Can Zeltiq Work for Obese People?

"A Voluptuary" by James Gillray. Courtesy of Library of Congress.
"A Voluptuary" by James Gillray. Courtesy of Library of Congress. | Source
An article promoting Zeltiq from a dermatologist's newsletter.
An article promoting Zeltiq from a dermatologist's newsletter.

Zeltiq freezes away fat — but it's not for everyone

Zeltiq is a relatively new procedure that promises to freeze and destroy unwanted fat cells, offering a guaranteed, non-surgical option for legions of people who want to get rid of fat pockets and bulges.  The Zeltiq procedure was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in September 2010 as an effective and safe way to lose fat, and it has been used in Canada and Europe as a fat eliminator for several years.
This Midas-like promise has gotten Zeltiq a lot of news coverage. As more people hear about the wonders of Zeltiq — You mean I can go into a doctor’s office, spend an hour with my love handle attached to a freezing device without taking any anesthesia, go back to work or about my daily business with no recovery time or side effects and expect to lose 20 percent of the fat in that area after two months’ time?! — more people are hoping that Zeltiq is the answer to woeful years of yo-yo diets and no-no diets.
People who are very heavy in particular may hope that Zeltiq will help them win their battle against fat without having to undergo a drastic procedure like gastric bypass surgery, stomach stapling or liposuction on the one hand, or a joyless, highly restrictive liquid diet like Medifast on the other.
Appealing though it sounds, Zeltiq is not recommended for obese or even overweight people. It can only be performed in a doctor’s office, usually a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, and they will all advise that Zeltiq should only be performed on healthy, active, normal weight people who nevertheless have stubborn pockets of fat they can’t get rid of through diet and exercise. To put it bluntly, Zeltiq is good for a love handle, not a spare tire.
That doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel, it simply means there is no silver bullet. But you never really expected there to a silver bullet, did you?

Lose weight the healthy way

When you are obese, I know that it can seem daunting, if not impossible, to reach a healthy weight. Unfortunately, just as it took time to gain all that weight, so it takes time to lose it. There are no quick fixes. And it is possible for anyone to lose weight through a sensible combination of healthy diet and increased physical activity.
There are many diet programs out there, many with delicious food and ample support, that have effectively helped thousands of people lose weight. The approach on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” clearly works, but how reasonable is that hard-core approach for a normal person living their normal life? My sister managed to lose 100 lbs. using Weight Watchers, a program she had tried and failed at previously, and which she found an excellent weight loss tool and lifestyle system once she was truly committed to losing weight. It took a lot of hard work and exercise, but she did it, and along the way she developed recipes to cook diet-friendly versions of her favorite foods — we’re talking mac and cheese, Thai pork with peanut sauce, creamed spinach and chicken parm.

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