by Bharat Kothakota , MD MPH
The answer is none. CoolSculpting works to lose fat, but not weight. Confused? Let us explain CoolSculpting weight loss vs fat loss.
Fat loss and dropping pounds are not always the same thing. The difference is what’s happening with the fat cells inside your body. Fat loss with CoolSculpting is unique. It might make you want to reconsider your approach to getting the body you want.
Interestingly, the number of fat cells in an adult’s body is typically a fixed number. Your body reaches this number sometime during your teens, then will stay the same for the rest of your life. So, weight loss isn’t caused by getting rid of fat cells. Instead, it happens when they get smaller. Similarly, when you gain weight, it’s because the fat cells you already have get bigger. The size of fat cells (and your body) is due to how much of the energy from the food you eat gets stored into your fat cells.
This is why diet and exercise are important to weight loss. A better diet will leave less fat being stored in your fat cells, and more exercise will use more of that energy already being stored in those fat cells. So, to lose weight, the basic math is to burn more calories (energy) than the number of calories that you’re eating every day in order to burn off the stored energy so that fat cells can shrink.
Sometimes, though, it can seem like no matter how much you diet and exercise, stubborn lower belly fat, love handles, etc. are never going to go away. This is where fat loss procedures come in.
Fat loss is the removal of the fat cells from the body entirely; but, this doesn’t result in significant weight loss. This is because fat doesn’t actually weigh very much in people with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI). In fact, your fat only makes up about 10-30 percent of your overall body weight.
CoolSculpting results in a 20-25 percent decrease in visible fat in the treated area, but this alone won’t change what you see on the scale. Why? Because the total fat cells eliminated with CoolSculpting weigh less than a single pound. The loss of this tissue will make you look slimmer, but it will not give you weight loss results.
CoolSculpting is a proven non-surgical fat loss method. It’s ideal for people who are relatively in shape, but have a few stubborn bulges of fat that they would like to reduce in areas like their sides, arms, stomach or thighs.
CoolSculpting works because fat cells are more sensitive to cool temperatures than your other cells, like in your skin or muscles. By applying controlled and precise cool temperatures to the skin with CoolSculpting, the fat directly underneath reacts, triggering apoptosis (cell death). After a CoolSculpting treatment, the affected fat cells will continue to die off. The dead fat cells will gradually be processed and disposed from the body by using its natural inflammatory response of the immune system.
This happens gradually, which is why fat loss results from CoolSculpting develop over 3 weeks to 3 months after treatment. But, once the fat cells are removed, they won’t return or regenerate. Some people only go through one treatment and are happy with their fat loss, but others return for multiple procedures. Each treatment adds a 20-25 percent decrease in fat cells every time.
When your final results show, you might look as if you’ve lost pounds because of your slimmer appearance, but your weight will be the same. And these fat loss results from CoolSculpting are permanent. However, weight gain as it is described above can still happen in the fat cells that you still have remaining. So, it is important after CoolSculpting to continue to monitor, or even improve, your fitness and nutrition habits so that your body doesn’t begin to store fat again in other places. But, don’t worry, many patients find that it’s even easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle after they see their CoolSculpting results because of their new confidence in their body and new motivation to keep it that way.
Focusing on weight loss is not always the best way to approach your goals. On its own, your weight is not always the best indicator of health, fitness or good physique—and it especially shouldn’t dictate your confidence. When you improve your diet and work out more to try to lose fat, it can be discouraging if you don’t see the number on the scale go down. But, the truth is that you don’t always have to lose weight to change your body. Body weight is based on a number of things like muscle and water, not just body fat. Through diet and exercise, it’s possible that your physique can change for the better even if your weight isn’t going down.
CoolSculpting is a great example of this too. CoolSculpting can help you reach your body goals even though you aren’t losing pounds. With fat loss from CoolSculpting, you can slim down to get the body you want. With this new confidence, you’ll be able to leave behind the previous stress of obsessing over your weight.
At Self Care LA, our doctors want to help you reach your goals for a slimmer, contoured body with CoolSculpting. We provide excellence in care for an effective and painless procedure. Read more about how CoolSculpting works and view our gallery to see before and after results from CoolSculpting patients. If you’re ready to start your journey to a slimmer body with fat loss from CoolSculpting, contact us to book a consultation/appointment to talk about your specific goals, areas of concern and to see if you’re a candidate for CoolSculpting. Refocus your approach to your ideal body to fat loss with CoolSculpting instead of weight loss and discover the results for yourself.