When it comes to gaining weight, most of us tend to think we’re “putting on fat,” increasing the number of fat cells in our bodies in response to the amount of food we eat. But are we really growing new a bunch of new fat cells in response to overeating? The answer, surprisingly, is no.
Fat cells are the “storage cells” of the body, holding extra stores of fat that can be metabolized as needed to support metabolize and supply energy on a regular and ongoing basis between meals. And to be really efficient at storage, they need to be flexible and able to expand so they can retain and release fat in response to the body’s changing needs. The fact is, at some point during our teen years, we’ve “grown” just about as many fat cells as we’ll ever have.
When we gain weight, we’re not adding more fat cells – the cells we have are simply getting larger – and heavier. While fat cells can shrink in response to weight loss from diet and exercise, they don’t disappear entirely. That means that as long as we have all those fat cells, they always have the potential to expand.
Freeze Fat Cells with Coolsculpting®
Like liposuction, Coolsculpting® is designed to eliminate fat cells once and for all so they can’t “plump up” in the future. But unlike liposuction, Coolsculpting® isn’t invasive – that is, it doesn’t require surgical incisions or anesthesia, which means recovery is much faster and there are far fewer risks compared to liposuction procedures. Coolsculpting® works to freeze fat, targeting fat cells with very cold energy and making the cells brittle so they eventually break apart. Once the cells break down, the tiny bits and fragments can be absorbed by other cells in the body and disposed of via the body’s natural waste system. That’s one of the key differences between Coolsculpting® and weight loss: While losing weight can help fat cells become smaller, the cells still remain and can become larger and more pronounced with future weight gain; with Coolsculpting®, the fat cells are gone for good.
Does that mean Coolsculpting® can help me lose weight?
No, Coolsculpting® is not designed for weight loss, and it’s not a substitute for diet, exercise and overall healthy living. Instead, by permanently removing fat cells in areas that are resistant to diet and exercise, Coolsculpting® can help you look slimmer and more toned.
Also, it’s important to understand that while Coolsculpting® is designed to freeze fat in specific hard-to-treat areas, it’s not intended to remove all the fat cells within the treatment zone. Some fat cells are necessary to enable your body to use specific types of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. Coolsculpting® treatment typically removes about 20 percent to 25 percent of fat cells in the target area so you look slimmer while still supporting good health and proper body function.
Is Coolsculpting® a good choice for everyone?
Coolsculpting® can be a great way for both women and men to look slimmer, sleeker and more toned, and since Coolsculpting® doesn’t use surgery to achieve its effects, it can be appropriate even for patients for whom more invasive procedures like liposuction are not recommended. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s a good choice for every patient. The best way to know if Coolsculpting® might be a good choice for you is to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Kirwan to discuss your treatment objectives and to have a general exam and assessment. Get started on your slimmer, sleeker body. Call our office and schedule an appointment today.