There’s only one way to lose significant weight, and that’s a sensible diet with the right kind of exercise. But the best diet in the world and the most targeted exercise there is can’t always get rid of troublesome pockets of fat. If you’ve reached the limit of what exercise can do, you can still get the body you’ve worked so long to see. At ShineMD Medspa & Liposuction Center in Houston, TX, we offer a number of body contouring options, including CoolSculpting, that can help you get the results you’re looking for.
Why Stubborn Fat Exists
We all know that diet and exercise are the keys to weight loss, but why is it that some spots of unwanted fat persist despite our best efforts? Yours might be your thighs and hips, your upper arms, your abdomen, your chest, or elsewhere, but nearly everyone has somewhere they’d like to sculpt. It’s important to realize that it’s not all your fault.
How Fat Works
As we develop, starting in the womb and ending at the finish of puberty, our bodies build cells of all kinds as we need them. We do need fat cells, and our bodies generate a certain number of them and then stop. Unlike most other cells, fat cells don’t usually come back if they’re ever lost. They’re difficult to either kill or re-grow. All they normally do is expand when we gain weight and shrink when we lose it.
The Importance of Genetics
The number of cells you’ll build and the place your body will choose to put them aren’t always in your hands. If your parents didn’t feed you a healthy, calorie-appropriate diet in childhood, you may have packed on too many pounds as a child. And your genetics dictate where precisely you’ll store your fat.
For example, you’ve probably noticed that women tend to pack on extra fat around the thighs and hips and upper arms. Female bodies are always thinking about childbirth (even if you aren’t) and put fat in places where it can easily be grabbed to support a pregnancy and keep the baby healthy but where it can’t get in the way of organs or the expansion of the womb. Men don’t need to worry about an expanding womb, so their bodies tend to pack fat deeper, around the organs, and particularly around the middle. This accounts for the “beer belly” so famous among men, though often beer has nothing to do with it.
Remember that these are just generalities. Among both men and women, fat storage will obey its own rules based on genetics. And once the body has established its preferential places for storing fat in place, it’s very hard to convince the body to let go.
Why Fat Can Be Stubborn Sometimes
You likely have a sedentary job, and to get your food you almost certainly don’t have to chase it down in the wild or physically work a field to harvest it. Modern life is a lot different from those our ancestors lived, but our bodies haven’t really caught up with this yet. Our bodies are always thinking about how to protect us in a famine or other emergency situation.
For many of us, our bodies are very quick to pack on fat to protect us in case the food supply runs out. Meanwhile, they’re also quick to let muscle go unless we work to keep it up. That’s because muscle is a metabolically expensive tissue, and your body doesn’t want you wasting energy on anything it’s not convinced you need. Our bodies are good at all this, but, unfortunately, the realities of modern life can send signals that ramp up this fat-accumulation well beyond what’s healthy. Some of the signals include:
Our bodies are very, very good at handling acute stress. When there’s a sudden emergency, such as in a battle, after a car accident, or when threatened by an animal, we can respond instantly and with a strength and speed most of us wouldn’t have known we even had.
Unfortunately, our bodies respond in the same sort of way to lower-level, chronic stress. Stress releases cortisol, which is our fight-or-flight hormone, but when we never use that cortisol by fighting or fleeing, it builds up in the blood and continuously signals to the body to store fat around our middle.
We’re bombarded with messages for unhealthy foods every time we walk down the street or turn on the TV. Sugary drinks and empty carbohydrates are the biggest offenders. For our ancestors, sugar was a rare treat, and when they came upon a store of it (usually in the form of fruit), the pre-programmed response was to gorge so the body could put on a few fat stores to last through the winter.
When we eat sugary, carb-laden foods all day long, we’re constantly signaling to our body to pack on fat. If that goes on long enough, our body can’t hear insulin’s signals as well anymore, which makes us less efficient at burning fat and turns down our metabolic rate.
Many of us have dieted throughout our lives, losing fat only to gain it again. Even worse, some of that initial weight loss might also have been muscle, and unless you deliberately weight train and eat lots of protein, when the weight comes back it’s liable to be more fat than muscle. You may weigh the same as you did before the diet, but now you actually have a higher percentage of body-fat.
You can fight back against all the things that cause us to put on weight. Yet many people see success on the scale through diet and exercise and lifestyle changes to lower stress but still have areas that won’t reduce no matter how hard they try. These are spots where the body is determined to hold on to fat stores.
Target Your Stubborn Fat With CoolSculpting
There are plenty of reasons you might have pockets of stubborn fat that won’t respond to your exercise and diet efforts. But there’s one great way to get rid of them in CoolSculpting.
How It Works
This body contouring system is the world’s most popular non-invasive fat reduction treatment. The principle behind it was discovered when some doctors noticed that children who ate popsicles frequently developed dimples. Gradually it dawned on them that the cold of the popsicles might be doing something. It turns out they were right.
Fat Cell Composition
Fat cells are oily where most of the rest of the cells in our bodies are water-based. You’ve probably noticed in the kitchen that fat heats up more quickly than water and changes texture at much higher temperatures than water. Water in the fridge will never turn to ice, but melted butter put in the fridge will very quickly become solid again.
Taking Advantage of Fat Cells
Because fat cells are oil-based, they will freeze at much higher temperatures than the surrounding tissues. This is good news for us, and it’s this scientific reality that CoolSculpting takes advantage of. This body contouring system targets the fat cells with cold, freezing them and killing them without harming the tissues around them.
The CoolSculpting Process
It all starts with a consultation. Come in and talk to us about your problem areas and what kind of results you’d like to see. We’ll help you understand if this is the right treatment for you. If it is, there is very little you need to do to prepare.
The device itself is equipped with a gentle suction to help pull the fat cells up to where the cooling plates can reach them. There are no incisions or any sort. You’ll feel the cold initially, and then it will become numb and you’ll feel no sensations at all. Over the course of the next 30 to 60 minutes, the cooling plates go to work killing the fat in your problem areas.
When it’s all over, the fat cells will be naturally flushed away by your body’s lymphatic system. This doesn’t cause any issues for your body, and it’s not harmful in any way. It means that your results will be gradual and look entirely natural: as if you reduced the fat in that spot through diet and exercise alone.
You should expect to see the first results at about three weeks and the final results at about three months. Depending on the area being treated and the exact amount of fat you have, one session can address somewhere between 25% and 50% of the fat cells in an area, though the average is 30%.
Some people will get all the results they want with just one treatment while others will need up to four to see the results they’re looking for. This is a very personal issue and depends entirely on your personal goals, how many places you have to target, and how much you hope to see disappear. Talk with us about your goals at your consultation and we can give you a much clearer idea of what to expect for personal results.
Enhancing Your Results
At ShineMD Medspa & Liposuction Center, we know you’re looking for the fastest and best results possible, and that’s why we also offer the Z Wave system to complement your CoolSculpting treatment. You may be aware that massage after CoolSculpting is very common. It helps to break up the dead fat cells so the body can deal with them more quickly. But Z Wave goes one better.
It helps like a massage, but it also promotes the production of better and stronger connective tissues in the target area. The end result for you is stronger, smoother skin and less cellulite in addition to a sleeker look.
How Z Wave Works
The Z Wave uses the power of acoustic waves to break down the structure of the fat cells just beneath the skin. As it does so, it stimulates blood circulation and encourages the body to ramp up collagen production. This makes for smoother, stronger skin without the cellulite. The process also encourages the lymphatic system to get to work removing the dead fat cells as quickly as possible.
The whole Z Wave treatment takes just 30 minutes and doesn’t require any incisions or any invasive procedures at all. There’s no downtime required afterward, and you’ll see your results at around the same time as your body contouring results. Within a few weeks, your targeted areas will be thinner with stronger, smoother skin.
FAQ About Treatment
What Areas of the Body Can Be Contoured?
This is the perfect treatment for addressing pockets of stubborn fat on the upper arms, thighs, abdomen, waist, back, or chin. We also have other options available, like Kybella and laser liposuction, that can address larger areas of concern or different issues. Come talk to us about your goals and we can help you find the right treatment or combination of treatments for all your aesthetic needs.
How Much Weight Will I Lose?
This isn’t a weight-loss procedure, so we encourage you not to think in those terms at all. If you need to lose weight, talk to us about our medically supervised weight loss program. We can offer you the dietary and nutritional counseling and emotional support you need to get the weight off and keep it off. We also offer a personally tailored exercise program and prescription medications where needed.
Body sculpting is about that last step of shaping your body after you’ve lost most of the weight. You should be within 30 pounds of your final goal weight before you try body sculpting to get the best results.
Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
Most healthy people within about 30 pounds of their goal weight are great candidates for this body contouring treatment. It’s designed for those who already live a healthy lifestyle and who can commit to continuing that lifestyle so as not to undo the results. The only thing that could keep you from treatment would be a condition that makes you exceptionally sensitive to cold.
Will the Fat Ever Come Back?
This treatment kills fat cells, and they don’t come back under ordinary circumstances. If you put on weight in the future, other fat cells in your body will expand as normal. You’ll typically see less expansion in the area where you had body contouring done.
However, if you put on extreme amounts of weight, your body may grow new fat cells or store large amounts of fat in a new place for an unexpected look. For minor weight gain, you can have a touch-up treatment later, but we always urge anyone seeking body contouring to commit to a long-term healthy lifestyle for the best results.
Is This Safe?
This body contouring process has been cleared by the FDA and is used all over the world all the time. It is a proven, safe, and effective way to reduce fat without surgery or other invasive procedures.
Learn More or Get Started
If you have stubborn pockets of fat you can’t wait to be rid of, let us help. We understand why those pockets form and how hard they can be to reduce. lo to learn more about body sculpting. We strive to be Houston’s leading aesthetic and wellness treatment center and pledge to always go above and beyond to help you be the best you possible.