Morning Cup of Vomiting in My Mouth: Laser Fat Removal
It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which people will go to lose fat. Well, actually, let me rephrase that, because we all know that people will do some batshit crazy stuff in an effort to lose bodyfat. So lets try that again: it never ceases to amaze the utter nonsense people will fall for thinking that it will lead to long-term fat loss.
Key phrase: LONG-term fat loss.
On one hand, I can’t say that I blame people for their naivete. I mean, we just don’t move as much as we used to – we sit on our way to work, we sit at work, we sit on our way home from work, and to top it off, if or when we do make it to the gym, we sit even more; regurgitating the same boring, mundane, machine circuits that are so easy a caveman could do.
Or, to be more precise, a zombie could do – cause that’s exactly what most people look like when they “exercise.”
Note: quotations = sarcasm
What’s more, we have government agencies telling us that (refined) carbohydrates should be the main staple of our diets, and that icky stuff – butter, red meat, eggs, fat, or what I like to call REAL food – should be avoided like the plague. The result? Obesity rates have risen steadily state-by-state to the point where as of now, according to the latest CDC statistics, obesity prevalence was 30% of higher in twelve states in 2010, compared to nine states in 2009. In 200, NO states had obesity that high. Houston, we have a problem!
A BIG problem
We have escalors for those who don’t want to walk up stairs. We have 4,785 cable channels at our disposal rather than go for a walk. We have fast food restaurants around every corner. We have kids who would rather text on their phone than play kickball. In short, we’re struggling. Again, it’s hard to put blame on any one person when we live in such an enabling society that encourages us to eat like crap and not move.
On the other hand, though, I come from an old-school train of thought that believes that we need to take a little more accountability for our own actions. Moreover, we need to exhibit at least the slightest bit of intelligence to recognize that some things are just, for lack of a better term, #%**#@! stupid.
The fat loss industry is a billion-dollar-per-year industy. So, to say that there are mega bucks involved would be an understatement. You saw the stats – there are a lot of people out looking to shed some inches, and many of those will spend oodles of money to do so; even if it sounds like it came from the set of Space Odyssey 2001.
Take for example, the latest trend of laser fat removal. I won’t name any names (a simple Google search would suffice), but the basic jist is this:
1. You show up.
2. You’re placed underneath a laser, which is targeted at a specific area on the body: most often the waist, hips, and thighs (your wallet).
3. You then chill for 20-40 minutes. Taking an excerpt from the website I’m looking at right now:
You simply lay in a comfortable, stationary position for twenty minutes at a time, in a relaxed environment, while the cold laser does all of the work. Since the (name omited) uses cold laser technology, you feel nothing during the procedure. You may feel a bit different and lighter as you exit the treatment center due to the bio-stimulation that begins in your body.
4. See what just happened there? A piece of my soul just died reading that. Bio-stimulation? Really?
5. You leave and give everyone a high five.
6. You repeat for three sessions per week, for two weeks.
7. You pay roughly $1600 for treatment.
That’s right, roughly $1600 bones for a treatment that I HIGHLY question. I mean, why not just have people drink some Unicorn tears and save them the hassle?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but fat loss entails a fairly specific response from the body:
1. Mobilization: the body actually needs to be stimulated to release stored triglycerides which first requires us to break down triglycerides into free-fatty acids. The limiting step here is an enzyme called Hormone Sensative Lipase (HSL), which is affected by either insulin and the catecholamines. Not a laser.
2. Transport: when free-fatty acids are in the bloodstream, they then have to be transported away from the fat cell via the blood. It’s a lot more complicated than this obviously (I’m not going into alpha-2 receptors and beta1,2-receptors and how they come into play with regards to stubborn body fat), but again, no laser in the mix.
3. Oxidation: free-fatty acids are then transported into the mitochondria of muscle by carnitine to be used as fuel. No laser there, either.
Did I mention there was no laser involved? There’s no laser involved.
Far be it from me to tell people how to spend their disposable income. If you want to shoot lasers, shoot lasers. But hey, like I said, I’m old fashioned – I’m more interested in helping people develop LONG-TERM behavioral modifcations towards food, and to do anything I can to help them move around more. And move well.
If we spent a little more time changing our behaviors when it comes to food, and I don’t know, getting off the elliptical trainer, we might save ourselves $1600.
Seriously, does anyone know whether or not this laser treatment has ANY ounce of validity?