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The Ultimate Guide to Fat Removal for Specific Body Parts: Can You Really Control Where You Lose Fat?

Almost everyone would like to reshape certain parts of their body.

The waistline, thighs, butt, and arms are common areas in which people tend to store excess body fat.

Achieving change through diet and exercise takes time and effort. Many desire a quick fix in search of a faster solution. Most women fight stubborn fat on their hips and thighs, while men deal with belly fat.

But, could you really target this fat in specific areas with exercise and burn it where you want?

The Myth: Spot Reduction

You may have heard it before. That by targeting specific of body through exercise, you can laser-focus where your body burns fat. The concept of spot reduction follows the myth that training a specific muscle will result in fat loss.

Consumers are guided by magazine and the internet with exercise programs that target “spare tires” and “bat wing arms”. However, this approach will likely leave you feeling frustrated and ultimately unsuccessful.

Generally, spot reduction, in this case, doesn't work because it targets muscles that are relatively small. These targeted exercises are insignificant in terms of enhancing overall fitness, strength, and energy expenditure - no matter how much you "feel the burn" during your training.

spot reduction abs workout

Weigh loss is a reduction in body weight that is visible on the scale. Most people are unaware that if they only focus on weight loss treatment, they might lose muscle and not fat. It not only compromises aesthetics, but also negatively affects overall health.

The Verdict: You can’t control where you lose Fat Through Exercise

As indicated above, “feeling the burn” is not all that it is hyped up to be. The burning sensation experienced during training is merely a chemical reaction.

A 2013 study measured the effects of exercise on the fat mass of a targeted body area. Subjects did approximately 960 to 1,200 reps of leg presses 3 times a week using their non-dominant leg over the course of 12 weeks against very light resistance.

In spite of these leg presses, no difference in fat mass was found between the exercising leg and the other; however, fat mass in the upper body increased.

Can CoolSculpting and SculpSure Reduce Fat in Specific Areas?

Aside from the traditional surgical fat removal treatment methods, non-invasive fat removal treatments such as CoolSculpting and SculpSure are options that can effectively carry out spot reduction. Using these two FDA-approved treatments, the fat cells in the targeted areas are naturally eliminated. 

CoolSculpting utilises cold temperatures that go as low as -13°C to freeze the fat cells to death. The dead fat cells are then removed over the course of months by the body itself with the help of the lymphatic system1.

Unlike CoolSculpting, SculpSure uses laser heat energy to target the fat cells. High temperatures up to 47°C is used to target the fat cells2. Similar to CoolSculpting, the dead fat cells are slowly removed from the body over the course of months.

As mentioned, these fat reduction procedures are non-invasive and involves no anesthesia, needles or incision.  This procedure is designed to treat subcutaneous fat and to help people reach their ideal weight, not to lose weight.

CoolSculpting Treatment Areas

Submental Fat


Love Handles/ Back Fat

Bra Fat

Arm Fat

Inner/ Outer Thighs

Submental Fullness (Double Chin)

Non-Invasive Fat Removal Treatments for Double Chin

CoolSculpting and SculpSure help by targeting fat at a specific location such as the double chin. As such, they can be used to target fat cells located in the neck and chin.

In both of the above procedures, an applicator is used and placed under your chin and neck area. The only difference is that CoolSculpting uses cold temperature whereas SculpSure uses heat energy to target and kill the fat cells.

The CoolSculpting applicator CoolMini was specifically designed to treat smaller areas such as the double chin. This applicator is able to fit snugly in the double chin area and effectively target the fat cells in that area. SculpSure applicators are uniform, but a special apparatus ensures that the applicator is properly secured in place. 

SculpSure also helps to tighten the skin due to increased local collagen tissue synthesis and deposition2.


Arm Fat

Non-Invasive Fat Removal Treatments for Arm Fat

CoolSculpting uses various applicators of varying sizes to target the fat cells. Various CoolSculpting applicators like the CoolAdvantage applicator, CoolAdvantage Petite applicator and CoolFit were found effective in reducing arm fat9.

However, while CoolSculpting is highly effective for addressing flabby arm fat, patients whose primary concern is loose skin on the arms may be better suited for a treatment that also takes care of skin tightening such as SculpSure.

In contrast to CoolSculpting, SculpSure also targets skin laxity. The heat energy stimulates collagen and produces firmer skin.

Bra and Back Fat

Non-Invasive Fat Removal Treatments for Bra and Back Fat

In some situations, depending on the size of the fat volume present in the back, CoolMini can also be used to treat these areas. The more common applicator used to treat back fat is the CoolPetite. 

In the case of SculpSure, the applicator is able to be strapped onto the areas to treat bra and back fat as well. 

Abdomen/Belly Fat

Non-Invasive Fat Removal Treatments for Belly Fat

CoolSculpting applicators such as CoolCurve Advantage Plus, CoolCore Advantage and CoolCore Advantage Plus are most commonly used to target fat that lies in the abdominal region.

Depending on the volume of fat present in the targeted area, different applicators must be used in order to fit to the contours of the area to maximise results. 

For SculpSure, the most common method of belly fat removal is to utilize all four applicators. The four applicators need to be arranged and positioned correctly to suit every physique. These are then strapped on securely onto the abdominal region during the treatment. As mentioned, SculpSure is also able to treat skin laxity in the belly area in addition to its fat removal capabilities.


Flanks/Love Handles

Non-Invasive Fat Removal Treatments for Flanks and Love Handles

In most cases, the CoolPetite Advantage and CoolCurve Advantage CoolSculpting applicators are used on flanks and love handles.

For SculpSure, the most common way it is used to treat flanks and love handles are to properly position the applicators, and then to each side of the targeted areas.

Gynecomastia (Man Boobs)

Non-Invasive Fat Removal Treatments for Man Boobs

Gynecomastia, also known as man boobs, is a condition marked by excessive fat tissue at the chest region in men, usually caused by a hormonal balance.

Traditionally, male breast reduction surgery is generally performed to treat gynecomastia. However, non-invasive fat removal treatments such as CoolSculpting and SculpSure have proven to be a helpful alternative for many male candidates as well.

For SculpSure, depending on the size of the volume of fat present, the applicators will be strapped onto the chest. In the case of the portion of men that are struggling with both excess fat deposits in the chest and also loose skin, SculpSure would then be a more appropriate option. This treatment is able to treat skin laxity as it encourages collagen production, resulting in a firmer and tighter appearance of the skin.

For CoolSculpting, the most commonly used applicators used to treat gynecomastia would be CoolPetite Advantage and CoolCurve Advantage Plus.

Inner and Outer Thighs

Non-Invasive Fat Removal Treatments for Inner and Outer Thighs

In the case of inner and outer thighs, both areas may seem similar, however the fat deposited in these areas are actually treated differently – with different applicators intended for different purposes.

For inner thighs, the most common applicator to be used would be the CoolFit Advantage and the CoolCurve+ Advantage. These applicators are ideal for treating difficult to reach areas such as the inner thighs. As for the outer thighs, it is actually common for the fat in those areas to be unpinchable. The CoolSmooth Pro applicator is one that is specifically designed for areas such as the outer thighs, where the fat is flatter and unpinchable.

That said, SculpSure applicators are versatile in the sense that it has no problem treating unpinchable fat as the nature of the treatment does not involve any suction. Much like the treatments for the other body parts, the applicators are simply strapped on the treated areas during the treatment.


Banana Roll Fat (Butt Fat)

Non-Invasive Fat Removal Treatments for Banana Roll Fat

Banana roll fat is a stubborn type of fat that builds up in the space between the lower buttocks and upper thigh.

For CoolSculpting, the most common applicator used for treating banana roll fat is the CoolCurve+ Advantage. As mentioned above, the CoolCurve+ Advantage is an applicator that is able to target and treat harder to reach areas, making it an ideal option to treat banana roll fat.

For SculpSure, the applicators are likewise correctly positioned and strapped onto the targeted area. The most common method would be to utilize four applicators, two on each side.

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