Got a stubborn pooch? Cringing at the term “saddle bags”? Cosmetic surgeons are promoting non-invasive alternatives to liposuction, like Vanquish and CoolSculpting. We have a saying that men in their 40s get sports cars, women get plastic surgery. If you’ve got a little fat you are struggling to get rid of via exercise, you might be considering one of these procedures. I gave it a try myself, so read on and learn from my experience!
Money burning a hole in your pocket? Vanquish is a non-surgical fat removal treatment that costs between $825 and $3750, depending on the number of treatments. I found a great deal on Groupon, which basically cut the cost of 6 treatments in half. Groupon is a great source for minor cosmetic enhancements, such as Botox/Dysport, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, etc. If you are interested in Vanquish or CoolScuplting, it pays to search for a deal in your area! Just know that most professionals recommend 6 treatments for proper results.
Not Intended For Massive Weight Loss
If you’re overweight and need to remove large amounts of fat, this is not the procedure for you. Vanquish is primarily for reduction of fat on the abdomen and thighs. You should be in fairly good shape to consider the procedure. Once you hit your mid-30s (or after pregnancy), you might notice pockets of fat that a healthy diet and regular exercise aren’t removing. I am thin and active by nature, but by 35, was in a bikini asking myself, “what the hell is this?”.
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How it Works
Basically, the biggest selling feature of the technology is that it is non-invasive. You should give any surgery, no matter how small, great consideration before trying. Non-invasive is always preferable than going under the knife, especially because of the potential dangers of anesthesia. Using radio frequency instead, Vanquish targets fat cells and eliminates them for good. It’s FDA-approved and virtually painless. The system is suspended above your body and heats the targeted fat cells to 120 degrees, destroying them. (CoolSculpting is similar, but it freezes the fat cells instead.) The dead cells are metabolized through your liver over the next 6 weeks. It is imperative that you continue to exercise regularly and drink lots of water while receiving treatment.
Sound Too Good to Be True?
I promised to share my experience with you, so here goes. Frustrated by a general lack of toning in my body, I began to up my cardio and lower my sugar/carb intake. 4-5 years of this with minimal change amped my frustration to a visit to a trusted plastic surgeon. Should I just get lipo? My plastic surgeon reassured me that I was not a proper candidate for liposuction and referred me to a Vanquish technician instead. My weight has never been an issue for me, it was the lack of toning in my body that was driving me crazy. If you’re happy with your figure, but are coming around 40, you understand what I’m talking about.
A Warm Blanket
Here’s how it works: sensors built into the device “read” your body fat and calculate the amount of energy the machine will deliver during each 30-minute treatment. Sounds easy enough, but beware. My first Vanquish treatment, my skin got so hot I thought I was going to die! My hands seized up and I had to pull the emergency stop and call the nurse. She gave me a hot pad and some water and I braved another 30 minutes. An hour of that was like being in a torture chamber. We weren’t sure if I just overheated, or didn’t eat well that morning, or what. I noticed the next visit, the technician moved the paddles further away from my skin and ohhh, what a difference. There was nothing about this kind of reaction online, so that was a big bummer. It should not burn! It really should feel like a warm blanket on your skin; similar to a heating pad. The rest of my treatments were like cake.
The nurse kept track of my weight, water intake, and measurements at every visit. She took before and after pictures, which was nice for me to compare. After 6 weeks of 6 treatments, I was completely underwhelmed with the results of Vanquish. The circumference of my legs was reduced by 3 centimeters. 3 centimeters! Who cares about that?! Not me. I also noticed my before pictures were taken a little closer up than my after (enhancing results). Even then, I was not impressed with what I saw. What a waste of time and money! I’ve read only good things about the procedure with happy success, so I might be in the low 15% of unsatisfied clients. Also, it seems like most satisfied patients are having their abdomens treated, so maybe thighs are just a no-go. Thank goodness I used a Groupon!
What I’ve learned since, is that women in their 30s begin to lose muscle exponentially. You can find better success by maintaining a healthy diet and shifting your focus from cardio to muscle-building. The right kind of exercise will benefit you way more than treatments like Vanquish. After 6 months of muscle building, I’m finally starting to see that toning I was looking for. And I feel great! My clothes fit better and I have the benefits of working out going for me as well. So don’t take the easy way out. Save your money, or use it towards a great gym or workout program that will focus on muscle tone specifically. Please leave comments if you have experiences with these kinds of treatments. There is just not enough info out there on the web.