Perhaps one of the most despised and controversial words in the western world. As the obesity crisis continues to rise, the media bombards us with weight loss information, techniques and horror stories designed to either inspire or terrify. But what are the true facts on losing fat? How does fat leave the body, and can you actually control how much you lose?
Your body is always using energy and, unless this energy is taken from food, it normally comes from internal stores of complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The first thing broken down in these stores to maintain energy is the carbohydrates, or glycogen, which is split into simple glucose molecules. Next, your body breaks down fats into glycerol and fatty acids. These fatty acids can then be used for energy.
So without the scientific jargon, the basic principle is this: if we don’t eat enough food to sustain the energy levels used up by our bodies, our body will turn to the stored fuel it already has. If we eat too much or don’t exercise enough to rival the amount we eat, the fat stores will increase in volume.
If you know that you eat unhealthily and rarely exercise, this rule is practical and guaranteed to work so long as your willpower doesn’t falter. However, if you begin to near a healthy weight for your height but only have a few specific fatty areas you wish to burn off, how can you go about achieving this? Can you influence the body to take energy from particular fat stores?
Targeted fat loss, or ‘spot reduction’, is the notion that, if you work certain muscles more than others during exercise, that area will end up burning more fat. For instance, if you do a lot of sit-ups, your stomach will not only increase in muscle but also decrease in fat.
This idea is popular because it seems to have been derived from common sense – surely if you concentrate on certain parts of the body this will reflect in your appearance? However, this is not altogether correct. There have been many clinical studies to test this theory and none have positive conclusions. Some fat loss incurs in these areas but this is due to the stimulation of blood flow not muscle exertion, and the reduction is not always significant. So, if you work your stomach muscles regularly
you will get a six-pack, but this may be nestled under a snug layer of fat.
It is incredibly frustrating to work hard at maintaining a healthy lifestyle only for those pesky love handles and wobbly belly to remain. But there is hope! Although science has proven that it is difficult to lose precise sections of fat on your own, science has also established cosmetic treatments that can help.
Liposuction is commonly used for this sort of issue, as you are able to have great control over your exact treatment location. It is also incredibly effective. However, the procedure can often be quite invasive and painful, and there can be some downtime involved.
Now there is something for those that desire the effects of liposuction without the risks and problems that come with it. VASER® Lipo is an innovative treatment that is quick, relatively painless and has no downtime associated with it whatsoever.
VASER® stands for Vibration Amplification at Sound Energy at Resonance, which means the procedure uses ultrasound waves to break down the fat before it is removed. During the procedure, an incision is made into a specified area and it is filled with a tumescent saline solution. A small probe is then inserted to transmit ultrasound energy that breaks up the unwanted fat. Finally a thin tube, or cannula, is used to gently suction the fat out.
What makes VASER® Lipo safer than standard liposuction treatments is its ability to distinguish targeted fat from other important tissues — such as blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. This ensures a much shorter recovery period and a reduced risk of complication. Also, as VASER® Lipo uses ultrasound technology to heat up and liquefy the fat prior to removal, fat deposits are more accurately targeted. There are no large incisions, far less bruising and fewer risks. It is important to note, however, that VASER® Lipo is typically used to treat much smaller areas than traditional liposuction.
The best candidates for VASER® Lipo will be at or near an ideal body weight for their height and looking to lose smaller pockets of fat. It is not a procedure that aids weight loss or tightens skin but contours the body, so older patients may not achieve the same results due to diminished skin elasticity. Candidates should generally possess good physical and emotional health and have realistic expectations.
Side effects are uncommon with the treatment but do include possible pain, bleeding and infection. Occasionally patients notice a change to the pigmentation of their skin and an uneven appearance to the area where the fat was removed, but again this is uncommon.
This overall effectiveness of VASER® Lipo depends on the amount of fat that has been removed and the number of areas treated. Many patients see results immediately after the procedure, and the overall result takes about three to four months.
If you gain or lose weight after the VASER® procedure, it will tend to be proportionately distributed over the entirety of the body. Once fat is removed it is permanently gone but, because fat is necessary for a healthy body, some essential fat layers will remain untreated by the doctor. The removed fat layers will never return, but if you do gain a significant amount of weight the remaining fatty tissue will expand. This is why VASER® is not a quick fix solution but an aid to achieving the body shape you have worked hard for.
VASER® Lipo is available at Courthouse Clinics at Wimpole Street, London. If you would like more information on the treatment or would like to book a consultation, please call our customer care team on 0845 555 5050. Alternatively you can read more about the procedure on our website by clicking here.