Body contouring devices are all different. Some melt fat. Some freeze it. Some tighten skin, and others affect only the fat underneath. There are devices for muscle stimulation that strengthen and build muscle. Many of these treatments can help you have a sculpted slimmer look. But are body sculpting results permanent? Let’s take a look at each of these effects separately.
Short answer: yes, as long as your weight is stable.
Why? Many devices used for fat reduction are actually able to kill fat cells. This has been a remarkable advance since the first machine to do this came onto the scene around 2010. Since then we have had tools that can heat fat or freeze it, or zap it with a laser or ultrasound, and the fat cells die away.
Those cells release their lipids into the lymph system and the fat eventually is excreted (yes– that means you pee it out!). Adult human beings do not have the ability to grow new fat cells. So any fat cell you kill is never replaced. But what happens if you eat 500 bagels and gain a bunch of weight?
Do you not get fat?
No. The fat cells you do have can grow infinitely large. You will get fat, but only in the places where you still have the fat cells.
Short answer: not without maintenance
Studies of the dominant muscle-building devices, Emsculpt and Emsculpt Neo have shown that the effect on the muscle lasts up to a year. These devices cause very strong contractions, called supramaximal– stronger than your brain can make the muscle do. There are over 20,000 of these supramaximal contractions in each session.
Most people feel they are stronger right away. On average this produces about 25% more muscle. Muscle mass has to be used to be maintained. If you don’t use a muscle at all, it will atrophy over time. But with regular exercise or maintenance sessions, results from Emsculpt can last a long time.
Short answer: non surgical skin tightening results are long-lasting but not permanent
Non-surgical skin tightening is accomplished by building up the collagen and elastin in the skin to thicken and tighten it. Skin tightening for the body is tricky–much more difficult than it is for the face.
Skin on the body tends to be much looser, and it can be hard to tighten enough to really be satisfactory. But any collagen or elastin you do build will last a long time– your body breaks those down at 1-2% each year. As you age, the skin will start to thin again if no maintenance is done.
As you can see, body sculpting results can be very long lasting, with a bit of commitment. Fat loss is permanent, but you must still maintain your weight. Regular exercise is needed to maintain muscle mass. We can’t stop aging, but by staying healthy and active, we can enjoy our bodies for a very long time. To make that last as long as possible: