The Fastest Way to Lose Weight? Not So Fast

Liposuction isn’t as simple as it may seem.

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Liposuction may not be the answer.

For years, liposuction has been one of the most popular tools for controlling fat. Before-and-after photos trumpet proof of its unmatched ability to quickly shave down saddlebags and trim thunderous thighs. But are these weight loss results permanent? Not exactly, says research from a new University of Colorado study by Drs. Teri L. Hernandez and Robert H. Eckel that was recently published in the journal Obesity.

According to the New York Times article, “With Liposuction, the Belly Finds What the Thighs Lose,” the Colorado study involved a group of non-obese women who received liposuction on “problem areas,” specifically their thighs and lower abdomens. Women in a control group were asked not to undergo lipo, but were promised that they could have the procedure performed at a reduced rate once the study concluded.

Incredibly, in just a year’s time, fat that had been suctioned out came back, but not in the same places. Research with laboratory rodents had similar results: animals that had fat surgically removed gained it back, just not in the same spot.

Ultimately, biology is in the driver’s seat when it comes to fat loss. The body controls both the number of fat cells and the amount and distribution of fat. Says The New York Times, “Scientists have found that fat cells live for only about seven years and that every time a fat cell dies, another is formed to take its place.”

So why does fat relocate? Researchers think the body regenerates fat cells to replace those lost through liposuction. They suspect the migration is due to liposuction’s destruction of “the fishnet structure under the skin where fat cells live.”

Read the full story: “With Liposuction, the Belly Finds What the Thighs Lose.”Source: The New York Times

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest