What exactly is stubborn fat?

At Dundrum Clinic we’re often asked about stubborn fat, so we thought we’d break it down in a blog. Here’s all you need to know about those unwanted pockets of fat around your body.

The definition of stubborn fat

Stubborn fat (sometimes called visceral fat) refers to areas of fat on your body that you just can’t seem to shift. They’re difficult to get rid of because they’re more resistant to traditional weight loss methods (such as diet or exercise) than normal.

So why is that? Well, the main reason comes down to alpha and beta receptors. Every cell in your body has receptors attached to them, which tell them what to do. Alpha-2 receptors tell your cells to stop burning fat. Beta-2 receptors do the opposite – they encourage weight burning. Stubborn fat cells simply have more alpha-2 receptors than normal, which slows down the process of burning fat.

The reason why some people have more stubborn fat than others comes down to genetics. Some people are simply born with more stubborn fat cells (with more alpha-2 receptors) than others.

Where you’ll most often find stubborn fat

Where you’ll find these hard-to-shift fat cells on your body depends on your gender.

Men will most often find pockets of stubborn fat around their abdomen. Later in life, it may start to appear around their chin too.

Women will most often find pockets of stubborn fat in their thighs, buttocks and arms. It’s also commonly found around the abdomen.

But it’s worth pointing out that you could find stubborn fat anywhere on your body. For some people, it may all congregate in one part of your body. Others may get smaller pockets across several areas of their body.

Is it anything to worry about?

In the vast majority of cases, no. Stubborn fat is primarily a cosmetic issue rather than a health issue. As long as you maintain a balanced diet and exercise regularly, you should be able to keep stubborn fat (and any potential health issues) under wraps.

How to get rid of it

You’ve got a few different treatment options to get rid of that unwanted fat. As we mentioned, traditional forms of weight loss such as diet and exercise may not be enough to shift it. In that case, you might want to consider cosmetic treatments.

Before we go ahead, we want to point out that weight loss jabs (such as Wegovy or Ozempic) are not suitable treatments for stubborn fat. They are only prescribed to clinically-obese patients who have a BMI of 30 or more. They work by reducing food cravings and regulating appetite – not by targeting isolated pockets of fat.

CoolSculpting is one of the most popular treatments for stubborn fat. It works by freezing the target cells in your body, which then shrink over time and reduce the appearance of fat on your body. Clinical studies have shown it reduces the target area of fat by an average of 20-25%.

Instead of freezing the unwanted fat cells, BTL Vanquish Me works by using a contactless applicator to gently warm them. The end results are slightly better on average than CoolSculpting, with a 29% average reduction in the thickness of the fat layer. Additionally, Vanquish Me can target larger areas of fat in one go. And because it’s a contactless treatment, it’s considered less painful than CoolSculpting.

You may also consider fat dissolving injections. These work by injecting a small vial of Sodium Deoxycholate into the target area of fat. Once your body has absorbed this substance, it triggers a natural chemical reaction. It means that over time, your body will break down this unwanted fat.

Whether or not you decide to pursue cosmetic treatments, you should always remember that they’re not a substitute for a balanced diet and regular exercise. To see long-lasting effects from these treatments, they should always be done in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.

If you’d like to learn more about our treatments to remove stubborn fat, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.