If you follow me on twitter you might’ve heard I had an i-Lipo session earlier today. It sparked a bit of a flurry in that everyone had loads of questions and this is where I hope to answer them.
In a nutshell, i-Lipo is a brand of laser lipo. It involves strapping pads to your jiggly bits so they can emit a low-level laser into your fat cells. This laser makes them more permeable so the fat can transfer through the cell wall into the surrounding tissues. Once this is done, you’ll immediately see a loss in centimetres BUT you still need to do 30 minutes of cardio as soon as possible after your treatment to ensure that the ‘liquidized’ fat gets burned up and excreted in your pee. (This isn’t the nicest explanation, I know, but I want to make it as simple as possible so you understand the concept.) If you don’t burn it up, it’ll just slip back into your cells and you’ll be back to where you started.
Another way to explain it? Imagine your fat cells like grapes. The laser makes the skin of your ‘grapes’ temporarily porous so the fluid (fat) inside of them can drain out. Your grapes, however, remain intact, so if you continue to go big at the buffet, you’ll fill them up again. It’s pretty much how normal ‘natural’ weight loss occurs; your fat cells don’t disappear, they just get smaller. Because of this, laser lipo is the only type of ‘lipo’ I’d ever consider. I’d be very nervy about going under the knife and having my fat cells permanently sucked out because then, when you put the weight back on, it can’t go back to the spot you treated, just the surrounding areas, which can leave you with a weird-looking contour.
Anyway, as laser lipo’s been performed safely for years outside of SA and performed by thousands of knowledgeable docs, surgeons and aestheticians across the globe, I didn’t hesitate to accept when offered a few i-Lipo sessions at Skin & Body Renewal in the Cape Quarter. I’d also chatted to a host of local beauty editors and bloggers who’ve given it a bash and all of them RAVED about their results. On top of all this, I’d cultivated a merry li’l ‘muffin top’ to give it a run for it’s money…
Every winter I pack on a good 2kgs. Getting rid of it before summer is never an issue. I just cut down on my kilojoule intake and step it up in the gym. Now, however, I’m a bit pressed for time as I’m off to St Tropez slap bang in the middle of next month. Eeek! Thus, I popped off to the clinic wearing the tightest jeans I own; my ‘summer skinny legs’ that I haven’t been able to fit into in months. In fact, they were so tight on me that I couldn’t sit down in them without undoing the zip!
After chatting to the clinic’s doctor (Dr. Bianca Le Feuvre), she ascertained that I was a good candidate for the treatment. (Most people are, but she just wanted to check that I wasn’t pregnant or didn’t have some kind of prohibitive condition.) I then went through to a little room where my therapist, Dourina, took my measurements and snapped a few ‘before’ piccies:
Next, I got to lie down on a table while the laser pads were strapped around my middle.
Dourina then cranked up the machine and that’s how I lay for a good twenty minutes. What did it feel like? Like nothing. Seriously. I didn’t feel a tingle, a change in temperature, nothing… I was, however, given a head and a foot massage which felt AMAZING! .
Afterwards, Dourina whipped out a special attachment to the machine called an Ultra. It felt like a mini Dustbuster on my skin and was used for ten minutes or so to perform a ‘draining massage’. This was to encourage the now liquified fat that was hanging out in my tissue to move towards the lymph glands in my groin. This costs extra and isn’t necessary for your i-Lipo to be effective but it does boost the results so the clinic recommends you spring for it if you want to bump up your fat loss.
Once that was done, I got up and Dourina whipped out the measuring tape. Lo and behold, I’d lost a whopping 4cm around the hips! Niiiice! Still, being a regte skeptic, a part of me couldn’t help but wonder if she wasn’t perhaps just holding the tape measure a little differently… or possibly pulling it a bit tighter than she had beforehand… Because of that, that’s why I’d made a point of wearing those crazy-toit super uncomfy jeans. I wanted to put them back on and see if they fitted any better. And guess what? They did! Not only was I able to pull them on without jumping up and down to get into them (as was the case that morning), they actually slid down a bit to expose my undies! Squeeeaaallll!
I then left the clinic to go do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio (I hit up my exercise bike) as, like I said, you need to burn up the ‘floating fat’ so it gets excreted rather than reabsorb into your fat cells. Afterwards, I drank a whole whopload of water (three glasses) to see if it’s wasn’t perhaps ‘water weight’ that I’d lost and lo and behold, five hours later I’m still sitting pretty in my skinnies!
Anyway, I’m now BEYOND excited to do a few more sessions. I literally lost an amount of weight that would’ve taken me a week with careful diet and exercise in a matter of minutes! In fact, the last time I was this impressed with a cosmetic treatment was when I first had Botox.
Want to give it a bash yourself? I had my treatment at Skin Renewal in the Cape Quarter but there are loads of other salons offering the treatment both in Cape Town and around the country. If you click here, you can find one in your area. Price-wise, Skin Renewal is charging a mere R375 per session. This may vary from salon to salon. On top of the i-Lipo, I also had the Ultra used on me; this was an extra R125.
If you go, or have gone, please feel free to leave a comment. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
P.S. I just had someone ask me ‘how long it lasts’ via twitter. It’s just like with any other type of weight loss; it lasts for as long as you decide to keep it off. If you stick to a kilojoule-controlled diet or simply burn more kilojoules than you eat, you’re going to remain a skinny Minnie. If you decide to run off with your newly slim tum and binge eat McDonalds all day, you’ll start to gain weight once more. The choice is up to you. In short, i-Lipo is a great way to shift a small to medium amount of weight in record time. And, when used in conjunction with a negative calorie deficit diet, you’ll lose weight even faster!