Restaurants now allow dine-in, gyms have reopened, and Singapore has gotten back some semblance of normalcy. But if you’re anything like us, the lowered activity levels and enthusiastic #savefnbsg food deliveries during the circuit breaker period probably meant a little extra padding has been added in certain areas.
Getting back to a regular exercise and diet routine will slim things down soon enough — and should be the first port of call — but just in case you want a little extra help, we’ve shortlisted three of the most effective fat-burning treatments on the market, courtesy of Dr Calvin Chan at Calvin Chan Aesthetics.
To burn fat, permanently: Coolsculpting
Coolsculpting has been around for a number of years now, but it remains the gold standard when it comes to targeted fat reduction in a short period of time. It is approved by the US FDA, clinically proven to produce results, non-invasive, and involves no needles or downtime.
As the name suggests, Coolsculpting is a cryolipolysis (a.k.a. fat freezing) treatment — it uses low temperatures to literally freeze and destroy fat cells, which are then excreted from the body naturally in the weeks after the treatment. Coolsculpting works because fat cells are more temperature-sensitive than skin, and thus would succumb to the low temperatures before any damage is done to the skin.
In terms of the experience, Coolsculpting is generally quite painless, although there may be some discomfort involved. The Coolsculpting paddles will suction and squeeze the targeted areas quite tightly; add in the extreme cold, and you get a slightly uncomfortable experience that is nonetheless very tolerable.
The treatment is very effective, with patients usually experiencing about 20 to 25 percent fat reduction in treated areas. However, Dr Chan is also quick to emphasise that this treatment is not meant to be a replacement for a good weightloss programme, as it will not help anyone shed the kilos. It can, however, help someone smooth over specific problem areas such as the inner and outer thighs, bra line, and love handles. Each treatment takes about an hour and a half to two hours, depending on the area being targeted.
That said, Coolsculpting is not without its side effects, however mild. Patients can expect mild bruising and swelling, as well as numbness in the treated area that should dissipate within one week. Some may also experience mild itching in the area as the numbness recedes.
To build muscle, burn fat and sculpt a fit physique: Emsculpt
If you’ve ever wished that you could get chiseled abs without ever doing a single crunch, then this is the treatment for you. Emsculpt is perhaps the most revolutionary body-toning treatment on the market today, allowing users to both burn fat and build muscle at the same time, resulting in a leaner and more sculpted physique.
The treatment works by using non-invasive HIFEM (high-intensity focused electromagnetic) technology to induce supramaximal muscle contractions — that is, muscle contractions that are even stronger than a person can cause voluntarily through exercise. These supramaximal contractions cause the muscles in the treated area to grow, and the fat in the surrounding tissues to burn off, resulting in a more toned appearance.
In other words, Emsculpt is the treatment that helps you achieve results similar to doing physical exercise — but you achieve those results while lying down comfortably in an aesthetics clinic. But according to Dr Chan, regular gymgoers can also benefit from this treatment, as it can assist in targeting specific areas that don’t see improvement even with physical exercise, or that are more difficult to target, such as the triceps (so you can say farewell to “bye bye wings”).
Specific target areas also represent the only downside to Emsculpt, as it can currently only be used to treat three different areas of the body: the abs, the butt, and the arms. In all three cases, building muscle and reducing fat would result in a more shapely appearance. Plus, Emsculpt is not merely targeted at women who wish to reduce fat. Men who desire more chiseled abs or larger biceps could also sculpt those areas using this treatment.
Emsculpt sessions only take 30 minutes each, with a recommended course of four sessions over the span of two weeks. The treatment can be mildly uncomfortable, as it involves extremely strong muscular contractions, but is very tolerable — it just feels like doing crunches for half an hour. There may be mild soreness after the first treatment, but most will experience zero side effects.
Results are usually visible almost immediately, with best results about two to four weeks post-treatment, when the burnt fat cells have had time to be flushed from the body naturally. If someone promised you a more bootilicious rear or ripped abs within in one month, that would usually be too good to be true, but with Emsculpt, it might just be possible.
For the most “natural” and comfortable fat loss experience: Slim i-Lipo
While both Coolsculpting and Emsculpt are relatively pain-free, they can cause a level of discomfort for patients with low pain thresholds. For an absolutely pain- and discomfort-free experience, Calvin Chan Aesthetics offers Slim i-Lipo.
The treatment uses low levels of laser energy to stimulate fat cells, causing them to break down the stored energy into free fatty acids and glycerol, which are what the body uses during metabolism to create energy. In other words, this process is similar to what the body does naturally when it needs to draw on fat stores for energy (because we are dieting or exercising and are in a calorie deficit). As such, the i-Lipo treatment actually does not create any unnatural reactions — it merely stimulates what the body does naturally. To enhance the effects of the treatment, it is advised that patients do light exercise after the treatment to ensure the metabolism and elimination of the freed fatty acids.
In terms of the experience, the treatment is extremely relaxing. Paddles are strapped into place, and they never get hot, cold, or stimulate any uncomfortable muscle contractions. You can even take a quick nap, if you so wish.
Results for each session of i-Lipo are somewhat milder than either Coolsculpting or Emsculpt, but are still significant — according to Dr Chan, patients can expect a 30 percent reduction in fat layer depth after just one treatment. A course of eight treatments is recommended, to be completed over four weeks.