a few ounces of lycra spandex to magically -- and temporarily -- transform your figure. While it is fun to imagine acquiring a red carpet-ready tummy just by snoozing in a girdle, it's going to take more than elastic and paneling to achieve lasting results.

Looks Can Be Deceiving

The Mayo Clinic is pretty clear on the matter. You may look pounds thinner in a girdle, but no garment is going to strengthen the muscles of your stomach. All a girdle can do is momentarily redistribute your natural -- assets. True, you will look slimmer and sleeker as long as you wear the shaper, but your curves and bulges will emerge the instant you take it off.

Factory Installed

You come fully equipped with your own natural girdle, your abdominal muscles. Your rectus abdominis -- the big core muscle responsible for a six-pack appearance -- external and internal obliques on the sides of your stomach, and your transverse abdominis running deep across your lower abdomen, will all respond to exercise. Twice a week do core exercises like planks and abdominal crunches to tighten your "girdle," and sculpt and tone your tummy.

No Elastic Required

You'll also need to do a half-hour of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise most days of the week. This must be the kind that gets your heart rate up and your lungs working, like a step or spin class, bicycling or walking. The American Council on Exercise confirms that regular exercise and a healthy diet will torch calories and help you lose fat all over your body, including your tummy -- no elastic required.

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