Liposuction is a surgical procedure that can remove unwanted pockets of fat deposited in various areas of your body such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks. It helps in trimming and reshaping your body while immediately and permanently removing unwanted fat! This explains why liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the United States, making it one of the top 5 cosmetic procedures in 2020. Even the most fit of individuals often turn to liposuction to get rid of stubborn pockets of fat that are frequently unresponsive to diet and exercise!
Beyond the initial dramatic results, many patients considering liposuction have concerns over the permanency of their results. Here we tackle the most common questions our practice receives and offer tips to help maintain your aesthetic goals after surgery!
Can fat return?
Disappointingly, it is possible for fat to return after liposuction however, this is only if you allow it to come back! In general, the more weight gained by a patient after liposuction, the less dramatic their results will be. Nonetheless, fat will not return if the patient maintains their “post-lipo weight”. For example, if a patient weighed 130 pounds prior liposuction and had a total of 6 pounds removed through the procedure, fat will stay away if the patient maintains their weight at or below 124 pounds.
What happens if I gain weight after liposuction?
Because of the way fat cells are permanently removed in areas treated by liposuction, there are little to no fat cells left to absorb any newly formed fat. This permanent removal of fat from those stubborn areas in turn leaves a slimmer silhouette! However, it is important to note that if weight gain occurs after surgery, fat is formed in the cells that were left untreated throughout the body. Any new weight gain will cause new fat cells to form and the remaining fat cells to grow in size.
While weight gain can diminish surgical results, the overall improved body shape provided by a liposuction procedure will still be visible because the areas of the body that have been treated have fewer fat cells, and thus experience a lower enlargement rate compared to surrounding areas. Nevertheless, this weight gain can be avoided using the following tips and guidelines:
Stay properly hydrated by ditching sugary drinks and opting for lots of water!
Not only is water magical and the source of all life, it can also help you lose weight and keep the weigh off by:
- Increasing the calories you burn by 24% to 30%
- Lowering your body mass index and body fat, effectively reducing your body and waist size
- Reducing your appetite, especially if you drink before any meal
- Can be incorporated into your diet by eating foods that have a high-water content such as cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, and grapes! These types of food not only keep you hydrated but makes you feel full due to their caloric density and high-fiber content as well
Drinking more water also goes in hand in hand with reducing your intake of sugary drinks such as soda, juices, sweetened coffees and teas, and even alcoholic beverages. While sugar can be a good source of extra energy, it can be harmful in excessive amounts. Consuming these drinks can equate to consuming an extra 800 calories by nighttime! These drinks also do nothing to avert your hunger either and can even lead to weight gain and other diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even gout.
Try eating several smaller meals throughout the day, starting with breakfast.
We all know “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, but it is important to know why. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day, and provides a boost of energy after fasting all night. Contrary to popular belief, eating less can lead to weight gain in the long run. Putting off eating until much later in your day can lead to feeling hungrier or even ravenous by the evening.
Furthermore, not eating consistently throughout the day causes your metabolism to slow down, making you gain weight. Have an energy bar or fruit on hand and a stash of healthy snacks to keep you from getting hungry! If you can, make it a routine to eat three calorie and nutrient dense meals and two snacks in a day.
Strong scientific evidence shows that light to moderate physical activity can help you maintain your weight over time. It is important to note that everybody is different, and every regime is unique to everyone. Being active can range from light to moderate to vigorous activity or from walking briskly to strength training at a gym. No one knows your body like you, so it is up to you to gauge how active you would like to be to reach your aesthetic goals! Examples of moderate physical activity can include:
- Walking briskly
- Light yard work
- Light snow shoveling.
- Actively playing with children.
- Biking at a casual pace.
Learn more about different types of physical from the CDC here.
As previously stated, no one knows your body like you. Following your intuition along with these simple guidelines can help maintain your post operative liposuction results and aesthetic goals after surgery!