Jessica Alba’s toned figure might be the object of envy for women around the globe, but the actress claims that staying slim has been a painful process, especially after her two pregnancies.
In an interview with the e-retailer Net-A-Porter, Alba revealed that she wore a girdle for months to lose weight after giving birth to her two daughters, Honor and Haven. “I wore a double corset day and night for three months,” the 31-year-old star told the website’s magazine. “It was brutal; it’s not for everyone.”
Although Alba swears by the technique, claiming it helped her shed her post-pregnancy weight, doctors are in disagreement about whether girdles actually aid in weight loss.
Dr. Edward R. Laskowski, who specializes in sports medicine, addressed the topic in an “Expert Answers” post on the Mayo Clinic’s website. ”Although you may appear thinner when you wear a girdle, the girdle doesn't strengthen or tone your abdominal muscles,” Laskowski said. “Girdles just temporarily compress and redistribute fat and skin around the abdomen.”
“When it comes to a flat stomach, diet and exercise -- not undergarments -- are what count,” he added.
But Alba said she saw definite results from using it, saying, “It was sweaty, but worth it.”
Alba also talked about her recent best-selling book “The Honest Life,” which was No. 3 on The New York Times’ Best Sellers List last month. Alba said her goal in writing the book was to help teach others how to live “a healthy, natural lifestyle -- without being boring, beige or blah.”
“[Writing the book] was daunting. But I wanted this information to be easy to understand,” Alba said. “There are so many different sources that have such strong opinions. I wanted to have no judgment: Here’s the information, take from it what you will.”editor
Alba’s book was largely informed by her own struggles to be healthy after combating childhood illnesses including obsessive-compulsive disorder, frequent bouts of pneumonia, and allergies that have continued to plague her throughout adulthood.
"As a child, I suffered from many different bizarre kinds of health issues,” Alba said in an April interview with AOL. "And I realized over time that when I eliminated fragrances and toxic chemicals in my environment, and especially Clorox, Lysol, the harsher ingredients that are in those products, it eliminated my allergies and my reactions. And so that was kind of a breakthrough moment for me, in knowing that you can control the environment that you live in and it will affect your health."
Alba’s revelation inspired her to found the eco-friendly company The Honest Company, which she credits with helping her to find her voice in Hollywood.
“I think that’s why certain people get into social media, because it’s like, ‘Here’s my voice,’” she agrees. “It’s funny to read a past interview version of [me]. It’s so frustrating, I’m like, 'But that’s not...' It’s a misrepresentation, but I’m aware it doesn’t really matter. I can only control what I can control. I know who I am and so does my family.”