After years of dubious promises of smaller waists and slimmer thighs, a new generation of fat busting techniques and gizmos have made it onto the market – and these actually work:
THE SIX PACK SCULPTOR
Butter would melt: A MELT diode laser machine
WHAT MELT (Medical Energies Lipo Tightening) uses Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) to collapse fat cells, so they expel their contents. Ultrasound, radiofrequency (RF) and magnetic waves tighten skin.
A treatment takes ten to 20 minutes. Five sessions are recommended.
COST £250 per session. beautyworkswest.com; www.drdanielsister.com
PROOF There is no proof of the effectiveness of this particular combination treatment, however, ultrasound and RF have been extensively studied and were found effective.
Studies indicate it’s possible to lose between one and two inches in a single treatment.
WHAT’S IT REALLY LIKE?
Writer Martin Dunbar, 43, from London had his stomach and flanks treated. He says: ‘At 6ft3ins, I was in 34in trousers, but I measured almost 38in around my belly button.
‘It involved brick-sized plastic boxes strapped to my waist for ten minutes. You feel a localised warm tingle. I had six treatments. When my waistband began to feel looser I was stunned. I’m now in 32in trousers.
BEFORE: Waist 37.7in. AFTER: 35.6in. LOSS: 2.1in.
THE THIGH SHAPER
WHAT 3D-Lipo combines ultrasound and radio frequency to tighten skin with a vacuum roller to tighten and reduce cellulite and drain fluids and fat from the lymphatic system. Eight hour-long sessions, one week apart, are recommended. Results may be seen immediately.
A single 45-minute cryolipolysis freezing treatment – similar to the one Made in Chelsea’s Binky Felstead had may also be given. She had LoveLites’s Lipoglaze and lost two inches from her waist after a single session. Final results are seen six months after first treatment.
Success story: Made in Chelsea’s Binky Felstead receives LoveLite’s Lipoglaze treatment and lost two inches from her waist after a single session
PROOF While the individual components of the treatment have been tested and found to be effective, there are no studies supporting this particular combination. But 80 clinics use it and report it as effective.
COST Skin tightening treatment to one area costs £200 for 60 minutes. A course of eight treatments costs £1,200. Cryolipolysis starts at £300 per area. jillzander.co.uk
Binky went to LoveLite for her lipoglaze treament. 144 Harley Street, London, W1G 7LE Tel: 0845 505 0805. loveliteuk.co.uk
SO, IT’S EFFECTIVE – BUT IS IT SAFE?
Q If there are no incisions . . . where does the fat go?
A In LLLT, oil is released from fat cells, shrinking them without destroying them. This oil is then absorbed by the lymphatic system, transported to the liver, and excreted in the same way as fat from the diet.
Q How do we know it doesn’t stay in the blood?
A Studies of patients who underwent the treatment had their blood tested. It showed there was no rise in fat levels – including cholesterol – in the blood.
Q Is there a downside?
A If fat cells are not destroyed, they can ‘fill up’ again if you continue to over-eat and put on weight.
Q Which treatments are permanent?
A CoolSculpting is the only approved and safety-tested freezing treatment that destroys fat cells, bringing about permanent reduction of fat in treated areas. Some types of ultrasound treatment, such as Liposonix, also do this while others don’t.
Q With traditional liposuction, some studies said you put on more weight in other areas?
A This has now been debunked. It merely appeared to be the case because once fat cells were destroyed, people had proportionally less is some areas than others, and put on weight unevenly.
Q Why is it so expensive?
A The machines are new and can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, and have parts that need regular replacement. A higher price should be reassuring: there are low-cost imitators which simply do not work. In all cases, ask about FDA approval, a benchmark of quality.
Q Is there anyone who can’t have it?
A Yes, those with liver disease, long-term illness, pregnant women, those with skin disease or problems with healing. A practitioner should take a full medical history before any treatment is given.
WHAT’S IT REALLY LIKE?
Elizabeth Summerhaze, 42, a writer from Surrey had her knees treated.
She says: ‘I was told this was good for stubborn fat that no amount of dieting or exercise will get rid of – I thought of my knees!
‘Specifically the areas on the inside, just above. Mine bulged out. It sounds silly but I never wore anything that showed them.
The first treatment is the ultrasound which is delivered by a handheld probe, like the one they use on pregnant women.
‘It gets quite hot, but it’s not painful. Oddly, you hear a high pitched whining in your ears.
‘On the next appointment, I had the freezing treatment.
Afterwards, the area felt like a bag of ice defrosting. It hurt for the rest of the day and was quite bruised.
‘I noticed a difference immediately and the results have gradually improved over the last two months.
‘It’s changed the way I dress: I will now happily go bare-legged with skirts, and I wore shorts on holiday for the first time in years. The painful part is the price – but it was worth it.
BEFORE: Right knee 16.1in; left 16.5in. AFTER: Right knee 14.9in; left 15.3in. LOSS: 1.2in.
BUDGET BELLY BUSTER
WHAT Med Contour uses a handpiece that emits a double beam of low frequency ultrasound energy.
The combination of heat and soundwaves causes the targeted fat cells to burst.
Lymphatic drainage massage is carried out afterwards and again a few days later to help the body process the released liquid fat.
Between four and ten sessions are recommended for lasting results.
COST £149 per session. A course of ten is £975. med-contour.co.uk
PROOF One study indicated that after one treatment patients saw an average reduction of 0.8in from the abdomen.
After four treatments the loss was 2in from the abdomen and 1in from each thigh. Currently it is cleared by America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only for relief of minor muscle aches, pain and muscle spasms, temporary improvement in blood circulation, and temporary reduction in the appearance of cellulite.
WHAT’S IT REALLY LIKE? Verma Kishan, 52, a transplant surgeon from Newcastle, had his stomach and flanks treated: ‘My job means regular exercise is difficult, and I tend to go for long periods without eating, then wolf down whatever is at hand.