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We all have our problem areas that we wish were firmer, thinner or smoother. Women especially, tend to put weight, often with accompanying cellulite, on their hips, bottom and thigh areas.

Before menopause, many women’s bodies store excess fat predominantly in this area, creating what’s called the ‘pear-shaped’ body. It may be that we inherited ‘fat storing’ genes from our ancestors who stored fat in order to get through lean times.

Women with higher-than-normal levels of the female hormone oestrogen tend to not only store fat in these areas more readily, they also get accompanying cellulite more easily. As well as directing extra calories to fat cells in your thighs, oestrogen weakens connective tissue, causing cellulite to form. The situation is exacerbated by fluid retention and poor blood circulation in the thigh area.

What can we do to lose fat from the hip and thigh area and reduce cellulite?

Firstly, exercise. Exercising daily helps to normalise hormonal levels, which helps prevent cellulite. Exercising also increases blood circulation to the thighs, keeping the connective tissue healthy. Exercise helps you lose fat too, and when you have less in your hips and thighs, you have less to press against connective tissue.

A healthy diet is equally important. Try to eat balanced meals every time you eat, while reducing or eliminating where possible processed foods, foods high in saturated fat and sugar, as well as excess alcohol and caffeine.

There are a myriad of confusing diets out there, but the healthiest diet is one filled with unprocessed fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and some lean meat and dairy. Portion control is also key to maintaining an optimal weight.

While diet has a stronger effect on weight loss than physical activity does, exercise has a stronger effect in preventing weight regain. Full-body workouts, such as bike riding or swimming, burn a lot of calories, and are relatively safe for your joints if you have joint pain or injury.

If you do nothing else, walk. Walking also has minimal impact on the joints. Find a walking buddy and off you go.

Sleeping enough can also assist weight loss. When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, you tend to want to eat more and don’t get full as easily. This is because we produce a hormone called ghrelin when we don’t get enough sleep, which stimulates appetite, while levels of leptin, a hormone that tells your brain when you are full, is reduced.

While dieting will not cause weight loss in any one particular area, there are many targeted exercises you can do to strengthen and tone the muscles in your thighs. These include squats and lunges – with or without dumbbells, single raised leg circles, squats using an exercise ball against a wall and isometric contraction exercises for your inner and outer thighs.

What if we have dieted, are a healthy weight, exercise daily and still cannot shift that stubborn cellulite?

Fortunately, there is another option to consider that has been proven to reduce thigh fat and cellulite as well as fat on other areas of the body that may be hard to shift.

A non-medical procedure called Med Contour (VaserShape in the USA) is a computerised system that uses ultrasound waves to reduce fat as well as cellulite. In a non-invasive and painless way, Med Contour emits a double beam of low frequency modulated ultrasound waves (20 – 60 kHz) which break the adipose (fat) cells and starts a metabolic process that uses the body’s natural elimination system to remove the fat from those cells.

Consistent results have been shown not only for thigh fat and cellulite, but for treatment of the abdomen and other regions including the calves, thighs, buttocks, arms and back.

Med Contour consistently tightens the skin and shrinks the areas treated when the client is well hydrated before and during the treatment. Improvements tend to be seen after four to 10 treatments in each region, with the sessions typically about a week apart.

Med Contour has been evaluated alongside other non-invasive body contouring devices including Cool Sculpting, Bipolar Radiofrequency and Infrared Light.

The study treated one side of the body with half of the manufacturers recommended treatment levels and the opposite side with a different product. The study analysed skin tightening, circumferential reduction, overall patient experience, patient pain and tissue depth reduction.

After the study was completed, the following conclusions in regards to Med Contour were made:

  • Treats body tissues more deeply than other alternatives.
  • Greater reduction in depth of the deep fat layer.
  • Affects a larger volume of fatty tissue.
  • Skin tightening observed.
  • Immediate results, no resurgence of fat once removed.
  • Circumferential reduction observed with one treatment.
  • All body areas, except the face and neck, can be treated.
  • Most patient satisfaction and comfort of all devices studied.
  • No complications noted.

As with all treatments, professional medical advice should be sought before undertaking any procedures. For confidential information and advice on any cosmetic or women’s health subject, phone Dr Kathy Gallagher on 07 3262 7642 or email: info@shineclinic.com.

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