The cheat's guide to a flat stomach
By Suzanne Braithwaite
In my quest for the perfect body I’m trying out the latest treatments to tone up, shape up and get bikini ready for summer.
For me, getting a flat tummy is like trying to find the Holy Grail. No matter how much exercise and dieting I do to get that elusive toned stomach, my muffin top remains.
However, the opportunity arose to try out 3D-Lipo’s cryolypolysis treatment, popularly known as fat freezing, where a medical device is used to destroy fat cells.
I was excited to visit Lisa Harris’s Inspiration Skin Clinic in Weybridge, Surrey, and when I showed her my figure during the consultation she said she could help get rid of my podge - “no problem”.
Of course this is exactly what I wanted to hear – though I still had some scepticism.
Lisa kindly offered me a course of cavitation and skin tightening therapy after the cryolypolysis to ensure the best results.
For my first session I tried out cryolypolysis, which only requires a single treatment to take effect (results are usually seen within two to six weeks). The process basically involves the machine vacuuming the stomach between two plates then freezing it to a temperature of -6ºC. “The treatment targets the water content of the fat cell," Lisa tells me. "The frozen fat cells begin a natural removal process where the damaged cells are expelled from the body via the immune system."
A gel-soaked sheet was applied first to protect my skin, before the vacuum unit was placed over my tummy to suck in the flab, which was quite shocking to look at. It did feel uncomfortable to start with (not painful) but within 10 minutes felt OK and towards the end of the 45-minute session I was nearly dozing as the lights were dimmed in the treatment room.
Lisa removed the unit and then rigorously massaged my stomach to break up the ice crystals.
My stomach was red and obviously cold but I didn’t have any side effects (some clients can experience swelling, bruising and numbness).
While it felt a little bit like cheating (not sure where that guilt came from) I definitely saw a difference in the first few days post treatment. Perhaps I was sucking my tummy in more but I definitely felt slimmer.
Tummy post treatment
This week I was trying cavitation, which uses low frequency ultrasound, followed by radio frequency (RF) skin tightening.
Unfortunately I was limited on time so only tried 10 minutes of each to see what it felt like. Usually cavitation treatment lasts about 30 minutes followed by 15 minutes of RF.
First a gel was applied to my tummy, and then the ultrasound device was moved over the area in circular motions. The ultrasound produces a strong wave of pressure to fat cell membranes. The cells cannot withstand the pressure, therefore disintegrate into a liquid state, resulting in fat loss. During the cavitation treatment, a high-pitched whining rang in my ear, which at first was irritating but, again, after five minutes I got used to it.
This was followed by RF therapy using a rod, which circled the area. The Focus Fractional RF energy penetrates the skin layers to selectively heat the skin tissue and the extra cellular matrix where the collagen fibres are embedded. The local heating causes an immediate contraction of the collagen fibres and accelerates the production of new collagen.
My therapist asked how the temperature of the rod felt for me, starting it at a four out of 10 temperature and gradually increasing it. The optimum temperature for treatment is eight out of 10, she explained.
I didn’t expect to see any results, but was pleasantly surprised when my husband noticed that my tummy looked flatter. He even asked if I’d being doing sit-ups!
This week I had a longer session of cavitation and RF. The buzzing noise in my inner ear was a little aggravating over a 30-minute session but it soon dissipated.
The one thing I noticed was the skin tightening really helped with toning and smoothing the skin.
I also decided to measure myself this week (partly because I’m a bridesmaid for a friend and had a dress fitting) and my waist is 24”! My waist was 26.5” on my wedding day last year. Result!
I still have a few weeks left of treatment but check out my blog in July to see the results after six weeks - bikini photo's and all!
Main Image: Penneys