Burn Fat without Plastic Surgery

5 Exercises That Blast Fat Better than Plastic Surgery

Drop the scalpel. When it comes to keeping off fat for good, there’s a better option

Slim Down Without Surgery

5 Exercises That Blast Fat Better than Plastic Surgery // tummy tuck drawing © Thinkstock

Image: Thinkstock

We live in a country that’s crazy for quick fixes—especially when it comes to losing weight. For many, going under the knife promises the body-shaping results they want sooner rather than later. Last year 1.6 million cosmetic surgical procedures took place in the United States at a cost of about $5.7 billion, according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Blasting fat is one of the most sought after effects: Behind breast augmentation, nose reshaping, and eyelid surgery, liposuction was the fourth most common cosmetic surgical procedure with 203,106 performed in the United States.

Related: Healthy Ways to Look and Feel Younger

The appeal is obvious: Lipo slims you instantly by surgically removing fat cells from your body. But the results aren’t necessarily permanent. A recent study published in the journal Obesity found that generally healthy, nonobese women who underwent small volume liposuction on their thighs and lower abdomen returned to their presurgery body composition in terms of fat mass just 1 year after the procedure. And strangely, the fat redistributed to the upper body, though a slower return of fat was still apparent in the thighs. “What we think may have happened is that the fat cells that remained increased in volume,” says Teri Hernandez, PhD, RN, one of the study’s authors and lead researchers. “Fat mass was restored to the level at which the body perceived it should be.”

There is evidence that suggests that by the time you reach young adulthood—around age 20—you’ve accumulated the number of fat cells you’re going to have for the rest of your life. But the number of fat cells in your body isn’t the sole determinant of your body composition—it’s the size of the cells that matters. “Fat cells seem to have an unlimited capacity for volume,” says Hernandez. If some are removed surgically, the ones that remain can grow to compensate for the loss of fat mass in the body. The only way to shrink fat cells is through diet and exercise.

Find out how you can look better naked!

That’s why no tummy tuck, butt lift, or arm lift is permanent if you don’t have the healthy lifestyle to maintain your new body. “I’ve worked with individuals who have had plastic surgery—or had bariatric surgery and then plastic surgery—and gained the weight back because they never addressed the real problem,” says Chris Powell, CSCS, host of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and author of Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb-Cycle Solution (Hyperion, December 2011). “They wanted instant results, but they didn’t want to truly change their lifestyle,” says Powell.

SEARCH: What is carb cycling?

This workout, created by Powell, will help you slim down sans surgery. The routine is designed to replicate the effects of some of the most popular cosmetic procedures with exercises that target specific trouble zones like your arms, abs, butt, and thighs. “When it comes to creating a natural ‘lift,’ the objective is to utilize resistance-training exercises to develop the size and shape of the muscle, and then use cardio intervals to reduce the layer of fat on top of the muscle,” says Powell. “As the muscle develops and the layer of fat is reduced, it will pull the skin tighter.”

Related: Running to Surgery: What Would Work Best for You

THE WORKOUT

Weeks 1, 2, and 3
Perform the workout 2 days a week
3 sets, 12 repetitions of each exercise
60 seconds of rest between sets
5 Shredders (described in number 6 at left )

Weeks 4, 5, and 6
Perform the workout 2 days a week
4 sets, 12 repetitions of each exercise
60 seconds of rest between sets
6 Shredders

A look back at 10 seasons of Biggest Loser contestants who won big!

Weeks 7, 8, and 9
Perform the workout 3 days a week
5 sets, 12 repetitions of each exercise
60 seconds of rest between sets
7 Shredders

Weeks 10, 11, and 12
Perform the workout 2 days a week
6 sets, 12 repetitions of each exercise
60 seconds of rest between sets
8 Shredders

Receive the best workout tips every week!

Sign up for the Get Fit Newsletter

Yes, I'd like to receive the Get Fit Newsletter
& I agree to the Fitbie Privacy Policy