What the heck is ‘CoolSculpting’?

If you live or work near Los Angeles, or quite a few other major cities, you have probably seen the recent influx of billboards, heard radio advertisements, or seen the commercials for CoolSculpting. From the billboards and radio ads, it sounds like it is freezing away fat magically and without any invasive procedures and equally as popular with men as women. However, if the fitness world has taught me anything, it’s that there is no magic pill or special workout that gets rid of your stubborn fat quickly and healthily. So I decided to delve a little deeper to find out about this new fad that is seemingly so popular with celebrities, models, and even ESPN talkshow hosts!imgres

Right off the bat, the first thing that surprises me is that CoolSculpting is full-on FDA cleared as SAFE and EFFECTIVE. This gives legitimacy to the procedure. How many fat-burner pills and weight loss formulas out there boast labels that say “this has not been evaluated by the FDA”? If you haven’t noticed, believe me, it’s a whole lot of them. So, to see this new quick-action method actually get the OK from the Food & Drug Administration is pretty impressive. But before we all go running to get CoolSculpted, lets talk about what the procedure actually is and what it does.

Developed by scientists at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, CoolSculpting delivers precisely controlled cooling to gently and effectively target the fat cells underneath the skin. The treated fat cells are crystallized (frozen), then die. Over time, your body naturally processes the fat and eliminates these dead cells. Essentially, this process super freezes fat cells in targeted areas. The CoolSculpting centers even boast that you can read or nap during the procedure because it is so comfortable and easy.

On the whole, and according to multiple scholarly research labs and National Boards (FDA), CoolSculpting does exactly what it advertises on the proverbial box. It can help to get rid of the extra difficult fat areas on the body, like love handles, jowels, or upper arms. However, we have to stay based in reality here people. There certainly seems to be great evidence for the effectiveness of this procedure but there are a few points that must be made, or ‘cons’, before getting to befuddled with CoolSculpting.

CoolSculpting states that it eliminates fat cells in the target area “forever”. Well, in one sense that is true. Those specific fat cells are expunged however fat cells grow constantly in our body. Sure, you can CoolSculpt away love handles, but have no doubt that they will come right back if your nutrition and exercise is not in order. This leads to the next, major con. CoolSculpting is anything but a permanent solution. It suggests multiple ongoing sessions to keep the “sculpted you” which means a rising bill month after month.

So here is my final impression from CoolSculpting, it is an effective and safe tool for temporary shaping of specific areas, but in no way a solution for health and fitness. Losing weight and staying healthy are still done in the kitchen and gym, not an outpatient procedure room. If you have been going hard in the gym and sticking to your meal plan but still can’t shift that last bit of love-handle fat before the wedding, maybe CoolSculpting is the perfect solution but please don’t think it’s the answer to STAYING fit. Nothing beats good old fashioned hard work.