The best procedures for fat loss & body contouring
Individuals who maintain a healthy lifestyle can still have stubborn fat around the waistline, including the stomach and love handles. In such cases, body sculpting procedures can provide effective solutions.
Body contouring treatments can effectively reduce the appearance of love handles or a muffin top by eliminating excess fat cells from specific areas. It is important to note that some of these procedures are not designed for weight loss and should only be considered when close to one's ideal weight.
Medical professionals and patients rated these treatments the most effective.
Fat Freezing & CoolSculpting
CoolSculpting is a procedure that uses a medical device to freeze and eliminate unwanted fat by suctioning it just beneath the skin.
Typically, treatment includes 1 to 2 sessions per body area, each lasting between 30 to 60 minutes. This procedure delivers an average fat reduction of 20 to 25% in the targeted area, and final results can be seen 3 to 4 months after the treatment.
VASER liposuction is a cutting-edge fat removal technique that uses ultrasonic vibrations to separate and suction away unwanted fat. This new method is less invasive when compared to conventional liposuction, resulting in less bruising and swelling. Many plastic surgeons now prefer to use VASER due to this more gentle approach.
Recovery time after VASER lipo is typically 2 weeks, however, fortunately, the results are permanent. Potential side effects are comparable to what you may experience with conventional lipo, such as contour abnormalities and seroma formation.
Liposuction surgery removes excess fat from specific regions of the body. This is achieved by creating small incisions, inserting tiny tubes into the fat tissue and then using suction to extract the fat.
This procedure is highly effective in removing large amounts of fat when compared to other alternatives. Additionally, patients can expect to see the final results within a period of 3 to 6 months.
Fat cavitation is a form of ultrasonic cavitation that uses focused ultrasound waves to break down and eliminate fat cells in the stomach, hips, or thighs. For the best results, patients usually require 3 sessions spaced 2 weeks apart.
The procedure lasts around 30 minutes and is practically painless. Fat cavitation does not harm the surrounding body tissue, so there is no bruising, swelling, or soreness post-treatment.
Fat cavitation has been found to reduce the thickness of abdominal subcutaneous fat by 32% after just 3 sessions. Results usually appear 2 weeks after the third session and will become permanent over time.
Emsculpt Muscle Toning
Emsculpt and Emsculpt Neo use high-intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM) technology to burn fat and tone muscle. These non-surgical, non-invasive treatments can help shape and reduce fat in the stomach region as well as small body areas such as the thighs, underarms and calves.
The Emsculpt device works by causing a large number of muscle contractions, 20,000 per 30-minute treatment, far more than what is possible with traditional exercise. These repeated contractions work and strain the muscles at the cell level, activating muscle growth and strength gains.
Emsculpt Neo, the upgraded version of Emsculpt, offers enhanced muscle toning ability, being able to deliver 20% more electromagnetic pulses than before. Additionally, it also uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to more efficiently burn fat.
The synergy between muscle strengthing and fat-cell elimination leads to stronger and better-defined muscles. To achieve optimal results, 4 sessions are recommended.
SculpSure Fat Melting
SculpSure is a laser therapy that utilises heat to break down unwanted fat cells for the body to metabolize in the following months naturally. The procedure also offers minor skin-tightening effects. Candidates for this treatment should have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or lower.
On average, SculpSure therapy can remove 24% of the fat in a targeted area. To achieve your desired results, 2 treatments, 6 weeks apart is recommended. Results can start to be seen after the second session and will be fully apparent within 3 months' time.
If you are looking for a non-invasive alternative to liposuction, SculpSure can be a great option. The treatment is less effective but does not involve incisions. And it can be done in around an hour, making it convenient for busy individuals.
BodyTite is a cosmetic procedure that utilizes radiofrequency energy to tighten loose skin while also removing unwanted fat. This minor surgery is often used in combination with liposuction for patients with moderate skin sagging.
Additional fat loss & body sculpting treatments to consider
Vanquish Me Fat Melting
Vanquish Me is a radiofrequency therapy used to melt fat on the stomach and thigh areas. This procedure is unique in that it is a no-contact technology, enabling it to target larger areas of the body in just one 45-minute session.
During the procedure, the device beams energy that raises the skin temperature to 38ºC and the underlying layer of fat to 49ºC. Some individuals only experience mild discomfort, while others have reported moderate pain.
After treatment, some slight redness may occur, apart from that there is no other recovery time required. The results of Vanquish Me are permanent.
Fat Dissolving Injections
Fat Dissolving Injections are formulations designed to liquefy fat cells. The active ingredient is made of synthetic deoxycholic acid, a molecule naturally found in the body to help absorb fat. These injections are TGA-approved for use in reducing submental fat (double chin). However, some practitioners also use it off-label to treat other areas of the body.
Multiple injections are necessary for each treatment, and it is common for patients to require numerous sessions before achieving their desired outcome.
While fat-dissolving injectable treatments are considered safe, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects and risks. Most commonly, this may include swelling, bruising and numbness in the treated area, which can persist for up to 6 weeks. Additionally, there is a small risk of facial nerve damage that will impact smile control, this was experienced by 4.3% of clinical trial participants. Lastly, a 2019 study in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery showed a correlation between these treatments and alopecia hair loss in men, particularly, at the injection site.
You do not need to undergo additional treatments once you have achieved your desired outcome with results being permanent as long as you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
TruSculpt iD Body Contouring
TruSculpt iD is a cutting-edge technology that utilizes monopolar radiofrequency energy to target and eliminate stubborn fat cells in areas such as the stomach, love handles, thighs, and upper arms. This non-invasive procedure can effectively treat the entire fat layer, from beneath the skin surface all the way down to the muscle.
During the 15-minute treatment session, the device's attachments are applied to the designated area and heat up in a process to break down fat cells. There is no recovery period after the treatment, and the results are usually long-lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight.
Can exercise and diet reduce fat?
It is well-known that maintaining an active lifestyle and consuming a balanced diet can help you lose body fat. The fat that is visible and can be pinched under the skin, known as subcutaneous fat, differs from visceral fat, which accumulates in the abdominal region, surrounding internal organs and increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and overall poor health.
Everyone should follow these broad rules in order to lose fat.
Healthy Balanced Diet
Adopt a nutritious diet to target visceral fat. Emphasize healthy eating habits that include a high intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats (such as fish and olive oil) and lean protein. Studies have shown that consuming a diet high in fibre, particularly soluble fibre found in foods such as oats, apples, potatoes, nuts and seeds can also aid in reducing visceral fat.
Cardio workouts are crucial in reducing fat. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which involves short, intense bursts of exercise followed by brief rest periods, is particularly effective in targeting stomach fat.
Professionals suggest engaging in whole-body strength training workouts twice a week, ideally under the supervision of a personal trainer or other qualified expert. Building muscle through strength training leads to an increase in metabolism, resulting in more calories being burned even when you are sedentary.
Do men and women lose fat differently?
Genetics can determine how and where the body stores fat. A study from 2019 found that men tend to store more fat in the stomach and love handle regions, overall 62% of fat cells for men were located on the torso.
On the other hand, women typically have more fat cells in the hips, butt, and thighs, leading to increased weight gain in these areas versus men. However, as women age, hormonal changes can also result in more accumulation of fat in the abdominal region.
Studies & Sources
Hairston, KG, Vitolins, MZ, Norris, JM, Anderson, AM, Hanley, AJ & Wagenknecht, LE 2012, ‘Lifestyle Factors and 5-Year Abdominal Fat Accumulation in a Minority Cohort: The IRAS Family Study’, Obesity, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 421–427, viewed 27 January 2023, <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/oby.2011.171>.
Maillard, F, Pereira, B & Boisseau, N 2017, ‘Effect of High-Intensity Interval Training on Total, Abdominal and Visceral Fat Mass: A Meta-Analysis’, Sports Medicine, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 269–288, viewed 27 January 2023, <https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-017-0807-y>.
Rask-Andersen, M, Karlsson, T, Ek, WE & Johansson, Å 2019, ‘Genome-wide association study of body fat distribution identifies adiposity loci and sex-specific genetic effects’, Nature Communications, vol. 10, no. 1, viewed 27 January 2023, <https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-08000-4>.
Sebaratnam, DF, Wong, XL, Kim, L & Cheung, K 2019, ‘Alopecia Following Deoxycholic Acid Treatment for Submental Adiposity’, JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 571–572, viewed 27 January 2023, <https://www.liebertpub.com/abs/doi/10.1001/jamafacial.2019.0640>.
Shamban, AT 2016, ‘Noninvasive Submental Fat Compartment Treatment’, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open, vol. 4, no. 12 Suppl, p. e1155, viewed 27 January 2023, <https://journals.lww.com/prsgo/Fulltext/2016/12001/Noninvasive_Submental_Fat_Compartment_Treatment.4.aspx>.