Are you worried that fat freezing with CoolSculpting didn’t work for you? If you took body measurements before getting the procedure, you may be really confused to see that the numbers haven’t budged weeks or months later. What gives? Isn’t body contouring supposed to make you skinnier?
Do numbers matter?
Turns out, with CoolSculpting treatment, the numbers on the measuring tape have little to do with the success of your results. Yes, really.
It is human nature to want tangible proof to support our beliefs. Since our childhood school days, we were taught to rely on numbers and facts. Of course, that is smart thinking. Doing so helps us make good decisions every day of our lives. Having proof also helps us avoid getting duped. No one wants to “fall for” something, which can lead to disappointment and lost money.
Buying a car is one example that comes to mind. You wouldn’t just take the word of the salesperson at the dealership. Most people would research before making the decision to buy. It is not even enough to get recommendations from trusted friends. Let’s face it — opinions can vary!
Data can help us make better decisions, like when purchasing a car. We might look to a reputable auto magazine for safety reports, comparison ratings, crash tests, and more to confirm that it is a good purchase. Then, after buying the car (let’s say a hybrid vehicle, for instance), we might check to see that our actual mileage is close to the advertised kilometers per gallon. As humans, we are taught to “Trust, but verify”.
Simply put, it does not pay to be gullible. That is why we look for facts, stats, and hard criteria like measurements to back up what we believe.
The trouble is, CoolSculpting results usually cannot be measured in inches lost. As much as we want it to, that is often not how it works. More on that later!
When it comes to losing weight, we are trained to look at numbers
The numbers on the scale. The inches on the measuring tape. The size of our jeans. When it comes to weight loss, the common belief is that numbers are all that matters. This way of thinking is not only short sighted, but also dangerous.
People who think about numbers alone are more likely to have a skewed body image. This has been well documented in patients with eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. Self confidence often suffers when you are only focused on the numbers.
Luckily, body positivity has been having a moment. Today, people are celebrating all shapes and sizes. Of course, it is normal to want to refine a little trouble spot here or there. Body contouring with CoolSculpting can help with that in as little as four weeks’ time.
When you get CoolSculpting, it is not about the numbers on the scale or inches lost. It is hard to stop being hung up on numbers when society has told you differently. Many women are taught since childhood that these numbers are all that matters. CoolSculpting results are better judged by what you see in the mirror and how your old clothes fit in the months after treatment.
Taking accurate body measurements is not as easy as it looks
There are so many reasons that measuring inches lost can be a wasted effort. First, it can be difficult to remember exactly where you laid the measuring tape on your body from one day to the next. There are just too many variables. For example, when measuring your waist for the second or third time, you may inadvertently place the measuring tape a tiny bit above or below where you had it last time.
There are also a lot more chances for human error to factor in. What about if you are bloated, dehydrated, or even just had a big lunch? That can cause the measurements to vary as well.
Yet another reason is this. It takes about three months to see the final results from CoolSculpting. In that time, it is possible that the fat cells in the target area indeed went away permanently, but then new fat cells took their place. The reason for that is a simple one: Eating more calories than you burn leads to weight gain, inches gained, and a higher number on the scale. That is a fact, no matter if you had CoolSculpting or not.
Or how about if you began a new fitness routine to go along with your body contouring goals? That is something many men and women choose to do. Gaining muscle or losing weight through exercise can also make the measure tape method for volume loss inaccurate. Even changing your posture or the laxity of the measuring tape can make a difference.
Gaining or losing volume can be hard to measure
Let’s look at another example many women can relate to: bra cup sizes. Allison has been a 36C for as long as she can remember. Around the holidays this year, she gained a little bit of weight. Not much, really. It was only about six pounds. The funny thing is her bra cup size stayed the same. If you had a very high-tech medical imaging machine, you could measure the volume of her breasts before and after to compare. In Allison’s case, her breast size went up a little in volume — just a few CC’s. Yet her bra size stayed the same.
The reason is that the volume increase was dispersed throughout the entire breast. It may have increased in size allover, and Allison even noticed that they looked a bit bigger in the mirror, but her cup size remained the same. Had Allison measured her breasts before and after at the fullest point, she would likely see that the number on the measuring tape was nearly the same. As you can see, a measuring tape is not always the best way to measure modest volume gain or loss.
How much weight you can expect to lost with CoolSculpting
The fat lost in a CoolSculpting procedure is enough to make a visual difference, but usually not enough to move the scale. If you weighed the same before and after treatment, do not fret. That is totally normal. The number on the scale has little to do with the success of the treatment.
It is very important to note that CoolSculpting is NOT a weight loss procedure. Yes, it removes fat cells. However, the point of CoolSculpting is to refine fat from certain areas of the body after you have reached your goal weight. Your weight may go down a bit, or it may not. It is typical to see that your body weight fluctuates a bit on the scale day to day, even if you have not had body sculpting done. Using a scale is not a good method to judge CoolSculpting results. Neither is a measuring tape.
You can lose some inches with CoolSculpting
Just because it is not guaranteed that you will lose inches with CoolSculpting, that does not mean it is impossible. Many patients do. You may very well lose inches. But for the reasons discussed earlier, it could be because of CoolSculpting or even some other reason entirely.
The point is, if your goal is to lose inches and that is the only thing that will make you happy, CoolSculpting might not be for you. Losing inches is best achieved through long-term diet and exercise, or surgical body contouring treatments that remove more substantial quantities of fat. It is just not realistic to think you will shed major inches with CoolSculpting, even though the treated area will certainly look better than before.
Are CoolSculpting results guaranteed?
Reputable CoolSculpting providers do not guarantee weight loss or inches lost. That is because these can be unreliable ways of judging fat volume loss. Each session usually removes 20 to 25 percent of the fat cells in the treated area. You can’t measure subtle volume loss well by measuring inches or weight on a scale. However, you should notice a visible difference of up to 25 percent fat loss in the target area a few months after treatment. If not, check back with your cosmetic surgeon for advice.
What if you don’t notice any difference after CoolSculpting?
The important thing to remember is that results do not happen overnight, as much as we’d like them to. The CoolSculpting machine freezes fat cells, causing them to die. Then, the dead fat cells get flushed out by your liver. The process takes time. For some people, it takes just four to six weeks to see results. For others, it may take longer. Everybody is different. Try to have patience. Results will come in time.
It is important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen after CoolSculpting. The results are permanent, but it won’t stop you from putting on weight in the future.
Another key to consider is that repeat treatments may be necessary. Each session removes up to 25 percent of fat cells. If you have a large pocket of fat in the love handles, upper arms, or anywhere else you’d like to reduce fat, keep in mind each session remove 1/4 of the fat in the area treated.
As much as it would be nice to see a big roll of excess fatty tissue disappear, you have to be realistic. CoolSculpting is an FDA-approved technology. But a single session can only do so much at a time. It is meant to refine body contours by removing small amounts of fat when you are at a stable weight. If you want to go down a dress size, other options like VASER liposculpture or a mini tummy tuck might be the answer.
Forget the measuring tape
CoolSculpting is an excellent way to accomplish fat reduction. It is non invasive, meaning you don’t need to have surgery. There is no downtime, and side effects are mild and not harmful to your health. It can do wonders to get rid of a little belly fat, bra bulge, flabby underarm, flanks, and more. But it is not a weight loss method.
The final takeaway is this: When it comes to CoolSculpting inches lost, you should not feel disappointed by the numbers on the ruler. They can be misleading. The key is to judge your CoolSculpting results by what you see in the mirror, rather than the number you see on the measuring tape.