Fat Freezing Versus Weight Loss

The promise of weight loss has been the largest attraction of gyms, dance classes, and med spas for decades now. The cosmetic industry in particular has erupted with various body contouring procedures like CoolSculpting to help patients lose weight and eliminate deposits of excess body fat. But it isn’t often discussed how weight loss and fat reduction are two different goals that each require different solutions. 

So what is the difference between weight loss programs and fat removal procedures like fat freezing? Fat freezing is the process of breaking down fat deposits to improve the appearance of fat whereas weight loss typically involves a complete overhaul of a person’s body composition and athleticism to improve their physique. 

Understanding The Difference Between Weight Loss and Fat Loss

People often mistake weight to be the sole factor to their overall health and figure, but its most basic function is to measure mass. When people say they want to lose weight, they actually mean they want to be less massive and to achieve a more sculpted appearance. 

These goals can’t exactly be measured based on the numbers on a weighing scale. There are plenty of other factors that need to be considered.

How Weight Loss Works

Weight Measures More Than Just Fat

Weight--or mass of the human body is composed of bone, joint, tissue, fluid, muscle, and fat. Weight loss presupposes there is an excess in one or more of these components. Excess in bodily fluid, or hypervolemia, occurs when one or more of the body’s fluid retention systems is faulty. Excess in toxins can accumulate due to the unhealthy substances that enter the body. 

Excess in fat mostly results from excess in carbohydrate and sugar consumption, although there can be other causes apart from these. All of these things contribute to a person’s weight.  

What Happens to Your Body When You Diet and Exercise

Change in body weight is caused by an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. The goal of any healthy weight loss program should be to restore that balance, reducing the excess in energy stored up in the form of fat.  

When you have a more balanced diet, you are taking in energy (calories) that your body really needs and expends. The foods that give the right amount of calories are whole-grain carbohydrates, fish, low-fat dairy, lean sources of protein, and unsaturated fats. Inversely, foods that are too dense in calories like dairy, rice, nuts, and red meats are good options for people who are looking to gain weight. 

However, weight loss isn’t as simple as reducing your calorie intake. When your body is deficient in calories, it can result in muscle loss and poor physical health. This is where exercise comes in. 

Steady exercise is a crucial component of the energy balance. It not only helps burn off excess calories, it keeps your muscles engaged, improving your overall body composition. It’s a well-known fact that if you’ve been relying solely on a diet to lose weight, you are likely to find new motivation in exercise because it stimulates the body’s metabolism and releases pleasure hormones in the form of dopamine.

Unhealthy or unnecessary weight loss as a result of poor diet and immoderate exercise can result in dehydration, osteoporosis, organ failure, low blood pressure, and muscle atrophy from lack of physical activity and poor fitness. 

Who Should Lose Weight

 Ideally, people resort to weight loss programs when they are overweight, or have a body mass index above 25. It’s highly recommended (and in some cases prescribed) for people who are obese, or have a body mass index above 30. 

Obesity is a medical condition that can be best treated by the following weight loss programs:

  • 3 day water diet 
  • Intermittent Fasting
  • Ketogenic diet (keto)
  • Strength training or extreme sports
  • Aerobics or dance sports 
  • Weightlifting

The following cosmetic surgeries and procedures are also recommended for patients coming from inactive lifestyles or have mobility issues: 

  • Liposuction: a fat-removal surgery that uses a suction technique to target large deposits of unwanted fat
  • Cellfina: a minimally invasive treatment intended to reduce the appearance of cellulite
  • Zerona: a non-invasive fat removal treatment that uses low-level laser technology to simulate fat cells to liquify 
  • UltraShape: a nonsurgical procedure that uses ultrasound technology to rupture fat cells and release the fatty substance for cleansing    

Do keep in mind that weight loss programs and procedures do not always guarantee a more sculpted or slim appearance. That’s more the function of fat reduction, which is what fat freezing and other fat elimination procedures offer. More often than not, it’s fat that people want to lose--not weight. 

How Fat Freezing Works

Fat freezing is the more common term for CoolSculpting, a non-invasive non-surgical body contouring procedure that targets exercise-resistant areas of fat like the love handles, the belly pooch, inner arms, inner thighs, and the lower chin. It isn’t meant to be a treatment for obesity or a substitute for weight loss programs.

What Happens to Your Body After Fat Freezing

The secret behind Fat Freezing or CoolSculpting is called the cryolipolysis process, in which fat cells are crystallized until they die and get processed out of the body through the liver. But because fat cells have a particular freezing temperature, other types of cells, surrounding tissues, and organs remain unharmed by the freezing instruments that CoolSculpting uses. 

The body can take up to three weeks to break down these dead fat cells and yield visible results, but one thing is for sure: the fat cells flushed out are gone forever. On top of that, your body is safe from the risks that come with other cosmetic surgeries because it doesn’t require incisions, anesthesia, or tissue manipulation to suck out the fat from the problem areas. 

How Do You Measure Fat Loss With Fat Freezing

The success of a CoolSculpting treatment can be measured by inches or body fat percentage. That is to say, using a weighing scale to track your CoolSculpting progress will not give you the most reliable data. 

One of the tools you need is a fat caliper. It uses a skin-fold measurement to assess the amount of subcutaneous body fat a person carries at a time. If you intend to undergo a CoolSculpting treatment more than once, it’s helpful to use the caliper to measure the changes in between sessions, and determine if the results need further improvement. 

Who Are The Ideal Candidates For Fat Freezing

There are certain factors that make one patient more eligible for Fat Freezing than the others. The first is the presence of any underlying conditions that result in adverse side effects after CoolSculpting:

  • cryoglobulinemia
  • cold agglutinin disease
  • paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria

The second factor involves body mass index. The results of Fat Freezing are best seen in people who are already within 25-30 pounds of their ideal body weight and are only looking to eliminate stubborn bulges of fat that haven’t responded to their best efforts to work out or eat more healthily.

How Much Fat Freezing Costs

The price for a sculpted body depends on the target areas and the amount of sessions required. On average, smaller areas like the chin, arms, and inner thighs will cost around $500 while the larger areas like the back and belly can amount to $2,000 per session. Usually repeat sessions will cost less and less as the amount of targeted fat also lessens. 

In summary, a healthy person on a nutrient-rich diet with sufficient physical activity can still seek CoolSculpting to treat love handles and other stubborn pockets of fat, but this shouldn’t mean they can’t expect to gain weight. Regular use of muscle and protein intake as part of CoolSculpting maintenance can result in weight gain, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t healthy or that the procedure didn’t work for them. 

Two individuals who weigh the same can face different health risks if one has a high percentage of fat and the other has a high percentage of muscle. 

Consult For A CoolSculpting Program at NJ Center for CoolSculpting 

Knowing these differences are important when seeking fat elimination treatments and considering weight loss programs. All certified cosmetic providers would not recommend a CoolSculpting treatment if the amount of fat within a consulting patient is healthy.

The clinicians and staff at NJ Center care about your health and want you to achieve results that will make you happy and healthy for a long time. Consult with us for your CoolSculpting program if you want to know more.

Read more: How Can I Speed Up My CoolSculpting Results?

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What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "The treatment itself was not uncomfortable. Afterwords, I felt great. I didn't really notice anything for about 30 days. After day 30 until about a month later, I started noticing that my favorite jeans were not as tight anymore. I wasn't having to suck in to get them buttoned. And by that two month period after my CoolSculpting

    Lesley Hamilton

    Age 41

  • "It's subtle at first, and then a month later you look and go, "Wow - It really did something!" It really moved the bar for me, and I'm feeling better about myself already. It feels so good to put on anything and know I look as good as I've ever looked. And I didn't say that or feel that when I was in my 20's, 30's, and 40's."

    Anne McMarthy

    Age 56

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