CoolSculpting has become one of the most popular nonsurgical fat reduction treatments in the world, and not without good reason. It continues to gain buzz year after year for its ability to freeze fat and slim down stubborn areas without any incisions, needles, or anesthesia.
However, while it is true that CoolSculpting reduces fat, people often have misconceptions about the role it plays in weight loss. In this blog post, I’ll explain how the treatment works, what it can and can’t do for the body, and what you should know before you book your first session.
What Is CoolSculpting & How Does It Work?
Approved by the FDA in 2010, CoolSculpting is a noninvasive body contouring treatment that uses a process called cryolipolysis to freeze and destroy fat cells. The treatment drops fat cells to a low enough temperature that they freeze and die, allowing the body to flush them out naturally. Because fat freezes at a higher temperature than other tissues, CoolSculpting’s temperatures don’t cause any harm to the surrounding skin or muscles.
Does CoolSculpting Work for Weight Loss?
CoolSculpting is not intended to be a weight loss procedure. Instead, it’s meant to serve as a cosmetic complement to a healthy lifestyle. However, it does offer benefits that weight loss alone cannot achieve.
How Weight Loss Works
When you lose weight through diet and exercise, your existing fat cells shrink. Your body slims down overall, but you still primarily carry fat in “problem areas” where you are predisposed to collect it.
How CoolSculpting Works
CoolSculpting, on the other hand, removes fat cells completely. That means you carry weight more evenly across your body. It’s an excellent way to “spot treat” specific areas in a way that natural dieting and workouts cannot.
As you can see, it’s common for CoolSculpting and weight loss to go hand-in-hand, but neither can replace the other.
Does CoolSculpting Work on Belly Fat?
CoolSculpting has been cleared by the FDA to work on multiple areas of the body:
- Flanks (“love handles”)
- Back (“bra bulge”)
- Below the buttocks (“banana roll”)
- Under the chin (“double chin”)
It’s popular for treating areas such as the lower abdomen that are notorious for gathering fat and can seem impossible to tone up on your own.
How Much Fat Does CoolSculpting Remove?
In clinical studies, CoolSculpting has been proved to reduce fat cells in a targeted area by as much as 25% after a single session. How much actual fat does that 25% decrease represent? That answer depends on the size of the treated area and how many fat cells are present to begin with.
Will I Weigh Less After CoolSculpting?
You won’t weigh any less immediately after your treatment. In fact, due to swelling, you may actually temporarily weigh a couple of pounds more.
It takes about 1 to 3 months for your body to eliminate the treated fat cells. At the end of that timeline, it’s possible that you may weigh slightly less. Because the treatment removes 25% of fat cells in an area, you have the potential to lose 25% of the weight you carry in that specific area.
However, keep in mind that CoolSculpting’s main purpose isn’t to move the number on the scale. Instead, expect a difference in your shape and appearance. You’ll likely notice your clothes fit better; you no longer feel the need for shapewear, and those stubborn areas you’ve been struggling to shrink down finally look the way you want them to.
How Many Sizes Will I Go Down After CoolSculpting?
You may lose anywhere from ½ inch to 3 inches. Some people find this is enough to bump them down a size, whereas others stay their same size but feel more confident and comfortable in tight dresses or jeans.
Should I Lose Weight Before CoolSculpting?
It is best to be at or near your goal weight before a CoolSculpting treatment. This makes the treatment more effective at targeting those last stubborn areas that diet and exercise won’t budge. The same is true for liposuction. Although that treatment removes a larger volume of fat, it’s also most effective when you are near your ideal shape.
Does Fat Come Back After CoolSculpting?
Once fat cells are removed via CoolSculpting, they’re gone for good. Results last indefinitely, as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid any major weight fluctuations.
How To Get the Best CoolSculpting Results
Follow these steps to maximize your fat removal after CoolSculpting:
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps flush out fat cells.
- Keep up with regular exercise. This will keep your metabolism active and make it easier for your body to process and eliminate the treated cells.
- Massage the area in the hours after your appointment. Studies show that post-treatment massage can enhance fat reduction by 44%.
You may also want to consider getting additional treatments to refine your results. Many people only need 1 session, but some people need 2 or 3 to fully slim down their most stubborn spots.