From exercise machines to fad diets, we’re constantly bombarded with the latest and greatest products and weight loss methods to help us lose belly fat. Every year, it seems like the internet imagines up a new method for slimming down fast.
Right now, it’s CoolSculpting. From celebrities to your local dermatologist, it seems like everyone is jumping on the CoolSculpting bandwagon. So it’s no wonder why we’re naturally skeptical about the new popular weight loss method, which pledges to tone without the need for dieting or exercise.
But what is CoolSculpting really, and does it actually work? We did a little research to find out if this “revolutionary” weight loss trend too good to be true.
What Is CoolSculpting?
Coolsculpting is a non-surgical fat reduction treatment performed by dermatologists or plastic surgeons. Otherwise known as Cryolipolysis, it’s the medical treatment used to destroy fat cells by freezing them.
According to the official website for CoolSculpting, the idea is that you can target fat cells without harming the surrounding skin through freezing it. The procedure is said to be safe, precise, controlled, and effective in helping patients slim down.
Fat cells that are targeted and frozen during Coolsculpting are said to gradually die and leave the body through a natural elimination process.
How Does CoolSculpting Work?
Using a handheld device, doctors freeze fat areas of the body to shrink and destroy the fat cells. When you undergo a CoolSculpting treatment, you focus on small, specific areas of the body at a time. For example, you can get CoolSculpting performed on your arms, stomach, or thighs. CoolSculpting does not result in overall fat loss everywhere in the body, just the areas where the freezing method was applied.
Each treatment is said to take around an hour and provide minimal discomfort.
Who Is A Good Candidate For CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is said to be most effective for those who workout and live a healthy lifestyle but still carry unwanted, stubborn fat. We all know that sometimes, no matter how many plates of veggies you eat and gym trips you take, it can be hard to get rid of certain fat areas.
According to the CoolSculpting website, the procedure is not intended for significant weight loss. Instead, it targets stubborn flabby areas, like around the belly, underarms, and back. In other words, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds of fat, CoolSculpting is not the right treatment for you. But, if you’re looking for a quick way to tone up an area for your next vacation, freezing your fat may be effective.
The CoolSculpting website points out the difference between weight loss and fat loss. Losing weight makes fat cells smaller, but does not mean the fat cells go away.
The website explains, “The number of fat cells in our bodies typically becomes a fixed number sometime in our teenage years. Losing or gaining weight generally does not increase or decrease the number of fat cells. Instead, it changes the size of fat cells.”
So, when you diet, you shrink your fat cells and when you gain weight, you’re expanding your fat cells. However, CoolSculpting claims to help reduce and actually eliminate the fat cells in the target area.
Advocates For CoolSculpting
The CoolSculpting procedure is very popular among celebrities. “We have one A-lister who’s about 28, and she works her ass off, but I want her to come out about CoolSculpting," Danny Holbus, founder of DMH Aesthetics in Los Angeles, told Allure. "I did it when I was 24—I went to Barry’s Bootcamp every day for five years and always had love handles. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do, and that’s what it’s for.”
Some skin care professionals aren't convinced that CoolSculpting is all that it's cracked up to be. According to Arizona-based medspa Derma Health, repeated Coolsculpting sessions will cost you thousands of dollars more in the long run than other single-session weight loss treatments like liposuction. Furthermore, they claim that the long-term health effects of such aggressive cooling remain unknown. In other words, the medical procedure of CoolSculpting is still too new to know if there are any side effects that will appear later on in life.
While Coolsculpting has been met with mixed reviews, one thing is for sure--before you decide to take the plunge and try the treatment, make sure to consult your doctor for a second opinion and research the facility you are going to visit extensively.