How Do You Lose Weight With African Waist Beads?

What Are African Waist Beads

Waist beads have been worn in many parts of Africa for thousands of years, primarily by women, and particularly in west Africa. To this day waist beads continue to be worn by not only Africans, but the custom has spread to numerous people around the globe including the United States. Traditionally African waist beads were worn hidden underneath the clothes, unless being used as part of a costume for dance performances or for marriage ceremonies. Waist beads can look very simple or be quite elaborate. The beads can be different shapes, colors, and sizes. They were traditionally made of different materials like glass, stone or clay, but now are typically made of synthetic materials. In some cultures waist beads took on huge significance and were used for ritualistic purposes. Though, throughout Africa waist beads are worn for several different reasons, waist shaping being one of those reasons primarily in Ghana and Nigeria. Interestingly in ancient Egyptian culture waist beads were referred to as "girdles." In a sense wearing waist beads to aid in weight loss can be seen as a less intense form of modern day waist training with tight corsets and waist trainers.

Primary Uses of African Waist Beads Include:

  • Varied colored beads to track menstruation and fertility
  • As an anchor for a menstruation cloth
  • As a sign of maturation for girls entering womanhood and reaching a marriageable age
  • Simply for fashion
  • Used during spiritual rituals and prayer
  • As a sign of sensuality only shared with an intimate partner
  • To entice men
  • To accentuate the feminine body shape
  • Aid in weight management and weight loss

How To Use Waist Beads To Lose Weight

 For weight loss, it is recommended you buy or make beads with a non stretch string/fabric, as the goal is for the beads to become slightly tight and uncomfortable if you start to gain weight. The string should be strong enough to not pop and accommodate your movement, as you will be wearing the beads continuously 24/7 throughout your weight loss efforts. Once you have purchased or made waist beads to your liking you must tie the beads above your belly button. When the waist beads get loose and slip down to your hip bones over the course of days you know you have decreased in size and/or lost weight. If you wish to be smaller, simply complete this process again. Remove the beads and tie them tighter again above your belly button. On the other hand, if you notice the beads rising higher on your body instead of slipping down, this is a sign you are gaining weight and getting bigger.

Using waist beads in this manner, is a good way to track body composition change to keep you motivated on your wellness journey even if the weight on your scale is not budging. This provides a reminder to you that even though the weight on the scale is not dropping you are still achieving healthy change in your body. Wearing waist beads can also help people with body awareness, for instance you may notice when eating particular foods you bloat more as the beads become uncomfortable, so you will know to stay away from those foods and focus on other foods that help you debloat. Thus the beads are used as way to monitor change in body size and to curb excess eating if weight loss is a goal. 

Waist beads Weight Loss Transformation Stories

I personally have never used waistbeads, but there are several videos on youtube about how waistbeads have helped individuals lose weight. Most say they saw results in anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 month with consistent wearing of the beads. I have added two videos below

Where To Buy African Waist Beads

You can conveniently buy waist beads on amazon and there are several instagram sellers. I will link below. For the amazon sellers I did the research for you to find the most trusted sellers and weed out wholesalers from china. I am not affiliated with any of the amazon or instagram sellers but wanted to compile a list of those who are helping move the culture forward. I personally would buy from amazon over instagram for ease of payment, security and shipment.

Amazon Sellers

Top Instagram Sellers












  • African waist beads help track body composition
  • African waist beads help with body/food awareness
  • Waist beads are a less intense form of waist training
  • Waist beads can help decrease your food consumption

                              So if you are trying to get snatched for the summer or simply want to be healthier, go and purchase you some African Waist Beads on amazon or anywhere else!


                                                          1. Nzoiwu, Azuka: Aesthetics, typology and functionality of beads among the peoples of Nigeria. Tropical Built Environmental Journal; Nnamdi Azikiwe University Nigeria 2014, 1:4 507-511

                                                          2. Nyambura R, Nyamache T, Nyabisi E, Beads and beadwork in Africa. Journal of Education and Social Sciences; Mount Kenya University 2012, 1:2 33-41

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