Most people struggle with some degree of excess belly fat and muscle laxity, which combined can create the undesirable appearance of a “belly pooch.” But despite its prevalence, a belly pooch can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and even unhealthy. If your belly is mostly caused by a little extra fat and loose core muscles, the following 3 non-surgical body contouring devices may be able to help you flatten your stomach and regain your confidence.
But before we dive in, let’s look at some of the leading causes of a belly pooch.
What causes a belly pooch?
Here are some of the top reasons men and women develop a belly pooch:
- Pregnancy. After giving birth, women often struggle to regain core strength on their own. Abdominal muscles can become stretched and even torn, a condition called diastasis recti.
- Genetics. It can be a tough pill to swallow, but some of us are genetically predisposed to abdominal fat. Though a thicker belly may have once given us a biological advantage (think: fat storage in colder climates and times of food scarcity), it certainly isn’t serving us anymore.
- A sedentary lifestyle. Not eating enough nutrient-rich foods (or eating too many processed foods), combined with a lack of exercise, is a recipe for weight gain. Frustratingly, the stomach is one of the first places both men and women gain fat.
- Stress. Numerous studies have shown a correlation between stress and belly fat, even in otherwise slim women.
After giving birth, women often struggle with loose skin, stubborn fat, and weakened core muscles, causing a “belly pooch.”
Is a belly pooch unhealthy?
Though a belly pooch on its own isn’t a major risk to your overall health, it can cause physical, emotional, and mental complications:
- Physical effects. A weak core can place undue strain on the lower back and neck, affecting your posture. Excess abdominal fat can clog blood vessels and arteries, increasing your risk for heart disease and diabetes. For those who are in relatively good shape and are physically active, a belly pooch can make exercising and playing sports difficult and uncomfortable.
- Emotional & mental effects. Having a belly pooch can cause emotional and mental anguish. Not only can it make wearing tight-fitting clothing and bathing suits embarrassing and stressful, but it can prevent us from seeing our greater beauty.
Say goodbye to your belly pooch with these 3 treatments
If your belly pooch is caused by loose skin, excess subcutaneous fat (the kind that’s soft to the touch), and/or weak abdominal muscles, and you are in relatively good shape and close to your target weight, you may be able to reduce or even eliminate your belly pooch using the following non-surgical body contouring treatments:
About the treatment: Emsculpt® uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM) energy to induce supra-maximal muscle contractions in your abdomen, helping you tighten your core and burn excess fat. Emsculpt is also effective at reducing abdominal muscle separation caused by pregnancy or improper exercise techniques. How effective is this technology? Consider that a single 30-minute Emsculpt treatment is the equivalent of doing about 20,000 sit-ups!
Treatments are completed in just 30 minutes or less and there is no downtime. Most patients see the best results with 6 Emsculpt treatments; 2 treatments per week for 3 weeks.
Who it’s for: Emsculpt is ideal for women who need help toning and tightening their post-pregnancy abdomens and want to lose a little extra belly fat while they’re at it. Emsculpt can also make exercise easier and more enjoyable for both men and women by tightening the core and trimming the waistline. It is also ideal for anyone who needs a stronger core but may not be able to exercise effectively due to an injury or back pain.
A single 30-minute Emsculpt treatment is the equivalent of doing about 20,000 sit-ups.
About the treatment: CoolSculpting® is a non-surgical alternative to liposuction that uses a process called “cryolipolysis” to freeze stubborn fat cells. Once destroyed, your body’s lymphatic system gradually eliminates your fat cells, allowing the targeted area to slim down over time as though you had lost weight.
Treatments take 30-60 minutes, with most patients needing 1-3 treatments spaced at least a month apart for best results. CoolSculpting has zero downtime.
Who it’s for: If your belly pooch is mostly subcutaneous fat, CoolSculpting is for you. It is specifically designed to reduce stubborn fat pockets on the abdomen, hips, thighs, and back—though it won’t tighten your abs, like Emsculpt.
3. Evolve Tite®
About the treatment: Evolve Tite® uses heat-based radiofrequency (RF) technology to stimulate neocollagenesis, shrinking and tightening loose skin.
Evolve Tite treatments take about 30-60 minutes and require no downtime. Most patients benefit from 2-3 treatments.
Who it’s for: Evolve Tite’s ability to help tighten and firm up loose, wrinkled skin on the abdomen is perfect for those who have recently lost weight or given birth. We often recommend patients pair Evolve Tite with their Emsculpt and/or CoolSculpting treatments to tighten loose skin on their treated abdomens.
Note: If you have severe muscle separation, skin sagging, or fat on your abdomen, you may require plastic surgery to achieve your aesthetic goals, and therefore may not be a good candidate for non-surgical body contouring. Drs. Marvin and Kenya Lee can help you determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for Emsculpt, CoolSculpting, and/or Evolve Tite during a personal consultation.
Complement your body sculpting treatments with a healthy diet and lifestyle
While non-surgical body contouring technologies are very effective at reducing stubborn fat and tightening tissues, they are designed to augment—not replace—your existing diet and exercise regimen. Here are a few suggestions to help you maintain your results longer and avoid developing a belly pooch:
- Eat more protein. A high-protein diet has been associated with lower amounts of abdominal fat. Foods that are high in protein make you feel fuller for longer, helping you lose weight and keep it off. Protein has also been shown to increase metabolic rates, helping you burn more fat during exercise.
- Avoid added sugars. Consuming added sugars, whether from sweeteners or refined carbohydrates, increases your risk of developing belly fat. Avoid added sugars by sticking to a whole foods diet and avoiding processed foods. To satisfy your sweet tooth cravings while also getting healthy fats, protein, and probiotics, try mixing together a simple bowl of plain, unsweetened yogurt with mixed berries.
- Exercise regularly. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day can help you stay in shape, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Don’t have 30 consecutive minutes to dedicate to working out? Try fitting in “exercise snacks” throughout your schedule.
- Reduce your stress. Keep your stress (and belly fat) at a minimum by meditating, journaling, and exercising with friends. As an added benefit, lowering your stress levels can improve your immune system, keeping you healthy throughout the winter!
Learn more about non-surgical body contouring at our Colorado Springs medical spa
At PureLee Redefined, our doctors Marvin and Kenya Lee, M.D. take a whole-patient approach to wellness. In addition to prescribing body contouring treatments specific to your body type and concerns, they will help you create a treatment plan that includes nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle factors so that you can lose your belly pooch for good. Schedule your Colorado Springs body contouring consultation with us online or by calling (719) 452-8541.