Summer is the prime time to get your bikini body out, but if you’ve been caught short this year, Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) member, Dr Terrence Scamp is here to explain liposuction, a cosmetic procedure that can help shift those love handles.
What about exercise?
Undoubtedly exercise helps with maintaining a healthy weight. It raises your metabolic rate and can burn those excess calories. However, for some people, no matter how many kilometres they rack up on the treadmill, they are still left with excess fat deposits around their abdomen, inner thighs or love handles.
Exercise is excellent for helping to maintain your muscle bulk and your bone density which will help shape and contour your body, but diet will always be the primary determinant of your overall weight and shape.
Can you eat yourself skinny?
Significant advances have been made in dietary regimes. The traditional low-fat diet is falling further into disrepute. These diets significantly reduce the fat content in your intake and substitute with carbohydrates.
More recent scientific research has suggested that the concentrated carbohydrates – the “white stuff” (pasta, rice, sugar, potatoes, bread) – are the “bad guys”. They raise your body’s secretion of insulin, and this locks away your fat stores and helps to lay down new fat stores. It’s the last hormone you want to raise when you’re trying to trim down.
And the other major disadvantage of low-fat diets is that you feel hungry the whole time! It takes a very determined soul to persevere when the hunger pains are gnawing.
More modern dietary regimes are focused on reducing the intake of concentrated carbohydrates and increasing the amounts of protein, fat and low GI (glycaemic index) carbohydrates in the diet. These food sources have much less effect on stimulating the body’s secretion of insulin but also help to keep the hunger pains at bay for longer.
How do you get the best results?
Some fat zones are resistant to being shifted. In males, most commonly this is the “love handles” area and the abdomen. If skin tone is good, these areas usually respond well to liposuction.
The key to success with liposuction is to get your weight down before surgery. Your body works like a thermostat. If there is no change to the dietary and exercise patterns, removing a few kilograms with liposuction will have a short-lived effect as the weight drifts back to its previous point. The fat may not reform in the same place, but much of the benefit would still be lost.
Also, liposuction relies on skin elasticity to accommodate the loss of size in the fat deposits below it. If the weight loss is significant and sudden, the skin may not cope, and dimpling and irregularity may be seen. When you lose weight slowly, the skin can deal and re-contour to suit the new shape more easily. So the less that is required to be done at surgery with liposuction then the easier it is for the skin to re-contour to the new shape, giving a smooth even result.
Like everything else in life your body shape will most likely be determined by the time and effort, you put into it. No amount of liposuction or nipping and tucking will make up for a poor diet and exercise pattern and unhealthy lifestyle habits.