For those struggling with stubborn deposits of fat on their tummy, thighs and buttocks, Liposuction sure seems like a simple quick-fix. And it truly is – it efficiently will remove pockets of fat deposits from the abdominal region and improve your physique. But here is a catch: Post Liposuction, you might get rid of love handles and muffin tops, but you increase the chances of gaining belly fat or the vicious visceral fat.
According to new research done by Brazilian research team hailing from University of São Paulo, it’s almost impossible to get rid of fat completely. Liposuction will only target specific problem areas; after all, it is a cosmetic procedure. But since your body is already prone to storing more fat, the new fat stored will be redistributed throughout the abdomen to become visceral fat instead of becoming just subcutaneous fat, and that is any day more dangerous for your health.
However, there is some good news – regular exercise post a liposuction procedure can counteract this fat gain.
Red Alert: Visceral Fat Gain Post Liposuction!
Liposuction targets subcutaneous fat; which are nothing but fat cells right underneath the skin. Such fat deposits can mar your physique and create unsightly bulges. However, it’s impossible to keep the fat lost from coming back without good old fashioned exercise. And what’s worse is that the new fat is gained in the form of visceral fat, which is stored in the abdomen around vital organs and hence increases risk of diseases like Diabetes and Cardiac disease.
But should you take care of your health and ensure you get regular exercise, this effect can be negated. According to the research study that discovered the new shocking findings, exercise is the only way to make liposuction’s slimming effects last.
Published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in July, this research studied 36 female subjects. They were aged between 20 and 35, led a rather sedentary lifestyle but weren’t exactly obese, and opted for liposuction for a toned and trimmed physique. Half of these women were put on an exercise regimen two months after the surgery that required them to workout thrice a week. Their regular routine included a 5 min warm up, 40 minutes of cardio and basic strength training exercise. The other half of these women could lead their regular sedentary lifestyle. Six months later, the women who didn’t participate in exercise had gained over 10% visceral fat as compared to what they had before surgery. On the other hand, the women who were on the exercise regimen for 4 months didn’t gain any weight back and in fact, had lesser overall body fat content as compared to what they had before the liposuction procedure. They also got fitter and showed remarkable improvement in insulin sensitivity.
Is Liposuction Really the Answer To Your Weight Gain Woes?
Doctor’s now believe that patients who are considering liposuction should be informed of the possible compensatory visceral fat gain and any potentially associated health risks, noting that their study is the first to determine that fat can be gained back as quickly as six months after liposuction. Previous studies in animals and humans have also shown that fat rebounds after liposuction surgery, but typically over longer time frames. Hence, liposuction alone might not really be the answer to all your weight gain problems.
“The findings highlight the importance of exercise and a healthy diet even after liposuction to prevent a compensatory weight gain and maintain the results of the procedure,” agrees Pankaj Tiwari, MD, who is an assistant professor of plastic surgery at the Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus. “If you take fat from one area, your body compensates in other areas. We gain weight for metabolic reasons and those hormonal drivers are not changed by liposuction”, he adds.
Various studies have documented weight regain in various body parts following liposuction. However, now that it’s proven that the fat could be regained as dangerous intra-abdominal fat which can increase risk of chronic diseases, it’s all the more important to not ignore exercise and diet after this cosmetic procedure.
Exercise: The Answer to Permanent Fat Loss Post Liposuction
Scientists have not been able to understand why visceral fat gain is triggered post liposuction. Some speculate that the reason is most patients are so content with their physical appearance post liposuction, they don’t engage in any physical activity because they don’t feel the need for it. Hence – they gain weight and in more dangerous areas since liposuction permanently remove subcutaneous fat cells, so the fat cells from other areas of the body start to accumulate more. Others believe that our body is fine tuned to defend its stored fat, since fat is so important for a variety of body processes. Hence, once the fat is lost from one area, more fat starts storing in other areas since liposuction removes the chances of any fat re-growth within subcutaneous cells.
Whatever the reason might be, the only way to prevent this visceral fat growth is to stay physically active, if one wants their weight loss achieved via liposuction to be permanent. Exercise changes the body’s metabolism and keeps it from trying to compensate for the sudden fat loss.
According to doctors, liposuction is nothing but a contouring procedure. It can remove already existing fat deposits, but it cannot prevent new fat deposits from accumulating. Only exercise and a balanced healthy diet can achieve that; hence, it must go hand in hand with a liposuction procedure for maximum results.
To know which exercises are best to keep that excess fat at bay, read this article: 10 Exercises To Beat That Belly Bulge