Some people are cursed with areas of stubborn body fat that just won’t budge, no matter how much they exercise, or how healthy their diet. That’s when body sculpting can help!
Stubborn fat is physiologically different from regular fat and therefore requires a different type of treatment to remove it. If you’ve tried all the recommended ways to rid your body of stubborn fat, yet can’t seem to achieve smooth, tight and toned skin, perhaps it’s time to get a little helping hand. You work hard on your body, so there’s no shame in using available new technology to rid your body of those last few pounds and finally getting that refined appearance you’ve always wanted.
What is body sculpting?
Body sculpting—or body contouring as it is also referred to—is a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment that can help achieve the body of your dreams without having to spend hours sweating it out in the gym and without going under the knife.
Many areas of the body can be targeted with body contouring such as unwanted bulges around the abdomen, thighs, bottom, upper arms—essentially anywhere you’d like to see reshaped.
Due to the fact that it can be performed quickly, with minimal discomfort and downtime, it is growing in popularity with celebrities and regular joes alike. Celebrities including Kristin Davis, Molly Sims, Kris Jenner, and Gretchen Rossi have all been outspoken about their support of CoolSculpting.
How does body sculpting work?
There are several different body sculpting treatments, all of which work in a similar way by breaking down fat cells that are eventually flushed out of the body over the course of a few months.
CoolSculpting (also known as cryolipolysis) uses cold temperatures to freeze and destroy fat cells. The area being treated is sucked into an application that works in a similar way to a vacuum. The applicator is placed on the area where there is desired fat loss and then safely placed on the protected skin and the fat is frozen to a temperature as low as – 11 degrees. This process crystallizes the fat cells under the skin, and then the crystallized fat cells are eventually flushed from the body through urination.
The treatment can take around 45-minutes to an hour per area being treated, and while it is non-invasive and non-surgical, it can be uncomfortable. CoolSculpting can be used on almost any area of the body with minimal recovery period, however, it is FDA-cleared for the treatment of stubborn fat under the chin and jawline, thighs, abdomen, and flank, along with bra fat, back fat, upper arm fat, and fat underneath the buttocks. The average patient can see a 20 to 25 percent reduction of fat in the area in three months. However, this is not a treatment that will help anyone who is severely overweight. This treatment is for people who need help with unwanted bulges in problem areas that they have not been able to get rid of on their own with diet and exercise.
CoolTone is a noninvasive innovation in body contouring. Unlike its fat-freezing counterpart CoolSculpting, CoolTone’s Magnetic Muscle Stimulation—or MMS technology—penetrates through the skin and fat layers to target only the muscle layer, inducing involuntary muscle contractions. While CoolSculpting literally freezes and kills fat cells which are then naturally flushed out of the body, as a result of the contractions created by CoolTone, muscle fibers are toned, firmed, and strengthened fat on the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs which will be firmer and have a more defined and toned appearance after treatment. CoolTone is FDA-cleared to strengthen, tone, and firm three separate areas. Envision a more toned stomach, tighter thighs, and firm buttocks.
VelaShape uses a combination of infrared light, bipolar radiofrequency (RF) energy, massage, and gentle suction to destroy fat cells just below the surface of the skin. The treatment is delivered to the body via an FDA-approved handheld device that is pressed on the surface of the skin. The suction pulls the skin closer to the energy source inside, working with massage to help relax and stretch the stiff fibrous bands under the skin that cause the depressions and dimpling of cellulite. The infrared and RF energies heat the skin, tightening tissue and making fat cells shrink and, in some cases, die. It’s a quick procedure—typically only taking 20 to 30 minutes, though it can take longer for multiple areas—and it also improves blood circulation.
VelaShape enables you to safely achieve a toned, contoured and well-shaped body in typically three treatment sessions. The most commonly treated areas are the thighs, buttocks, upper arms, and stomach. It can also reduce excess fat and improve sagging under the chin.
Are body sculpting treatments painful?
Whether or not you experience pain during the treatments will largely depend on your pain threshold. What is painful to one person might only be uncomfortable to another, but you can expect to experience a stinging or burning sensation during some of the treatments. Unlike their surgical equivalents, they don’t require anesthesia, there’s no downtime and most can be done in your lunch break from work! However, keep in mind that you are likely to require more than one session depending on the area being treated.
What are the downsides to body sculpting?
Body sculpting is non-invasive, which means there is no cutting of the skin involved in the procedure. However, as with any cosmetic procedure, there are always elements of risk that must be taken into consideration before undergoing the procedure:
Common side effects:
- Redness, swelling and bruising around the treatment area
- Tingling, stinging or aching for a couple of weeks afterward
- Reduced sensation in the targeted area
Bear in mind that these side effects are temporary and won’t stop you from going about your day-to-day routine immediately after treatment.
Many people opt to get a helping hand in achieving their ideal body. If you feel that body sculpting might be the right procedure for you, make sure to research the different options, and find an experienced, trusted professional that will take the time to answer all your questions to ensure you are completely comfortable before committing to the procedure.
Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you look and feel great:
Most people have an area of stubborn fat in their body, an area that has resisted all efforts through diet and exercise and just won’t go away. This stubborn fat is usually the fat just under our skin that you can pinch, the subcutaneous fat, as opposed to the visceral fat that attaches to internal organs like your liver and pancreas. Stubborn fat is incredibly frustrating especially when you eat healthily and exercise regularly, but can’t seem to shift it. However, there are actually many possible reasons as to why that last bit of fat isn’t coming off…and it’s not always to do with exercise and diet.
These 5 facts about stubborn fat will give you a better insight into what it is, and why you might be having trouble getting rid of it:
1. Stubborn fat is physiologically different from regular fat
There is a physiological difference between stubborn fat and regular fat. Fat cells have all kinds of different receptors for different purposes, but in the case of stubborn fat, only the alpha-2 receptors and the beta-2 receptors are relevant. Alpha-2 receptors hinder fat burning and beta-2 receptors accelerate fat burning. The ratio of the two receptors determines the rate at which fat is burned, and stubborn fat regions have much higher alpha-2 receptors compared to beta-2 receptors which are why they are so hard to get rid of. One of the ways to inhibit alpha-2 receptors is to keep insulin levels low, and this can be achieved with a low-carb diet. However, as we mention in the next point, it’s not possible to spot-reduce areas of fat, and while a low carb diet will help reduce overall levels of body fat, but the stubborn fat might remain.
2. We rid our body of some areas of stubborn fat faster than others
You may have heard that it’s not possible to spot-reduce fat, and it is true. You can’t do crunches just to lose stubborn fat around the abdomen. Exercise increases the amount of calories burned, and with a calorie deficit, you will lose weight from all over your body, not just the part you are working out. So, while crunches are good for building strength and working out the muscles near the belly, they won’t burn off stubborn fat in that area.
That being said, some people will lose weight at a faster rate from some parts of their bodies compared to others, and where the fat melts off first is totally different from one person to the next. So, while we can’t choose which areas of the body we would like to lose weight from first, some areas will slim down at a faster rate than others, and there’s not a lot that can be done about it.
3. Hormones can increase stubborn fat
When stubborn fat continues to cling to areas of the body even with a healthy diet and regular exercise, hormones could be the culprit. In females, fat that is primarily stored in the lower body is often due to the impact of the hormone estrogen. Higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) can also cause your body to hang on to fat. Hormonal belly fat, in particular, is commonly associated with visceral fat, and as we get older, even a slight disruption in our hormone levels can cause stubborn belly fat to stick.
Bottom line: If your waistline is getting bigger, but you’re eating right and exercising regularly, hormones could be to blame.
4. Women are more prone than men
Women generally have a higher percentage of body fat than men—body fat content is approximately 25% for normal-sized women compared to 15% for men. Women tend to have more alpha-2 receptors in their stubborn fat regions than men in theirs. In fact, female subcutaneous fat in the lower body has about 9 to 10 times more alpha receptors compared to male lower body fat. Many women trying to lose weight say that fat around their hips, buttocks, and thighs are the last to shed (if at all). Bear in mind, however, that this is very normal, and it’s because women’s bodies are designed to carry children—extra fat in these areas is crucial for childbearing.
5. Stubborn fat can be removed non-surgically
Liposuction is a procedure that most people will have heard of. A thin tube called a cannula is inserted into areas of fat through small incisions in the skin and the fat is suctioned out through a vacuum. The process is surgical, and you may have to stay in hospital depending on the type of surgery you had. With liposuction, you can expect bruising, swelling, and soreness for at least a few weeks.
However, people who have noticeable fat bulges in certain areas but want to avoid surgery can consider other procedures such as CoolSculpting that can remove the fat cells giving a slimmer silhouette without having to go under the knife. Coolsculpting involves freezing fat cells so they become crystallized and die. The dead fat cells are then naturally processed and eliminated by your body.
Stubborn fat is frustrating, especially if you are eating healthily and exercising regularly. However, as these 5 facts show, it is actually very different to regular fat, and depending on genetics, gender, and hormone levels, it can be almost impossible to shift. However, if you’ve tried everything to rid your body of those stubborn areas of fat to no avail, there are non-surgical procedures that can give your body the helping hand needed to get the shape you want.
To learn about nonsurgical options to non-surgical ways to combat stubborn fat, contact our office to schedule a complimentary consultation.