I diet and have an active lifestyle but I am still unable to lose weight, especially around the stomach area. Please help.
There are two type of fat cells in your body; mobile fat, scientifically called lipo lytic fat, and stubborn fat, called antilipolytic fat. The fat under your skin that you can grab is stubborn fat and the fat that is behind your muscles inside your tummy, also called visceral fat, is mobile fat. The good news is the deep fat, loosely called "beer belly", is mobile fat; the moment you reduce carbs, sugar and aerated drinks, it begins to disappear. The bad news is you may not see it happening because the layer of fat under the skin is covering your tummy and that is the stubborn fat. I am not saying you can never lose this fat, you just need to work hard and allow your body to burn this fat.
There are many cosmetic ways to address these stubborn fat cells. The least invasive treatment includes injectables containing bile salts to break fat cells. They are more effective for small areas such as double chin, small lower belly or ‘love handles’. Larger areas or a large volume of stubborn fat respond best to removal by liposuction. The most advanced form of liposuction is performed using ultrasonic devices that gently melts the fat and allows easy removal. It also helps in contracting the skin to reshape the body. These are suitable for men or women who are medically fit and are looking to get rid of that stubborn fat and get a slimmer or more chiselled look. They are suitable for individuals between 20-60 years of age.
Laser is another technology that can help break the fat cells, but it is most suitable for double chin, face and neck. For larger areas it is not as effective as ultrasonic devices (vaser is one such device).
There are non-invasive methods to blast fat cells as well. Two such external ultrasound methods are HIFU (High Intensity focused Ultrasound) and cryotherapy. These are for those who do not wish to or are medically unfit to undergo liposuction, and are not looking for dramatic change. The limitations of these technologies include multiple session of treatment, that they do not remove fat cells and require one to continue exercising to metabolise the fat, and may have an unpredictable outcome.
Newer technology – Radiofrequency, J Plasma, water Jet Liposuction – have limited indications, are expensive and haven’t been done long enough to prove its efficacy over ultrasonic devices.
Dr Sanjay Parashar is a plastic surgeon at Cocoona Centre for Aesthetic Transformation, Dubai. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.