With over two million procedures done worldwide, it is the world’s premier noninvasive, nonsurgical fat reduction treatment.
In our quest for spot reducing fat and achieving the perfect body, there is now a procedure called CoolSculpting, which has been getting a lot of media attention in recent years. When a client said, “Why not just do CoolSculpting instead of working out?” I decided to research this ‘sounds too good to be true’ procedure. According to www.CoolSculpting.com, “CoolSculpting fat-freezing procedure is the only FDA-cleared, nonsurgical fat-reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn fat that resists all efforts through diet and exercise. The results are proven, noticeable, and lasting—so you’ll look great from every angle.”
Five FDA-cleared treatment areas have been approved for fat reduction: the abdomen, inner/outer thighs, love handles, and the double chin. CoolSculpting is not a weight loss procedure but rather a ‘burn fat cells in a particular problem area’ procedure. It won’t make you lose a lot of weight or inches. You still have to do that with exercise and eating a healthy diet.
What is interesting, though, is how this procedure was developed. Scientists at Harvard University observed many years ago that when some children ate popsicles they lost fat in their cheeks, resulting in dimples. According to www.CoolSculpting.com, “The idea that cold can target fat cells—without damaging the skin or surrounding tissue—was the insight behind Cryolipolysis®, the proven science on which the CoolSculpting procedure is based.” The procedure involves freezing targeted fat areas and killing fat cells. Once the fat cells are dead, they are processed and excreted by the body.
The results, however, are subtle. As for side effects, according to www.CoolSculpting.com, “You may also feel intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping—sensations that subside as the treatment area becomes numb. Immediately after treatment, there may be redness and firmness; transient blanching and/or mild bruising around the edges of the treatment area; tingling and stinging. Typically, these side effects are temporary and resolve completely. Many patients do experience redness in the treated areas for up to a few hours after the applicator is removed. In rare cases, this redness may persist up to 2 weeks, but it will completely resolve itself.”
The development of fat cells begins in the fetus and continues during childhood and adolescence. Once fat cells get full, they divide in half and become two. This division process goes on to accommodate excess body fat during adolescence. In adulthood, excess calories in the body are stored as fat by depositing more fat in existing cells, or by forming new fat cells, or a combination of both. Overeating and not exercising causes the fat cells to reach their maximal size. Whereas with regular weight loss, fat cells shrink but never permanently disappear, with CoolSculpting fat cells are destroyed permanently and disappear (just in the targeted spot which is treated).
Here’s the reality: our bodies are meant to store some fat. Men typically store around 15-23 percent of their body weight as fat and women around 20-33 percent. So even if all five FDA approved treatment areas were treated with CoolSculpting (which by the way would cost thousands of dollars), chances are that fat will still be stored in other fat cells somewhere else in the body. Therefore, don’t dwell on losing a pinch of fat here and a pinch there; instead make peace with your trouble fat areas and focus on overall wellness, fitness, and nutrition. Maintain a healthy body image and sculpt your body with cool workouts!
[Aarti Patel serves as the columnist for Fitness Lifestyle. She has a B.Sc. in Health Information Administration and is certified by the American Council on Exercise as a Personal and Group Fitness Instructor, and Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach. She can be reached at (404)-376-5655; firstname.lastname@example.org. This column rotates monthly along with the Ask the Doctor column by Gulshan Harjee, M.D.]
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