If your body were a simple machine, then decreasing the calories in or increasing your calories out would predictably result in weight loss. And the concept holds true for the most part. If you’re like most people on a weight-loss journey, though, you’ve discovered that your body is a complex machine and that many more factors are involved beyond diet and exercise.
If you’ve hit a plateau and can’t seem to make the last few pockets of stubborn fat go away, Dr. Robert Skaggs and our team here at the Kentucky Skin Cancer Center can help you understand why you have stubborn fat and what you can do about it.
Humans are born with a fixed number of fat cells. Your hormones and gender help determine how many you have and where they’re located in your body. Women tend to have more fat cells in their lower body to support pregnancies, and men typically have more in their upper body.
Each fat cell has two different types of receptors: alpha-2 and beta-2. These receptors are responsible for what happens in that cell and how the fat inside it will be used. If a cell is dominated by beta-2 receptors, those cells are programmed to break down and release fat. So when you cut back on calories and step up your exercise, these cells respond and you lose weight.
The cells that have more alpha-2 receptors are marked for storage, and they take their job very seriously. The harder you try to lose fat, the more they protect their store. These are the culprits that have halted your weight-loss attempts. Depending on where your alpha-2 cells live, you may have diet-resistant fat in your belly, thighs, hips, back, or arms.
How to bypass biology
If you’ve been eating healthy foods and moving your body more to lose weight, keep it up. Don’t stop just because you’ve reached the point where all your remaining fat cells are teeming with alpha-2 receptors (we’ll talk more about this later).
To get rid of those stubborn cells, you need to approach it with a different method. For many years, liposuction was the go-to procedure for ridding your body of unwanted fat. Although it’s quite effective at sucking out those cells, it’s also an invasive procedure that can damage surrounding tissues and cause a fair amount of trauma.
At Kentucky Skin Cancer Center, Dr. Skaggs prefers CoolSculpting®. This noninvasive treatment sends cold energy deep into the layers of your skin and targets your fat cells. Once frozen, they die and can never store fat again.
Over the next few weeks, your body naturally flushes the inert cells out of your body. In this way, CoolSculpting effectively decreases the number of fat cells in your body by up to 25%. Now you don’t have to worry about whether they’re alpha-2 or beta-2 dominant, because either way, they’re gone for good.
Does CoolSculping work forever?
Yes and no. CoolSculpting can eliminate a significant number of fat cells, but you still have many living throughout your body, and many of them are the fat-holding type.
Remember when we said it’s important to maintain your diet and exercise routine? Here’s why that matters. If you go back to eating more calories than you burn, the cells in your body will glady store as much fat as they can, and you’ll be right back where you started.
Life after CoolSculpting
A few months after your CoolSculpting treatments are complete, you notice that your clothes fit better or maybe even too loose.
You may also notice that losing fat was great, but now you can see that you really need to build some muscle as well. Dr. Skaggs recommends CoolTone™ as the perfect complement to your CoolSculpting treatment. CoolTone is an external, noninvasive device that stimulates your muscles to contract repeatedly to build muscle mass and give a more defined contour.
If you’re near the end of your weight-loss journey and seem to have hit an insurmountable road block, call us at either our Bowling Green or Franklin, Kentucky, location and set up a consultation with Dr. Skaggs to find out if you’re a good candidate for CoolSculpting or CoolTone.