Cool Sculpting: Is it Effective at Burning Fat?

The first time I ever heard the term Cool Sculpting, it was described very briefly by someone as, “it’s a wand and it shoots cold air onto your fat parts, and then your fat burns off”. I was shocked, and confused…but I mostly scoffed and thought, “what a bunch of bullshit there is no such thing as a magic fat burning wand”. So I completely forgot about Cool Sculpting and its assumed magic powers, that is until I started seeing “Cool Sculpting” pop up in Medi-Spa clinics around town. That’s when I started to get curious.  I must admit, as first I wanted to find out more so I could prove it was just another fat loss gimmick/money grab (more on the money grab later). In order to get the most detailed and (hopefully) honest information I could on Cool Sculpting, I spoke with a cosmetic Surgeon at the Toronto Plastic Surgeon Clinic in Toronto, who advertise it as one of their services. So without further adieu, what the hell is Cool Sculpting and is it really effective at burning fat?


What is Cool Sculpting?

Not a lot of people know this, but fat cells have a memory. If you gain a lot of weight, the fat cells expand and grow bigger in order to accommodate more fat. If you lose the weight, the fat may leave the cell but the cells somewhat remain the same size, or it at least remembers how big it once was. The fat cells unfortunately do not go away. The fat cell waits patiently for you to go off the rails again so it can fill back up with fat. The more you do the song and dance of fat gain to weight loss, back to fat gain…the fat cells become stubborn and it gets a lot harder for you to lose the fat. This is also why there might be one part of your body that is SOO hard to lose, and you have to be incredibly strict to lose it. Then you find once you loosen up the reigns a bit, that particular area of your body comes RIGHT back front and centre like it’s the damn star of the show. Could be lower belly fat, hips/love handles, upper thighs, tricep area, armpit zone, back fat, etc. It’s that little stubborn zone of your body that just loves to stay and experience life with you, and frankly you love life too much to do anything extremely serious in order for it to go away naturally.


Cool Sculpting technology is pretty cool…hahaaaaaa pun INTENDED. The Toronto doctor I spoke with recited the fact that fat cells have a memory, and this is exactly what Cool Sculpting has identified and is trying to combat. The person that first described Cool Sculpting to me was pretty much bang on in the most basic form possible. The overall procedure is a non-invasive method of reducing fat, vs. lipo-suction for example which is very invasive. Instead, Cool Sculpting would be like any massage therapy or spa treatment, you can carry on with you day. The technicians use a machine with a massive attachment that provides a safe, but effective range of cold temperature. The device targets the stubborn area of fat and makes the cells so cold that the fat cells shrivel up and “die off”, therefore minimizing the amount of fat cells in that stubborn area. I am not sure how they monitor the safety level of the freezing, or if they put a numbing cream over top. I did not get into those details but that is something a consultation would answer.  Over a course of a few treatments and over-time, our bodies eventually rid the fat cell waste and then you are left with minimized area of fat, and hopefully less chance of that area coming back with a vengeance again. No fat cell, no memory, no place to store fat. They are very clear the results are not immediate, it takes time and a few treatments of Cool Sculpting to get the stubborn area smaller and notice a difference.


Who Is a Candidate?

If you are very curious about Cool Sculpting then contact a provider and book a consultation so you can ask more detailed questions. Now here is the thing, Cool Sculpting is not for obese people or over-weight people. It is not meant for those who live a generally unhealthy life, and/or for people looking for a quick fix. You need to be under a certain body fat %, or be of certain leanness in order to qualify for Cool Sculpting. The technology is for SMALL stubborn areas of your body that you have been ACTIVELY trying to diminish through a proper diet and exercise program for a very long period of time. Whereby lipo-suction on the other hand, like I previously stated, is an INVASIVE procedure directed towards those who need to lose large volumes of body fat. Cool Sculpting is for the person who is eating very healthy, exercises all the time, and have done so most of their lives.  A healthy lifestyle needs to be embedded, but this service is more for the people chasing “perfection”, as it is a luxury cosmetic procedure. You know…the type of person that squishes themselves inwards awkwardly, grabs their fat (that is normally not there, but due to said awkward position is there now), screams in dismay, “I want this gone!”, while they sip their green juice post weight lifting session. Cool Sculpting does not work on people with a lot of body fat to lose in one area, we are talking a small love handle that comes out of your favourite pair of jeans despite the rest of your body being healthy and lean. Does that sound vain? Are you saying to yourself, “who cares about a little love handle…it’s for loving!” or, “what is with societies obsession with perfection?”…well you haven’t heard the price yet, so sit tight.


What is the Cost?

Cool Sculpting will run you minimum $700 per area. Did you read that? PER AREA! So I mean, you could do the right love handle and sacrifice the left for a bit, or maybe opt for a lower tummy and hope they don’t divide that area in half haha! I did not get into detail with the Doctor about the cost breakdown of the entire procedure, or how many sessions each area would take. I am sure this is extremely variable because everyone is different. If this is something if you are very interested in, then contact a Medi-Spa that offers it and book a consultation. Ultimately, most people  will be looking at a bill of over $1400 for a small area.


Concluding Thoughts

       I do like how you need to be an already somewhat healthy person who demonstrated strong physical capabilities and is currently in good shape. I think if you have worked incredibly hard and have lost the fat and added muscle, where you now qualify and can afford Cool Sculpting, then all power to you! I am also not 100% sure of how effective this is on “loose skin” since the technology is designed to target fat cells, not improve the look of stretched skin i.e. from massive weight loss or postpartum. I think if you are someone who has been small your whole life and have never been into exercising or eating well, but notices they are starting to gain weight, I do not think Cool Sculpting is a good option. This type of person should first try to change their life around and find new health morals and priorities before trying a band-aid solution. It’s often when the person was young and thin they never had to think of exercise and dieting until the tables turn around 40’s-50’s, and what they enjoyed previously care free is unfortunately no more.  Are the results from Cool Sculpting lasting?  They say they are…until the person starts letting go again. If you haven’t changed anything about your weekly behaviour or eating schedule, then you are being a bit of a sucker…Cool Sculpting won’t do much for you. The fat will come back if you haven’t done your due diligence to fix your core behaviours, there is no quick fix to body composition goals. I do think the technology behind Cool Sculpting is awesome and it makes sense, but it is still new and expensive. If you are curious, then book a consultation. However, I will not conclude this blog without a personal trainer lecture on the importance of healthy living and being honest with your own personal efforts. Here we go…


Classic Personal Trainer “It’s a Lifestyle” Rant

I think Cool Sculpting is a neat option for people if you are lucky enough to afford it, but it’s not going to solve any healthy lifestyle or diet issues you may be abusing. Personally, if someone says they have tried everything and no matter what that stubborn part won’t go away… I believe this is bullshite.  I know 100% there are lot’s of things they are not doing correctly day by day, week per week, month by month, but no matter what they will tell you they are doing everything in their power. Frankly, people just want it all. They want the their wine, their dinners with friends and co-workers, they want to eat out at fancy restaurants every week, they want big massive meals and alcohol with their family, prepping is too hard, grocery shopping is expensive, work is too busy, their life is too hard, they have kids, the kids make them eat bad, their life or their schedule is always harder then everyone else’s, they travel too much, vacation too much,…..etc etc. They want the fun side of life, they just  don’t want the body effects of what that lifestyle brings. At the end of the day, if the person has the money to do it and they are the type who only works for short term results, they will love Cool Sculpting. I just shake my head at people who say they have tried everything and sooo hard when you know that’s not the full truth. It might be the “truth” they are trying to convince themselves, but it’s not really what’s happening day to day. That is why they don’t get the results they think they deserve.  But also, I hear people say in a non-direct way,  “I want to live my life, eat how I want, sleep how I want, party how I want, drink how I want, because I am young (YOLO) and I want to experience life. I should be able to obtain my dream body AND be able to party how I want to party, and eat how I want to eat. I should be able to have all of this without changing what I am comfortable with”. Of course, they will continue to complain about their physical appearance and how dissatisfied they. Unfortunately for those who want it all,  physical results don’t give a shit about what you want or what your brain craves, unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. If you keep giving into what you want and what you think you deserve, then be satisfied with what those choices bring. If you are living your absolute best life and are incredibly happy drinking and partying, then be incredibly happy and embrace the physical results that come from that lifestyle.


At the end of the day, I am always going to opt for the old fashioned character building way…with a straight up weight training and diet ritual. It’s not that Cool Sculpting is a harmful technology in anyway, but you will learn a lot more about yourself, what you are capable of, and you will learn how to keep fit for life if you do it naturally. I really do this it is the last resort, and I would say the price indicates that. It’s definitely not something they have made easily attainable, for better or for worse. If you feel like you have done absolutely everything in your power, have reached out to weight loss professionals, are honest with your work ethic, and still see no changes… then Cool Sculpting is a pretty sweet new technology that is available for you. Do your research on it before you go, read up on the technicians who provide the service, and just do your homework before jumping into anything.