You might be able to freeze your fat to slim down if you have stubborn bulges that are resistant to diet and exercise. Cooling approaches to eliminate fat pockets are commonly available and FDA-cleared medical procedures. 1 In reality, some people opt for fat freezing at home to save money on in-office procedures. Can you, however, really freeze your fat away?
Compare the science behind fat freezing before investing in a fat-freezing garment, unit, or medical procedure to ensure you get what you pay for.
Fat Freezing Surgical Treatments
CoolSculpting, a technique that freezes fat in a regulated environment under medical supervision, is one of the most common ways to get rid of stubborn fat bulges.
What Is CoolSculpting and How Does It Work?
This FDA-approved procedure (called cryolipolysis) is painless for most people, doesn’t require surgery, and is done under close supervision in a doctor’s office.
CoolSculpting freezes belly fat (abdomen), fat on the flanks (often referred to as “love handles,” or a “muffin top”), inner thighs, outer thighs (often referred to as “saddlebags”), and upper arms using controlled cooling. You can even do coolsculpting at home.
According to CoolSculpting, the technique can also be used to reduce the size of a double chin.
How Does It Work?
Each procedure takes 30 to 60 minutes4 to complete, but your time in the office could be longer than that because your clinician may need to prepare your body for the procedure. Your physician will then identify and target specific fat bulges.
The fat will then be gently drawn into cooling panels, and the heat from the cells will be removed. Over the course of a few weeks, the fat cells die and are broken down, before being filtered out by the liver. The majority of patients see results within three weeks, although it can take three months or longer to see the full effects of the procedure.
Although CoolSculpting is not painful, some patients have indicated mild discomfort as a result of the procedure. Before starting care, the doctor will discuss some unusual and minor side effects3 with you. You will resume your daily activities, such as work or exercise, after the procedure is completed. There may be some swelling or soreness in the area, but this usually goes away in two weeks.
CoolSculpting costs vary depending on the number of areas to be handled, the size of each region, and the number of treatments required. The cost of living may also be influenced by where you live.
A single treatment for a single area could cost anywhere between $600 and $900. However, in most cases, multiple treatments are needed.
Each arm or leg can be paid separately if you’re treating the arms or legs. The average cost of a CoolSculpting care package is estimated to be between $2,000 and $4,000.
Is it worth it to undergo fat freezing procedures? Your expectations play a role in part of the response. CoolSculpting is not a successful weight-loss method and is not recommended for obese people. 7 Clinical trials have shown, however, that the technique is effective in reducing fat in trouble spots that resist diet and exercise.
Cryolipolysis tends to consistently decrease fatty deposits on the body with few complications, according to a study of short-term clinical trials reported in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.
Despite normal variations in overall weight, patients reported permanent fat loss results after two and five years, according to a long-term case study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
Although CoolSculpting will help you permanently reduce fat in specific areas, the results would not be as drastic as fat loss from a surgical procedure like liposuction. Consult a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to see if CoolSculpting is right for you. 10
Emsculpt + CoolSculpting
CoolSculpting can help you lose weight in trouble spots by freezing fat, but it can’t help you shape your body. As a result, some practitioners are combining the fat freezing technique with Emsculpt to create muscle and define specific areas. The end result is a body that is not only leaner, but much more shapely and toned.
Emsculpt is an FDA-approved procedure that allows you to gain muscle and lose weight without having to go to the gym. The procedure is currently approved for use on the buttocks, thighs, and abdomen by medical professionals.
Each Emsculpt treatment lasts approximately 30 minutes and feels like a vigorous workout.
To more efficiently burn fat and tone muscles, the system uses electromagnetic energy to induce “super maximal” muscle contractions. Though the vibrating sensation takes some getting used to, the procedure is not painful.
Two to three days apart, four treatments are planned. Within two to four weeks after the last injection, the effects are usually noticeable. Maintenance therapies at six-month intervals are prescribed for long-term outcomes. Emsculpt can be costly, costing up to $1,000 per procedure for a total of $4,000. 13
Is Emsculpt or CoolSculpting a feasible alternative to living a healthy lifestyle? Dr. Barry DiBernardo, a board-certified plastic surgeon, says, “Nothing is one and done.” He’s had success with the medication alone and in combination with other fat-loss procedures. However, Emsculpt should not be used in lieu of a balanced diet and daily exercise.
If you want to lose weight in a specific area, CoolSculpting isn’t the only option. However, none of the FDA-approved medical procedures include fat freezing. To minimise fatty pockets, the majority of popular alternatives include using heat or radiofrequency. 14
If you’re thinking of CoolSculpting or Emsculpt, speak to your doctor about the various treatment options. Then, before making a final decision, think about your lifestyle and your budget (including your ability to pay for any needed maintenance treatments).
At-Home Fat Freezing
So, if fat freezing works in the doctor’s office, why can’t you do it at home? It can seem rational to think that you can simply ice those bothersome areas yourself. And there are goods on the market that claim to be able to assist you in doing so. You’ve also seen personal items that freeze your fat using cold and ice.
Some board-certified doctors claim that merely adding ice to your skin will not help you lose weight and can even damage your skin.
Garments Made of Brown Fat
You can also see cooling garments, such as the Cool Fat Burner, that are either frozen or filled with ice to help you lose weight by enabling brown fat. Many of the product advertisements have detailed ties to empirical studies on brown fat activation. Stimulating brown fat content, according to some studies, may have metabolic benefits.
While several studies have looked into the possibility of using brown fat to lose weight, the majority of the findings have been inconclusive.
Though there is some hope for brown fat, biomedical researcher Eric Ravussin, Ph.D., wrote in a Medscape article in 2015 that “it’s not going to be the golden bullet for losing weight,”
In addition to purchasing garments and other tools, you can come across articles in magazines or on the internet claiming that you can freeze your fat at home by sleeping in a cooler room or turning down the thermostat during the day.
Experts are divided on whether fat-freezing methods and techniques can achieve noticeable results. “Much remains to be done in order to transform scientific research into clinical practise,” the authors of one on brown fat science write.
It’s up to you whether you want to freeze your fat at home or go to the doctor to get rid of your bulges. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. Although freezing your fat at home isn’t likely to cost a lot of money, it’s unlikely to produce the same significant results as professional treatments like CoolSculpting and Emsculpt.
To keep your body—and your wallet—safe and secure, ask smart customer questions about risks, prices, and potential refund procedures before deciding which approach is best for you.
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