Most of our life goals change dramatically as we get older, but there’s one resolution that we seem to renew every year: The desire to finally lose those last few pounds and enjoy a leaner, more toned physique. According to a study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in 2016, over half (55%) of all people who make annual New Year’s resolutions are motivated to get slimmer and healthier.
Unfortunately, the more time passes, the harder it becomes to follow through on these vows. Though it’s certainly possible to maintain a healthy BMI throughout all stages of life, changes in body composition can make it all but impossible to sculpt key areas, especially the abdomen. That’s why so many people turn to cosmetic fat removal procedures like Vanquish: Vanquish can help you banish stubborn belly fat, without extreme dieting or surgery.
The Problem with Conventional Weight Loss
Despite what the headlines may promise us, even most young, healthy people can’t shed stubborn belly fat by eliminating specific foods or exercising for just 15 minutes per day. At any age, serious fat loss requires time, effort, and dedication. To get a flat stomach, both men and women typically have to restrict their caloric intake, completely give up alcohol and refined sugars, and exercise for at least an hour each day. More frustrating still, many people (women in particular) can’t achieve “six pack” abs or visibly sculpted limbs, even if they adhere to a strict weight loss plan. The amount of subcutaneous fat we carry, and how it’s distributed, is predetermined by our genes.
Unfortunately, most people don’t realize these facts of life until their weight loss efforts end in defeat. Our New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get fit fail 80% of the time because we underestimate the amount of work involved in achieving even modest results. If we don’t see visible changes in body composition by about mid-February, research shows we tend to get discouraged and give up.
Aging further complicates this situation: After age 40, even genetically gifted individuals start to notice that losing stubborn belly fat gets a bit harder each year. A number of age-related factors, like hormonal shifts and a loss of lean muscle mass, cause the body to change how it stores and distributes fat. During middle age, fat leaves the extremities (i.e., the limbs and the face) and collects around the abdomen. This is why many people over age 50 have a small “pot belly” even if they’re quite slim.
The bad news is that just stepping up your fitness efforts probably won’t shift your midlife spare tire. Not only is it impossible to “spot reduce” fat using exercise alone, exercising too much can actually contribute to weight gain. When we’re overactive, our bodies increase production of the stress hormone cortisol. High cortisol levels have been directly linked to increased cravings for sugary and fatty foods, so over-exercising often leads to binge eating.
How Vanquish Can Help You Achieve Your Body Goals
Vanquish is an innovative non-surgical procedure that uses radio frequency (RF) energy to destroy fat cells. This system differs from conventional weight loss in a number of important ways:
1. Vanquish permanently gets rid of unwanted fat.
Unlike conventional weight loss, which only shrinks existing fat cells, Vanquish destroys up to 24% of the fat cells in treated areas. Vanquish can reshape the body, reversing patterns of fat centralization, and sculpt leaner contours. These new contours will remain consistent even if you gain a bit of weight, too: The areas that you’ve treated with Vanquish will always be slimmer than they were in relation to the rest of your body. For example, if you’ve used Vanquish to make your waist smaller, you’ll still have an hourglass figure even if you put on a few pounds.
2. Vanquish works on anyone, regardless of their age or gender.
No incisions are made during Vanquish treatment and you won’t have to be “put under” general anesthesia during your appointment. Vanquish is therefore both safe and highly convenient, making it a great choice for people who can’t have surgery. Younger patients who still have small children at home choose Vanquish because of its lack of downtime, for instance. Older patients who have health issues can often have this procedure without risking serious complications. Surgery, on the other hand, is a poor choice for anyone who isn’t in peak physical condition.
3. Vanquish can tighten loose skin.
The RF energy emitted during Vanquish treatment greatly increases the production of collagen and elastin, two compounds that keep the skin strong, firm, and supple. Many patients therefore notice improvements in skin condition after having this procedure: Loose skin around the stomach becomes tighter, while cellulite, rough patches, and other imperfections disappear.
Body contouring procedures have important psychological benefits, too. By providing confirmation that our weight loss efforts are succeeding, procedures like Vanquish give us the motivation we need to follow through on our resolutions. Research shows that the 20% of people who successfully stick with their New Year’s resolutions do so because they can see their efforts are paying off. (Immediate Rewards Predict Adherence to Long-Term Goals, 2016)
To learn more about Vanquish fat removal, you can contact us to arrange a consultation or consult the FAQ provided below:
Frequently Asked Questions About Vanquish
1. How does Vanquish Work?
During Vanquish treatment, RF energy is emitted from an adjustable device that hovers above the skin. Waves of RF energy pass through the dermis without damaging the skin or connective tissues, until they reach the layer of fat that rests just below the skin. There, they create heat, melting the lipids within fat cells. (This process is painless and it will not cause bruising, scarring, or bleeding.) After fat cells have been damaged in this manner, the body gradually excretes them.
2. Who Makes a Good Candidate for Vanquish Fat Removal?
Most adults can safely have Vanquish fat removal. However, the presence of certain medical conditions, like bleeding disorders and active cancer, can make you a poor candidate for Vanquish. Vanquish is also not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers or for people who have metal medical implants. When you come in for a consultation, Dr. Singer will carefully review your medical history in order to make sure you’re ready to have Vanquish.
Prospective patients should also be aware that Vanquish can’t completely replace conventional weight loss. You’ll need to be within about 25 pounds of your goal weight before you have this procedure; otherwise, your results will be less than optimal. Vanquish treatment won’t harm you if you’re overweight, but it will produce only subtle alterations in treated areas. Furthermore, carrying a lot of excess weight makes it difficult to identify your problem areas. It will be easier to tell where you have stubborn fat after you’ve slimmed down.
3. Where Can Vanquish Be Used?
Most patients use Vanquish to get rid of belly fat, love handles, and back fat that won’t respond to diet or exercise. Vanquish is ideally suited to treating the abdomen because it can cover a large surface area quickly. Patients also use Vanquish to sculpt their thighs, buttocks, and flanks, where it doubles as an effective treatment for cellulite. Removing excess subcutaneous fat alleviates stress that’s being placed on the fibrous septae (bands of collagen that support the skin), making puckers and dimples less obvious. At the same time, the collagen-boosting effects of Vanquish strengthen the skin and the connective tissues that support it, thereby directly treating the cause of cellulite.
Vanquish generally can’t be used to sculpt very small areas of the body, like the hands, feet, knees, or the space under the chin. To treat these areas, you’ll need to have liposuction.
4. What Should I Expect During and After Treatment?
During Vanquish treatment, you’ll relax comfortably while the Vanquish applicator device is hovered over your skin. You may feel some warmth or tingling sensations as the RF energy melts away unwanted fat, but you won’t feel any pain and Vanquish will not burn your skin. Your appointment will last about 45 minutes to one hour, then you’ll be free to leave our office and return to all of your normal activities. You won’t need to take any time off of work after having Vanquish, though you may want to forego vigorous exercise for a few days. (Heavy exertion can potentially make post-treatment swelling and redness worse.) Instead, take a light half-hour walk after your appointment to improve your circulation and stimulate the fat excretion process. We advise any patients having Vanquish to stay well hydrated before and after their treatment, too.
After having Vanquish, you may notice some mild redness and swelling in treated areas. This is normal and nothing to worry about; it’s just your body’s natural inflammatory response reacting to the application of heat. These symptoms usually resolve on their own within one to three days
5. How Many Vanquish Treatments Will I Need?
Most patients need between four to six Vanquish treatments. These treatments are usually administered every week or every two weeks. We space appointments out in this way in order to allow inflammation to subside between treatment sessions.
6. When Will I See Results?
Unlike liposuction, Vanquish will not produce immediate results. The body needs time to process the fat cells damaged by Vanquish and excrete them via the liver and lymphatic system. Most patients will see their full results two to three months after their last treatment session. However, you can expect to start noticing some changes after about three weeks.
7. What makes Vanquish the Best Non-Surgical Fat Removal Procedure?
Vanquish is set apart from similarly effective non-surgical fat removal procedures by its gentleness. In about ten percent of patients, fat freezing procedures and laser fat removal procedures lead to symptoms of prolonged soreness. They can also create residual swelling that lasts for up to three weeks. RF treatments are much less invasive than either fat freezing or laser treatments, so they don’t produce pain even when applied to patients with a low pain threshold. Vanquish also does not create long-lasting swelling or redness because the skin isn’t touched during treatment. Many other fat removal treatments use suction to pull the skin into an applicator device, which increases irritation.
Vanquish is also the most efficient non-surgical fat removal method currently in use. It can treat a larger area than other similar procedures in a shorter amount of time.
Arrange a Body Contouring Consultation
This year, give yourself the gift of truly painless weight loss: Make having Vanquish one of your New Year’s resolutions. Arrange a personal consultation with board-certified La Jolla plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Singer to find out whether or not Vanquish is right for you.