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When it comes to losing weight, diet and exercise remain the most effective ways to shed excess body fat. However, as more people struggle with meeting targets and adhering to strict diets, alternate methods of achieving a leaner physique continue to gain popularity.

Non-surgical fat reduction procedures like cold-sculpting, cryolipolysis (apoptosis), and laser-assisted lipolysis are all considered safer alternatives to surgery in reducing localized fat deposits. When combined with a healthy diet or exercise program, these treatments can accelerate the results of other weight loss efforts. But do they work? Let’s take a deeper look…

What is Fat Freezing?

Fat freezing, also known as apoptosis or cryolipolysis, is a non-invasive fat reduction treatment that uses cold to trigger natural tissue breakdown. The method is primarily used to reduce localized fat deposits in areas like the thighs, abdomen, knees, and arms. The premise behind the treatment is that fat cells freeze at a lower temperature than other body structures. When that happens, the cells begin to break down, and the body metabolizes them as it would any other cellular waste—eventually releasing them through the lymphatic system and out of the body. But does it work?

How Does Fat Freezing Work?

The process, as described above, is straightforward. In order to gain the best results from a non-surgical fat reduction procedure, it’s best to visit a certified medical professional for a treatment. That way, you can be assured the equipment is sterile and that your technician is properly trained on how to use it. When you visit the spa or clinic for a non-surgical fat reduction treatment, your technician will apply a cooling gel to the fat area. This gel draws the fat cells in that area closer to the surface, making them more susceptible to the effect of the cold.

Is Fat Freezing Safe?

Fat freezing is a relatively safe procedure when performed properly by a certified technician. In fact, there is no evidence of long-term side effects. But, as with any treatment, there are risks. You may experience mild swelling, redness, bruising, or tingling during the procedure. Some people have also reported itching, stinging, and headaches.

If you have an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, heart disease, or lupus, you should not undergo a non-surgical fat reduction treatment. Additionally, certain medications may increase your risk of complications. It’s important to communicate your health history with your technician to ensure you get the best results possible.

Side Effects of Fat Freezing

As we mentioned above, the most common side effect of a non-surgical fat reduction treatment is mild swelling, redness, and bruising. These side effects typically subside within a few days. As with any medical treatment, there are also more serious side effects associated with a fat freezing procedure. While rare, there is a risk of infection, as well as potential complications from compromised blood flow or nerve damage. There have also been some reports of long-term pain or paresthesia following a fat freezing treatment, which is characterized by tingling, burning, or numbness in the treated area.

Cryolipolysis: Non-surgical fat freeze procedure

The fat freezing procedure you choose will likely have a name that ends in “-lysis”; cryolipolysis, thermolysis, and laser lipolysis are all common non-surgical fat reduction treatments. However, each Cryolipolysis machine and procedure is slightly different, so you’ll want to do your research to find the best fit for your needs.

The most important factors to consider when choosing a fat freezing procedure are the cost, the duration of the treatment, the number of sessions required, and the fat reduction results you can expect. Cryolipolysis machines are often priced between $30,000 and $100,000, and treatment lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. You’ll need multiple sessions to achieve the best results, and you should expect to spend $300 to $1,000 per session.

Laser Lipo: Non-surgical fat freeze procedure

Laser lipo is another common form of non-surgical fat reduction. It’s a bit more expensive than cryolipolysis, with prices ranging between $3000 and $5000 per treatment. Laser lipo treatment lasts between an hour and a half and two hours, and you can expect to need three to eight sessions to see noticeable results. Again, you can expect to pay $500 to $1500 per session, but you’ll likely need to commit to a series of visits to see lasting fat reduction.

Sculpting Exercises and Activities

While non-surgical fat reduction procedures can help you achieve a leaner physique in a shorter period of time, they aren’t a replacement for healthy diet and exercise habits. In fact, incorporating fat freezing treatments with a healthy diet and exercise program can accelerate the results of either or both. When you’re in the early stages of reducing your body fat percentage, it’s best to focus on whole body exercises.

Exercises like walking, swimming, or cycling, which incorporate the whole body, are great for burning calories and toning muscles. As you start to get closer to your ideal body fat percentage, you’ll want to focus on targeted exercises. These exercises help you build the muscles in your most problematic areas, which can help you achieve the body you want even faster.

Final Thoughts

Fat freezing is a convenient, non-surgical fat reduction procedure that can help you achieve a leaner physique in a shorter period of time. However, it isn’t a replacement for a healthy diet and exercise habits. You’ll want to focus on whole body exercises when you’re in the early stages of reducing your body fat percentage. As you get closer to your ideal physique, you can focus on targeted exercises to build the muscles in your most problematic areas.