After our Christmas and New Year indulgences, it’s no wonder that many of us embark on a health kick to achieve the body we have always wanted. In fact, a recent survey found that health topped the list for New Year resolutions, with 28% of respondents planning to start using that gym membership or reset their gut health with a detox.
The stomach is a common body concern as even slim men and women can find it challenging to tone up their mid-section particularly as we get older – the dreaded ‘midlife spread’! This is not just a cosmetic concern: fat accumulating around our middle is a predicator of serious health issues such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure.
At Karidis Clinic, we take your health and wellbeing very seriously and we’re always looking for ways to support our patients on their cosmetic surgery journey. We found Professor Tim Spector’s recent appearance on The Diary of a CEO podcast fascinating and learned we needed to love our gut microbes and that calorie counting is complete nonsense!
Professor Tim Spector described his Aha! moment when he realised everything we’ve believed about nutrition for the last 100 years was wrong. Studying identical twins, he discovered their only difference was their gut microbiome – explaining why they could suffer from different diseases or die at very different times.
“The microbiome is a community of gut microbes that co-exist in lower intestine and colon. I think of them as an incredible pharmacy pumping out chemicals all the time which are vital for our body when they are fed the right foods. These chemicals are key to our immune system – most of which is in our gut and help us fight ageing, cancer, infections and allergies. Microbes can also produce chemicals that affect the brain and make the difference between you feeling sad or happy.”
As well as playing an essential role in your overall health and wellbeing, new research has shown that gut microbes can also influence how much visceral, aka belly fat, you have. Researchers at King’s College London identified two gut microbes in particular – Prevotella copri and Blastocystis – which were associated with better blood sugar control and lower levels of belly fat.
Are your hormones making you gain belly fat?
In the survey of New Year resolutions, it was not surprising that 34% of females prioritised health which is 11% higher than the number of men who will be attempting to turn over a new leaf. Hormonal changes during the menopause can make losing weight or even maintaining an ideal body weight more challenging for women as we get older.
At Karidis Clinic, we work closely with leading nutritionist Kim Pearson and refer patients to her that are keen to adopt healthier lifestyle changes in support of their cosmetic surgery journey. She explains how hormonal changes both can contribute to weight gain and where it accumulates:
“Changes in hormone levels can also impact fat distribution (where on the body we store fat can change). The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a large observational study that followed women throughout perimenopause, found that women gained abdominal fat and lost muscle mass. Various studies have shown a link between abdominal weight gain and the menopause. This is a concern for many of our menopausal clients.
“Reducing abdominal ‘belly’ fat often becomes an increasing priority for women at this time in their life.”
Along with other nutritional changes, Kim focuses on your blood sugar balance. “If you are looking to achieve menopause weight loss, stabilising your blood sugar levels is vital. Reducing your carbohydrate intake and focussing on moderate amounts of whole food carbohydrate sources is key.
“Fluctuating blood sugar levels can cause a rollercoaster effect of sugar highs and crashes, causing weight gain, energy dips, poor concentration and can lead to disease or health conditions. For example, type two diabetes is an issue of blood sugar dysregulation and often results from a poor diet.
“On the other hand, stabilised blood sugar levels ensure consistent energy and concentration and help manage our weight and stay healthy. If you want to target menopause weight loss and optimise health at this time, we find that a nutrient dense, low carbohydrate diet is effective for many women.”
How we can help
If you’re looking for extra help after adopting healthier lifestyle choices, we offer a range of procedures that can improve the appearance of the stomach.
Build muscle with EMSCULPT
A toned, taut tummy is the ultimate goal for many of us when we want to lose weight and get fit. Cardio and aerobic exercise that burns calories both during and long after your workout are great for improving your overall health as well as being good for weight loss.
However, it’s not possible to guarantee that belly fat goes first or at all as we are all genetically predisposed to hold fat in certain places. This is when certain treatments can be effective in combination with a healthy diet and exercise routine.
EMSCULPT® NEO is an innovative, non-invasive approach to body sculpting and can be used on the buttocks, arms, calves, and thighs, but the most popular treatment area is the abdomen.
EMSCULPT® uses HIFEM (High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic) technology to produce high-intensity muscle contractions meant to simulate the effects of 20,000 sit-ups in 30 minutes. The tissue is forced to remodel, which in turn sculpts your body as muscle beings to build. At the same time, radiofrequency energy is delivered into the target area, encouraging fat cells to be eliminated and overlying skin to be tightened.
Studies have shown that it can increase muscle density by 16% and reduces fat by 19% and you should see positive results from two to four weeks after your sessions which will continue to improve over the following weeks. EMSCULPT® is a fantastic way to kickstart or supplement your workout programme.
Remove fat permanently with CoolSculpting
When diet and exercise have failed to achieve the results you’re hoping for, you may want to consider CoolSculpting® to permanently and effective eliminate stubborn fat deposits on the abdomen.
CoolSculpting® employs a unique technology called cryolipolysis. It was discovered that fat cells could be frozen and destroyed without damaging the surrounding tissue so controlled cooling is delivered into the target area. The fat cells are crystallised and broken up and then overtime your body naturally eliminated the dead cells. Studies have shown that CoolSculpting® can reduce the fat cells in the treatment area by up to 27% after six months.
Although the fat cells removed during CoolSculpting® are permanently eliminated and can’t ‘grow back’, it is still possible to gain weight so it’s essential you’re committed to a healthy diet and exercise routine to maintain your results.
Tighten up stomach muscles with a tummy tuck
A protruding stomach is often not just the result of too much indulgence. After pregnancy, weight fluctuations and even just because of the ageing process, the stomach muscles start to weaken and become lax, making it impossible to tone up the tummy.
For these patients, non-surgical treatments will often fail to deliver the results they want, and an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is the only solution. During the procedure, your Karidis Clinic surgeon will make an incision across the pubic area, from hip bone to hip bone. They will then be able to access the length of the abdominal wall, tightening up the stomach muscles and stitching them into place.
This acts as an internal corset, flattening the abdominal profile and narrowing the waist, for a more youthful, sculpted appearance. The skin is then redraped to the new contour and excess skin is removed. Liposuction is often combined with a tummy tuck to remove any stubborn fat deposits to achieve the optimal results. At our London clinic, we can also offer a mini abdominoplasty which targets your lower abdomen, instead of the whole stomach area.
To find out if the body contouring treatments we offer will achieve the results you’re hoping for, call 0207 432 8727 to arrange a consultation.