We’ve all grown accustomed to the idea of a hot, sweat-inducing workout melting the fat off our bodies. But what if you could get better results through intense cold rather than heat? That’s precisely the idea behind CoolSculpting, a new FDA-approved method of eliminating fat cells by effectively freezing them off.
With CoolSculpting, intense cold is applied to fatty areas of your body. This protracted exposure to near-freezing temperatures induces a process called lipolysis, which is when fat cells naturally break down and die.
For most people, a single CoolSculpting treatment can permanently reduce the number of fat cells in a given area by about 30%, and that number rises to around 50% with a second follow-up treatment a month later.
During the CoolSculpting procedure, the area of the patient’s body being treated is hooked into an applicator. When the machine is turned on, the fatty area is sucked into the applicator and the fat cells are frozen. After an hour, the treatment is finished, and most patients claim to lose inches and notice an overall tightening of the treated area over the course of the next several weeks.
Unfortunately, CoolSculpting isn’t ideal for everybody. Because the technology was designed to target small problem areas that just need a little bit of tightening, it’s not really built for people looking to lose a significant amount of weight. Typically, anybody who is more than 30 pounds overweight will only see a minimal impact.
Also, CoolSculpting is not meant to tighten loose skin or reduce the appearance of cellulite. And although the process may help you to lose inches, it doesn’t generally help with overall weight loss.
While it’s true that liposuction may remove more fat, CoolSculpting is significantly less traumatic on the body. On average, the recovery time for liposuction is several weeks, followed by several months of tenderness in the affected areas. With CoolSculpting, people report feeling mild tenderness for a few days, but you can resume normal activities on the same day.
Additionally, CoolSculpting is much more affordable, with treatments averaging between $500 and $1,500 as opposed to $2,000 or more for liposuction.
Although CoolSculpting does have its limitations, the science behind this new fat-burning method could open up new avenues for body toning and weight loss. In the future, sweating it out at the gym could be a thing of the past.
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