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This time of year many of us are making, and breaking, New Year’s resolutions. The most common one, I suspect, is to lose weight and get in shape. There really is an epidemic of obesity all around us. Interestingly, as the celebrities and those we see in magazines, in movies and on reality TV get smaller on bottom and bigger on top, those sitting next to us on the airplane are getting much larger. Food serving sizes are increasing every day, we are eating out more, snacking more, picking up dinner at the drive through, and heating up frozen pizza. I remember when McDonalds served the kids meal burger and fries as the main burger and fries combo for adults and the Coke was 6 oz. Today I think you can get a 4 pound quadruple cheeseburger with a gallon bag of fries and a 120 oz Coke. And we wonder why we need that seat belt extender.

Processed foods with a high glycemic index, combined with cortisol-releasing stressful lives and lack of exercise result in people who are “packing the pounds”. Hormonal changes with aging cause weight control to become harder, and encourages fat deposits on thighs, hips, abdomen. Some fat is stored internally as what is called “visceral fat,” the fat inside the abdominal cavity surrounding internal organs like the heart, and is also in the tissue that holds the bowel in place. This internal fat that gives the “paunch” or protruding abdomen that needs diet and exercise to improve. Some fat is stored outside the abdominal cavity underneath the surface of the skin, called “subcutaneous fat.” You see this as belly fat, love handles, saddlebags, back fat, inner thigh fat, and arm fat. It is not uncommon for bulges of fat to be resistant to diet and exercise, and to remain even after you have lost weight and are exercising. This subcutaneous fat is the fat that can be removed by liposuction and non-invasive liposuction alternatives like Zeltiq Coolsculpting. When we evaluate fat to determine if it can be removed by invasive or non-invasive procedures, we squeeze it. If you can squeeze it, you can remove it. If you can’t it is internal and only diet and exercise will remove it.

It’s very hard to live in today’s world and eat healthy, exercise daily, reduce stress, when it seems everything is conspiring against us. Healthy diet, weight loss, exercise, and stress reduction should be the mainstay of our body preservation plan. But often we need a little extra help.

Next: How to remove fat safely and effectively, without relying exclusively on diet and exercise

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