Can you target fat loss in a particular area through exercise or diet?

Abdo thuy

My first email notification that presented on Easter Sunday was “if you drink this first thing every morning for a month you will lose 34lbs of abdominal fat” or something similar, which was quite the opposite of the Easter Eggs I was thinking about.  So I needed to comment – the claim that this or any particular exercise/food/drink can spot reduce fat – is a clear example of the absolute nonsense that is still floating around in the industry. And despite no medical evidence to support this claim we are still sold the ab-blaster or variations of such.

Put simply – The physiology of the fat loss process is this.

Any excess calories you eat – your body will look to store and hence converts this energy into fat. Your body doesn’t specifically deposit the fat into specific areas, but rather it adds a little bit to every one of your fat cells. When you lose weight this is due to a deficiency of energy so – your body then converts the stored fat into energy for your body to use.

For people who always feel they put on weight in a certain area – thighs or stomach the reality is this person has more fat cells in this area, based on their genetic makeup, and so all of these cells would receive a little bit of excess energy – fat and they would all swell. The person would also be adding fat to other cells in their body but because of the extra number of fat cells in this area – they feel or see the increase in weight gain in the area.

Exercises that give you belly fat loss (or any other specific area) don’t actually work.  No exercise can specifically reduce the fat in that area. You are able to build muscles in particular areas – which increases your overall energy consumption which will lead to less fat being deposited on your body in general. But again there is no way to concentrate on a particular area to lose fat in.

And that is where fat freezing comes in. Fat freezing is a perfect system to spot reduce fat in particular areas. The sheer nature of applying cold therapy to a particular area of the body impacts (reduces) the number of fat cells in that specific area. The clinical trials from 2014 proved a 26% reduction (reviewed under ultrasound) of fat cells in the treated area.  The pathophysiology for cryolipolysis  (fat freezing) is this – the cold temperature damages the fat cells to a point beyond repair. Your body’s immune system identifies these damaged cells and then over time (up to 4 months) expels them from your body (through your normal elimination processes (think toilet).

So if you are looking for spot reduction – how to get rid of your belly fat– or back fat or excess weight on your arms or inner and outer thighs – fat freezing is proven to work. The alternative is to reduce the overall size of all of your fat cells over all of your body – by way of reducing your caloric intake – and burning more than you are putting in – but that’s the normal eat less (diet) and exercise more scenario – which is too hard for most of us all of the time. Also, some people have the majority of their fat cells in one particular area (due to their genetics) and losing weight across their whole body is not a look they are after.

We can apply a single fat freezing handle across an abdomen (as seen in the image attached) to just shape this particular area or apply multiple handles to reduce a heavier area. This young Mum just had a little pot tummy that she wanted to be gone. An assessment in our clinic in Moorabbin will enable us to suggest the best treatment for your desired outcomes.


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