New treatment "freezes off" the fat

Friday, December 28, 2012
The Coolsculpting machine
Indulged a little too much over Christmas? A new procedure in Australia is claiming to kill the fat with cold, but does it really work?

Coolsculpting promises to provide a surgery and diet-free solution to shifting those post-holiday kilos thanks to a discovery by the creators of laser hair removal.

The procedure has been cleared by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Authority and thousands in the US have reportedly turned to Coolsculpting, otherwise known as cryolipolysis.

Creators at Zeltiq claim the device freezes fat cells in unwanted areas which are then removed naturally by the body.

But it doesn’t come cheap – with sessions costing between $600 and $1000.

The initial research and patents originted at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, by Dr Dieter Manstein and Dr R. Rox Anderson.

"The principle behind Coolsculpting is the finding that fat cells are more susceptible to the effects of cold than the surrounding skin and tissue," a Zeltiq spokesperson said.

"Coolsculpting is best suited to patients who are up to 5 to 15 kilograms over their ideal weight and who have stubborn bulges of fat that diet and exercise has been unable to remove."

During the procedure, a non-invasive applicator delivers precisely controlled cooling to the treatment area to specifically target underlying fat, leaving surface skin tissue unaffected.

In the days and months after the procedure the fat cells begin a process called "apoptosis" where they die and disappear through the body's natural waste system.

The company touts impressive before and after photos for the fat-zapping treatment, but not all experiences have been positive. A Colorado woman who had fat around her navel frozen warned the procedure didn’t deliver.

''The swelling was terrible. I looked pregnant. I went from a 32-inch measurement in the morning to 36 inches that night. It was gross," the woman said.

Australian nutritionist Lola Berry says it can be tempting to resort to quick fixes following an indulgent Christmas, but there are tricks to reduce your bloating without the hefty price-tag.

"Great ways to drop the christmas bloat are to go back to really clean eating, like oats or seeds and berries in the morning, fish and veggies for lunch, and steak with a huge salad for dinner."

Berry reccommends trying some simple diet chages for those trying to shift an extra five kilograms.

- Adding chilli to meals to speed up metabolism
- Eating more coconut oil (although this is a fat, it's used for energy and not stored) it too speeds up thyroid function.
- Drinking more water, the first sign of dehydration is hunger and you might have stretched your tummy over the festive season.
- Adding apple cider vinegar to salad dressings will boost your metabolism.

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