About "fat melting" cellulite treatments & creams, and other lies...

"The ........... (fill in the dots with your favourite gimmick) melts the fat which is then naturally removed from the body via the kidneys"

Claims about effortless fat-melting treatments and creams are everywhere: on web articles, in newspaper pieces, on magazine reviews, in blogs and in company brochures. Several providers of anti-cellulite treatments (typically laser, acoustic wave and similar treatments) as well as producers of "anti-cellulite trainers", corsets, underwear and jeans, claim that these treatments/products can “melt the fat", which is consequently "naturally expelled" from the body, through the kidneys or liver. This cannot be further from the truth, as any biologist or doctor knows. Emphasis is placed on the phrases "melt the fat" and "naturally expelled", which do not make any sense, as we will see below.


Cellulite fat tissue can not “melt” with any treatment, "serum" or fancy pants - and fat itself does not need to melt, it is already in liquid form in the body

The reality is that the cellulite adipose (fat) tissue cannot "melt" with any treatment - surgical or non-surgical. Period. Such a treatment does not exist. Neither any anti-cellulite “serum”, lotion or cream can melt cellulite fat tissue instantly in order to “remove 49% of your cellulite in 7.5 minutes” or similar time. No anti-cellulite serum "melts" cellulite fat, or any kind of fat, neither in 10 minutes nor in 10 years. Neither of course fat tissue melts with tights that contain caffeine in their fabric or because of anti-cellulite pants that “emit far infrared rays that melt the fat which is then disposed by the body naturally”. These claims are so absurd that they sound like they came out of a comedy sketch. Yet the sad thing is that a large proportion of women believe in them.

I specifically used the term “fat tissue” in the above three paragraphs to avoid mistaking “fat tissue” for “actual fat stored in the fat tissue”. The actual fat stored in fat tissue does not have to be melt because it is already in liquid form in the body (referred to as "lipid" droplets in scientific literature). So even in that respect, the “fat melting” claims are a fraud.


Putting things in perspective

The truth is that some treatments (only a small proportion of the large number of radiofrequency and ultrasound treatments available) do damage a certain proportion of cellulite fat cells, with fat from those damaged fat cells spilling in the nearby tissues. This process is called adipolysis. The same treatments can also stimulate the cellulite fat cells to release fat into the intercellular spaces. A small minority of highly concentrated anti-cellulite creams can also stimulate that process, which is known as lipolysis (most cellulite creams contain so little in the way of active ingredients that almost no lipolysis occurs when you use them).


What happens to fat that is released by fat cells?

The fat released and “spilled” into the tissues by either the lipolytic action of treatments or creams, or by the adipolytic action of (a small proportion of) cellulite treatments, has then to be taken up by the lymphatic system and transported onto the liver, muscles and other tissues where it has to oxidised ("burned") for energy.

Unless that fat gets burned for energy in the muscles, liver and other organs, it will end up being re-absorbed and stored in some fat cells somewhere else in the body. For fat to be burned for energy, the body has to be in a calorie deficit mode (less calories consumed than being burned for energy). Only a calorie deficit arising from more exercise and less eating can ensure that the released cellulite fat will be burned for energy and it will not return into the fat cells.


Fat can not be expelled by the body - it can only "burned" by diet and exercise

In summary, under no circumstances fat melts and then gets urinated or defecated away by the body, as many brochures, websites and misleading magazine/newspaper articles would have the public believe. Fat is not some kind of unwanted wind that the body has to "expel". For the body, fat is a valuable fuel source that can only be eliminated if it is oxidised for energy.

The reason cellulite treatment providers/product manufacturers make these claims is to mislead women into thinking that they do not need to diet or exercise, and that all they have to do is pay a small fortune for a convenient, "non-invasive lunchtime fat removal procedure".

So the next time you read about a treatment, cream or special garments that "melts the fat", you know that whoever makes that claim are lying, so stay well clear of them. Fat can be reduced, released, and then oxidised by the body, with a good treatment / cream in combination with diet and exercise. But it can not be melted and the urinated or otherwise "expelled away naturally from the body".