With the summer quickly approaching, many of us are contemplating what activities we want to do and what places we want to go. That said, with the hotter weather comes a shedding of our clothing layers, meaning any weight gained in the colder months of the year will become more apparent.
If you’re finding yourself feeling anxious about revealing your mid-section, or are just looking for some real methods to get a slimmer, more sculpted body shape, then keep on reading because I have some tips that may be useful to you.
Diet and Exercise
As many people say, abs are made in the kitchen. The diet that works best for you will depend on your nutritional needs, allergies, lifestyle choices, and budget, but the simple truth is that if you want to lose fat through diet, you will need to reduce your calorie intake. Nutritional science is constantly evolving, and while diet trends come and go (think of the recent popularity of the ketogenic diet), what remains consistent is the need to reduce calories overall and limit the intake of sugar and high-calorie, processed carbohydrates. Keep in mind that no matter how much fat you want to burn, you need to consume a sufficient amount of nutrients to keep you healthy and energetic.
Exercise is also a great way to boost your fat burning potential. As you reduce your calories, your body will adjust by slowing down your metabolism (meaning it will gain fat quicker if you suddenly stop dieting). Exercising will keep your metabolism up AND burn more calories than dieting alone. Whether you decide to do cardio, weight lifting, swimming, dancing, or any other physical activity, simply getting up and moving is already a step in the right direction.
For more details and a personalized plan, I recommend seeing a qualified nutritionist and/or personal trainer who will be able to cater a plan to your specific wants and needs.
Also known as lipoplasty, liposuction is the ideal procedure to improve your body contours and proportions by removing the excess of fat deposits. Liposuction is the quickest surgical way to remove isolated pockets of fat that a balanced diet and exercise have failed to target. It’s important to note that liposuction is not a solution for people who want to remove a very large amount of belly fat. While removing more than 10 pounds of fat can be done, it comes with the added risk of health complications, skin rippling, and contour irregularities.
The surgery consists of making a small incision in the area to be treated and removing the fat using a small cannula for suction, leaving minimal to no scarring, and a very quick recovery period. You will be able to go back to work within a few days of the procedure, while any bruising and swelling will subside within a week or two. Some results can usually be seen immediately, but the final results usually take a few months to be fully realized.
Remember: Liposuction removes the targeted fat cells permanently, but a healthy lifestyle is necessary to maintain those results. If you eat poorly and don’t exercise, you should not expect the fat to stay off. Fueled by excess calories, the fat cells that remain in the body will get bigger and new fat cells will be produced, and eventually you’ll be right back where you started.
Coolsculpting is a powerful, non-invasive body sculpting procedure. Similarly to liposuction, it is a permanent method of reducing the fat around your midsection, but utilizes a very different method. It is generally recognized as a safer alternative to liposuction (as it does not require surgery), while providing similar body sculpting benefits, but you might need significantly more sessions to get the same results.
The procedure originated from the discovery that the cooling of fat cells induces lipolysis, a process that crystallizes and breaks down fat cells without damaging the skin. Most patients only feel a bit of pressure and a chilly sensation in the area being treated. In the weeks after the treatment, the body naturally eliminates the frozen, dead fat cells through the liver. Results can usually start being seen within a few weeks of the treatment, with final results taking a few months. No downtime, no surgery!
Laser liposuction, also called laser lipolysis, is a minimally invasive procedure with few possible side effects that works with people of different skin types. Laser liposuction uses a laser to melt away fat under the skin, usually using local anesthesia. A small incision is made in the area where the fat is to be removed, followed by a tiny laser being inserted under the skin to liquify the fat. A cannula is then used to suction away the melted fat from beneath the skin. For many people, the skin might also be firmer or tighter after the procedure, as the laser treatment can promote the production of collagen.
Many patients don’t experience a long period of downtime after the procedure, as swelling, bruising and pain are minimal. However, a few days of downtime is generally recommended before returning to work, while strenuous activities should be avoided for up to 3 weeks to ensure proper healing. Results can be seen within about a week, but results will gradually appear over two to six months.
Finding what’s right for you
As you can probably see by this blog, there are a number of options to help you reach that slimmer, more sculpted appearance. Depending on your budget, your downtime and the speed at which you want to achieve results, all of these methods have potential benefits. That said, for long term fat loss and maintenance of results, there is no avoiding the importance of diet and exercise. I recommend to my patients that they first attain a balanced lifestyle that helps them maintain or shed body weight before they consider fat removing procedures, as the results won’t last if the habits causing weight gain haven’t been addressed.
This is the ideal time to start thinking about where you want to be this upcoming summer. If you have any questions, concerns or just want to get some helpful advice on what might be the best option for you, feel free to book an appointment with me and I will be happy to help you on your journey.