Woman belly before and after coolsculpting

What is belly fat and why is it so hard to get rid if it?

Many people trying to lose weight are most concerned with slimming down their midsections. Belly fat is excess abdominal fat surrounding the organs in your stomach. 

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Belly fat is excess abdominal fat surrounding the organs in your stomach. There are three types of fat: triglycerides (the fat that circulates in your blood), subcutaneous fat (the layer directly below the skin’s surface) and visceral fat (dangerous belly fat). Visceral fat is located beneath the muscles in your stomach and poses many dangers to your health when there is too much of it.

Belly fat doesn’t just sit there; it can have negative impacts on almost every organ in your body through the productions of excess hormones and chemicals. Having too much visceral fat can put you at risk for many other health issues such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer.

An easy way to determine if you have too much belly fat is to measure yourself at home. Take a measuring tape and wrap it around your bare stomach, directly above your hip bone. The tape should be snug but not too tight. For women, a measurement of 35 inches or more indicates an unhealthy amount of belly fat. For men, a measurement of 40 inches or more indicates an unhealthy measure.

The best way to get rid of belly fat involves considering three major factors: exercise, diet and sleep.

  1. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to get rid of belly fat. Aim for half an hour of vigorous aerobic exercise at least 4 times a week: jogging, stationary biking and using the elliptical are all great options. Moderate exercises like walking the dog or working in the yard can also help burn belly fat.
  2. Following a healthy diet is also an effective way to get rid of belly fat. Diets high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, which include foods like fish, poultry, lean meats, eggs, healthy fats like avocado and olive oil, and lots of colorful vegetables, build up less visceral fat. Be sure your intake of fluids is adequate
  3. People who regularly get 6-7 hours of sleep each night tend to have lower measures of visceral fat. Create a healthy sleep schedule for yourself and make sure you stick to it.

The days when you had to go under the knife to tighten up are gone. Non-invasive therapies such as CoolSculpting—a non-surgical cooling treatment that promises to banish stubborn fat—now promise to perfect your body without ever breaking the skin. You can be in, out, and back to work after your lunch break in a matter of minutes.

CoolSculpting isn’t exactly a magic weight loss elixir—but it can be effective for the right type of person.

During a CoolSculpting treatment, a physician places an applicator onto your problem area and it “sucks” up a bulge of skin, working to freeze fat below the surface. During the treatment, you might feel an initial suction and coldness, but it quickly fades to numbness.

In the days following, you might be slightly sore—as if you exercised the area you had treated. A week later, your skin might feel a little itchy. The process takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and you can go back about your day afterward.