Almost all of us have seen, heard, or even participated in an activity which was aimed at “spot reduction”. Doing crunches to get a six pack or doing squats to get leaner legs seems like it makes sense at a glance, but the research simply does not back these concepts with hard data. As your local/online fitness guru has probably told you: abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.
So what about those of us who are happy with our bodies but want to make a change to one particular area? Are we a lost cause? Certainly not, though you might want to ditch the crunches. Today, we will discuss the myths of spot reduction through exercise and identify some real ways to reduce fat in individual body parts and/or areas.
The Myths Surrounding Spot Reduction and Exercise
As mentioned in the introduction, spot reduction is perhaps the most prevalent fitness myth still going strong today. Well, maybe besides the mythical concept of actually going to the gym at all, but I digress. For many years, men and women have been told to work on a particular body part if they want to reduce fat and lean it out. This concept is now known as spot reduction.
The irony of this concept is that working a particular body part or group of body parts is actually more likely to increase its size due to muscle growth than it is to burn fat specifically in the target area. For those who have seen results from targeting a particular area, that is because one or both of these are taking place:
- The muscle is growing on that body part, changing the ratio of muscle to fat and making it appear more defined.
- The individual has lost body fat everywhere, which includes this particular body part.
It is virtually impossible to target an area of the body to lose weight through diet and/or exercise.
Cosmetic Procedures for Spot Reduction
So now that we know spot reduction through exercise and diet is all but impossible, how can we get rid of that stubborn fat in our midsections, thighs, and other trouble areas? The answer is simple: there are numerous cosmetic procedures which can be either surgical or non-surgical. Here are some of the most effective and safe options for spot reduction of unwanted fat.
Liposuction for Fat Removal
Liposuction remains a popular option for both spot and overall fat loss for a simple reason: it works. Unlike the minimally and/or non-invasive options we will list below, liposuction is a surgical procedure which requires both preparation and recovery time for patients. Individuals must weigh these potential inconveniences against the ability of liposuction to produce unrivaled results when it comes to precision and total fat removal.
Cryolipolysis AKA CoolSculpting
Perhaps the most well-known minimally invasive option for fat reduction is commonly referred to as CoolSculpting. This fat loss treatment uses low temperatures to freeze away unwanted body fat while leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. CoolSculpting is FDA approved to spot reduce unwanted body fat. This procedure is ideal for patients looking to spot reduce in one or more locations without reshaping the body.
Injection Lipolysis Using Deoxycholic Acid
The most common brand of injection lipolysis is Kybella. Kybella and other deoxycholic acids fat loss solutions are most commonly used in the face and neck regions, particularly under the chin. Kybella is an outpatient procedure which can be performed with local anesthesia, no downtime, and minimal discomfort during and after the procedure.
Heat Therapy for Non-Invasive Fat Loss
Finally, we come to the counterpart of CoolSculpting, hot sculpting. This can be accomplished using a few different methods including radiofrequency treatments and/or laser treatments. Much how CoolSculpting freezes away unwanted fat, hot sculpting heats unwanted fat to the point where it dies, again leaving the surrounding tissue out of harm’s way. The dead fat cells are then passed from the body naturally. Hot sculpting is perfect for spot reduction or overall fat removal.
Join us for SCALE 2020 for the Latest in Cosmetic Fat Loss Technology!
This July 22-25th, join us at the world famous Music City Convention Center in downtown Nashville for SCALE 2020! The annual Symposium for Cosmetic Advances & Laser Education is bigger and better than ever. We are proud to present a wide range of exhibitors and sponsors who will be discussing topics ranging from robotic dermatological surgeries to acne to non-invasive cosmetic procedures.
Register now to reserve your spot to the premier multidisciplinary meeting for aesthetic medicine, surgery and dermatology in the United States.
2020 Exhibitors & Sponsors
Elite sponsors: Allergan & Galderma
Platinum sponsors: Body by BTL, Crown Aesthetics, Cynosure, Merz Aesthetics, Ortho Dermatologics, Solta Medical
Gold sponsors: AbbVie, Crystal Clear, DefenAge, Evolus, SkinCeuticals, Sun Pharma