UNDERSTANDING FAT REDUCTION

Last week our Tuesday Trivia was:
TRUE OR FALSE
When losing weight, the amount of fall cells in the body decrease in number. 
The answer to this is FALSE! When losing weight we do not actually lose fat cells, but instead our fat cells shrink in size. And, of course the inverse is true as well, when we gain weight our fat cells increase in size.
Although we do not lose fat cells with weight loss, we can actually add more fat cells with a significant amount of weight gain.Unfortunately, if someone has been significantly overweight and added more fat cells, if they do lose weight the amount of fat cells will still not decrease in number, only in size. 
So, what happens when fat is lost through liposuction or nonsurgical forms of fat reduction such as Coolsculpting? Liposuction is performed by sucking fat out with an instrument called a cannula. This gets rid of approximately 70% of fat in an area by actually removing fat cells. Coolsculpting works by freezing fat cells down to 15 degrees celsius which causes the fat cells to actually die. These cells are then metabolized through your liver and excreted out of your body. This actually gets rid of about 20-22% of fat cells in the treated area. Basically, this means that fat reduction procedures effect how MANY fat cells you have. 
The question all of our patients want to know regarding fat reduction procedures, is, what will happen if I gain weight? Will I gain fat in areas that have never been fat before? The truth is, because fat cells were actually removed from an area, this area will not gain as much weight as it previously had since there are less cells to deposit the fat into. The areas that were not treated still have the same amount of fat cells. If someone were to gain a significant amount of weight it is possible that areas that were not treated could become larger than they were prior to the procedure. It is also possible that the area that was treated could have the fat cells that remain multiply again. What is important to remember is that this would require significant weight gain, not a normal 5lb here and there!
In conclusion, the ONLY way to permanently remove fat cells is to have a fat reduction procedure such as liposuction or coolsculpting performed, but diet and exercise is still important following these procedures to maintain your results and to obviously maintain a healthy life!! 
If you are interested in learning more about fat reduction procedures call our office to set up a consult with Dr. Brooks at 413-565-4400. 
Check out our website for more information and before and after pictures

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