We get this question a lot online and in our offices. Unlike body wraps or other treatments that only remove water weight, CoolSculpting works by killing fat cells. Those cells do not grow back. Fat cells can’t survive the cold temperatures of CoolSculpting, but your surrounding skin and muscle tissues can, which makes it the perfect non-invasive fat reduction treatment. If you’re interested, read more about the science behind CoolSculpting.
- 1 The Results from CoolSculpting are Permanent
- 2 How Fat Works
- 3 You Can Still Gain Weight
- 4 Sources:
The Results from CoolSculpting are Permanent
Fat cells frozen (and killed) by CoolSculpting are removed through the body’s natural processes over time. They aren’t replaced or regrown. Unlike fingernails or hair, they don’t grow continuously, and your body won’t replace those cells when they’re removed. The same way you can’t regrow a kidney or a finger, when fat cells are removed through cryolipolysis, they don’t come back.
How Fat Works
When it comes to removing unwanted fat, knowledge is power! The misconception that fat can “come back” after CoolSculpting is based on a lack of knowledge about how fat works – which is part of why so many people struggle with extra weight. Knowing more about how fat works will help you decide whether CoolSculpting, Liposuction or perhaps a weight loss program is a better fit for you.
Calories in, calories out
Food contains energy in the form of protein, fat, or carbohydrates. We measure this energy as calories – you’ve probably heard of them. Our body stores excess calories as fat. That means if you eat more calories than your body uses, you’ll see those calories stored in your fat cells. Learn more about how calories work.
Fat cells grow or shrink, they don’t multiply
Everyone has fat cells; we’d die without them. Once puberty is over and the body is done growing, the number of fat cells you have stays the same. You don’t grow new fat cells when you gain weight – instead, the existing fat cells grow or shrink based on how much fat they contain.
Extra calories are distributed evenly among fat cells
Your body distributes fat evenly among your fat cells – so let’s say you eat 100 pieces of candy and they’re all converted to fat, and you have 100 fat cells. The excess calories from each piece would be stored equally, one piece of candy per fat cell.
Where your fat cells are located depends on hormones & genetics
Fat cells are stored all around the body. Due to a difference in hormones, men and women’s fat cells tend to be located in different areas – women store fat cells in their lower body, breasts, and sometimes the arms, while men tend to store fat in their abdomen. In addition, individual genetics will affect where fat cells are stored, which is why some women develop a double chin or saddlebags and other women don’t.
Why some people notice weight gain in specific areas
So, if all fat cells are the same size, why do some people notice weight gain more in their thighs, arms, or abdomen? Because they have a higher number of fat cells in those areas, as a result of hormones and genetics. That’s why CoolSculpting works so well – because when fat cells in an area are destroyed via cryolipolysis, your body has permanently lost a portion of its fat storage in that area.
You Can Still Gain Weight
It’s important to remember that CoolSculpting freezes fat cells – it doesn’t freeze your body in time. Eat more calories than you burn, and you’ll still gain weight.
Remember how we said that excess calories are stored equally in every fat cell? Let’s go back to our example with the pieces of candy. Say CoolSculpting removes 20 fat cells, so now you have 80 fat cells. You will still gain weight if you eat more calories than you burn. But because there are now fewer fat cells available in your love handles, thighs, or wherever the treatment was performed, your body’s overall proportions will stay the same as they are after your CoolSculpting results.
That means it’s even more important to maintain a healthy diet after CoolSculpting, and why CoolSculpting is not a weight loss solution. If you don’t have your diet and exercise under control and aren’t maintaining your current weight, CoolSculpting will reshape your body, but you may notice those extra calories are now being stored in other areas.
Want to learn more? Find out whether you’re a candidate for CoolSculpting.
Cryolipolysis: Clinical Best Practices and Other Nonclinical Considerations