The tummy is one of those areas that is more susceptible to weight gain with age. Always recommended as the first line of defense, a healthy diet that consists of lean protein, healthy carbs and nutrient-dense vegetables and fruit plus regular exercise hat burns calories should be the first stop on the anti-fat plan of attack. But if that’s not enough, there are additional ways to fight belly fat.
Noninvastive treatments like CoolSculpting and Liposonix all have proven track records to reduce fatty bulges without making any cuts or incisions to the skin. “The treatments that use cold, like CoolSculpting, lower the temperature of the fat cell internally to kill it in over an hour,” says Miami dermatologist Janelle Vega Mayoral, MD. “But, it doesn’t damage or disrupt the skin at all, which is a plus. There’s minimal bruising and a good 20 to 30 percent in permanent fat reduction.” The skin slowly shrinks back, but, unlike surgery, the results aren’t permanent and more than one treatment may be necessary.
Ever since its inception more than 30 years ago, liposuction has been considered the gold standard for treating stubborn fat on and around the stomach. “It’s the most studied method of fat removal with lots of data behind it. There have been improvements in technique over the years for smoother, more predictable results,” says Pittsburgh plastic surgeon Leo McCafferty, MD. But, as Orlando, FL, plastic surgeon Richard Arabitg, MD, points out, not everyone is a candidate. “It’s really more for those with concentrated areas of fat and good skin tone.” If too much fat is removed too quickly, the surgery can actually cause looseness in the stomach because the skin can’t retract as quickly. If you have more than a few pounds to lose, you’ll need to drop the weight first. Some types of liposuction like laser liposuction claim to tighten the skin but most experts do not buy into it.