Saying that ridding yourself of unsightly fat is difficult is probably the least controversial statement you’ll hear all day.
If you are like many people, you are actually taking care of your health. You are mostly eating properly, you may be counting calories, and you may be getting in some exercise while still maintaining your busy lifestyle.
Sometimes, no matter how many green smoothies you drink, or how many times you run around the block, unsightly fat deposits will remain. You may even be close to your ideal weight, but frustrating pockets of fat will not give up the ghost.
When you find yourself in this common situation, you will typically start thinking outside of the box for ways to rid yourself of notoriously stubborn areas of fat like those often found on the hips and abdominal area. But you will need some solid information to help focus your efforts. We have put together this guide to assist you in exploring a few techniques that are known to work in removing stubborn fat deposits.
Most options you probably know about, thoutgh ‘coolsculpting’ may be a novel and attractive option for some people.
How to Lose Stubborn Fat: Let’s count the ways
Before looking into some minimally invasive ways that you can rid yourself of unwanted fat, we should first look at some things that you can do on your own. Caloric restriction does not always involve that four letter word: diet. Many people have found that a technique called intermittent fasting helps them remove fat that could not be banished in any other way.
Intermittent fasting is simply restricting your eating to a certain window. You eat normally otherwise. There are two main ways that people go about it: going without eating for a 24-hour stretch and limiting eating to an eight hour period.
24 Hour Fast
Admittedly, there is some willpower involved here. But you would simply have your last meal of the day at a time of your choosing, typically your evening meal so that you do not go to bed hungry. What this does is it forces your body to go into fat-burning mode. Your body will preferentially choose fat as an alternative fuel source. The fat will literally begin melting away.
8 Hour Fast
This one is significantly easier for most people to achieve. You simply limit your eating to an eight hour window several times a week. For most people, the best way to achieve this is to eat their final meal of the day and go to sleep. When you wake up, you are probably already halfway done with your fast if you normally sleep around eight hours. Now you only have about eight more hours to go. This will also force your body into fat-burning mode to help melt away stubborn fat deposits. If you really want to ramp things up, try exercising in a fasted state. Your body will be forced to use fat as fuel for your exercise, but it will need to burn significantly more fat for fuel than when you are in a rested state.
Intermittent Fasting Pros and Cons
- Forces your body into burning only fat as fuel
- No need to count calories
- No need for nutritional supplements
- No unusual dietary schedule to keep up with
- Willpower comes into play
- Your energy levels may drop at times
- Not for individuals with certain medical conditions
So intermittent fasting is definitely effective at melting away fat, but let’s face it: It is not for everyone. Willpower will be required, although many people find it easier to do than they initially expected. In fact, most people who fast intermittently find that they are rarely hungry. It is more of a mental thing. Once you get past the first couple of hours, you will find that any feelings of hunger fade into the background. It also helps to have some activity to perform to take your mind off of any understandable temptations that you may be experiencing.
The main benefits of intermittent fasting are its simplicity and effectiveness. However, you may want to consult with your family doctor to make sure that it is safe for you. Or you may just want to cut to the chase and explore some simple cosmetic procedures that can help to remove fat. Let’s look into a couple of them:
If you are feeling self-conscious about carrying excess weight, and are unable or unwilling to try intermittent fasting, liposuction makes a good option when exercise and diet are ineffective in removing stubborn fat pockets. Liposuction is always among the top five most popular surgeries, and advancements in technology are making the procedure more effective than ever before.
One caveat regarding liposuction is that it should be considered as your last option when exercise and diet are not working. You can have a liposuction procedure on parts of your body like your hips, thighs, buttocks, back and flanks.
Choose your liposuction surgeon wisely by finding one who has a good amount of experience and expertise. It is a good idea to research your prospective liposuction surgeon’s credentials and to ask for before-and-after photos and testimonials of their patients.
This type of technology uses ultrasound to liquefy fat cells. The fat is then removed from your body using a tube. It is important to note that this method cannot be used in thin parts of the body like the face or neck. But many people have found it to be very helpful for quickly removing fat from places like the thighs, abdomen, back or arms.
The area of treatment is injected using a special type of medical solution to numb the area before the procedure begins. The solution contains a mixture of salt and epinephrine to constrict blood vessels, along with anesthesia. It helps to limit swelling, bruising and blood loss.
Following your liposuction procedure, it is normal to experience some mild discomfort, and minor bruising, swelling and redness. Prescription pain medication can help you become more comfortable. You may need to wear a special compression garment to limit swelling. Swelling will begin to fade
after one week, but wearing the compression garments may be necessary for about one month.
Will I have scars?
During a liposuction procedure, your surgeon will need to create small incisions to allow for the removal of excess fat. These incisions are very small and located in inconspicuous areas. You will be provided with detailed aftercare instructions to care for your incisions to ensure that they heal properly with minimal scarring.
Are my results permanent?
Not necessarily. Once fat cells are removed, they are gone for good. However, existing fat cells can subsequently become swollen if you do not maintain a healthy diet. You need to take care of yourself after your liposuction so that your results last for as long as possible. Keep up with your healthy diet, regular exercise and drinking plenty of water. You may begin with light exercise soon after your procedure and resume your normal exercise routine within a few weeks after that.
As effective as liposuction is, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of incisions. Even small ones. That takes us to our next method for removing stubborn fat deposits…
CoolSculpting is a patented fat removal system that eliminates fat cells without the need for surgery or any downtime. We can thank the scientists from Harvard for this one. Two of them noticed that children sucking on popsicles developed dimples. They quickly discovered that the cold temperatures led to a localized reduction in fat, which gave them dimples. Thus was born CoolSculpting!
How It Works
The procedure involves the use of special equipment and paddles that transmit low temperatures into the treatment sites. You do need to have “pinchable” fat that will fit within these paddles to qualify for CoolSculpting.
The near-freezing temperatures of CoolSculpting will destroy fat between these paddles. After that, your own body will “take out the trash” for you. No suctioning needed.
One important note about CoolSculpting: No skin in the surrounding area will be damaged by the procedure. So nothing to worry about there.
What It Treats
The most popular areas of treatment for CoolSculpting are stubborn fat pockets like those found around the abdomen, under the chin, love handles, inner and outer thighs and arms. Multiple applicator sizes are available with this technology so that specific areas can be treated.
What does CoolSculpting feel like?
During your CoolSculpting procedure, your practitioner will place a gel and applicator or a gel pad onto the treatment area. Suction will draw all tissue between the paddles into the applicator cup. At this time, you may experience mild tugging, pulling and mild pinching.
The temperature is then lowered in a controlled manner, which you will feel. However, the cold sensation typically begins to fade within about 10 minutes, once the area goes numb. At this time, many patients relax by reading or even taking a nap. You can expect to resume normal activities right away.
When will I begin noticing results?
Your CoolSculpting provider can help you formulate an individualized treatment plan to help you achieve your unique goals. Although some CoolSculpting patients began noticing results in two or three weeks, optimal results are normally evident within one to three months.
CoolSculpting vs. Liposuction: Which Treatment is Right for Me?
When considering CoolSculpting and liposuction, there are a few key questions that you should answer:
What are my treatment goals?
CoolSculpting was designed to remove local pockets of fat. If you are looking for a nonsurgical treatment, it may be a suitable choice. Keep in mind that you may require more than one treatment session to achieve optimal results. How many treatments you require depends upon the treatment area.
You should also keep in mind that the results of CoolSculpting are not immediately apparent. Your body will continue processing damaged fat cells for a few months after your treatment.
If you are wanting to remove excess fat over a larger area, or are seeking more dramatic changes, liposuction may make a better choice. This is a more aggressive procedure, and more fat can be removed during one treatment session. Liposuction can also be performed in combination with other types of procedures, such as fat transfer. This is where you remove fat from one area of your body and transfer it into places that need additional volume, such as hollowed cheeks.
Would I make a good candidate?
The best candidates for CoolSculpting are those in solid overall health, with localized fat deposits. They also tend to have minor skin laxity and have realistic expectations regarding their outcomes. Good candidates also realize that this procedure is not designed for weight loss.
Optimal liposuction candidates are in good general health and have excess fat. The best liposuction patients have minimal skin laxity, since the procedure can intensify the amount of loose skin in the target area.
Those who obtain the best liposuction results are also non-smokers or smokers who have stopped smoking. This is because the use of tobacco slows the healing process and makes it more likely that you will experience complications. It is important to keep in mind that neither procedure should ever in any way be considered as a substitute for proper exercise and diet, nor are they good alternatives to treatment for obesity.
Ultimately, your most suitable treatment option is one aligning with your individual aesthetic goals. Taking part in a consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon is extremely helpful in making sure that they understand your aesthetic objectives and can help you decide which procedure is right for you and your individual needs.