Four Ways to Remove Tummy Fat

One of the most common questions we get about cosmetic surgery is “What is the best way to remove tummy fat?” But there isn’t an easy answer. The truth is that it’s different for everyone. Fortunately, there are many different ways you can effectively slim down your waistline, including diet and exercise, CoolSculpting, liposuction and tummy tuck.

Diet and Exercise

If you’re reading this, chances are you already tried diet and exercise. Research suggests that eating certain foods, and avoiding others, can help you lose belly fat and avoid packing it on in the first place. Here are a few tips:

  • Avoid sugar
  • Eat more protein
  • Cut carbs
  • Eat more fiber

Keep in mind that not all exercise programs are created equally when it comes to removing belly fat. Aerobic exercise – activities that get your heart pumping, like running, swimming, walking or biking – are more effective at burning belly fat. Some studies even suggest that crunches and other abdominal workouts won’t help you lose belly fat, even though they can strengthen stomach muscles.

Another great reason to commit to good nutrition and an active lifestyle: Patients that eat healthy and exercise regularly tend to be happier with the results of their body contouring surgery.

Procedures that Remove Tummy Fat

There are surgical and non-surgical treatments that can help you get rid of belly fat. The most common procedures include CoolSculpting, liposuction and tummy tuck.


CoolSculpting, is a nonsurgical cryolipolosis (cold therapy) procedure that freezes the fat in targeted areas. Fat is more sensitive to freezing than other areas of the body, such as your skin, blood vessels and nerves. The fat will die and is naturally removed by your body over time. Nearby skin and nerves, on the other hand, recover completely.

It’s important to keep in mind that CoolSculpting does not tighten your skin. It’s best suited for younger patients with firm skin, and on small or moderate target areas. Treatments only take about an hour for each site, and don’t require anesthesia. Patients are typically able to return to normal activity immediately. More than one treatment is usually required to get full effect to an area.


The most common surgical treatment to remove tummy fat is liposuction. Liposuction is very effective in reducing fat deposits, but doesn’t significantly tighten skin. It is more aggressive than CoolSculpting at reducing fatty deposits.

There are many types of liposuction:

  • SAL (suction assisted lipectomy)
  • UAL (ultrasound assisted lipectomy)
  • PAL (power assisted liposuction)
  • LAL (laser assisted liposuction)

Studies show that liposuction results are similar regardless of the type of technology used. Your surgeon will work closely with you to determine which option will help you best meet your goals.

The incisions for liposuction are very small, typically a quarter inch each or smaller, and recovery is generally fast. Liposuction can be done under either local anesthesia or general anesthesia, depending on the areas to be treated, the amount to be removed and the surgeon and patient preferences.

Tummy Tuck

Tummy tucks are also be very effectively at removing stubborn belly fat, particularly for patients that:

  • Have children
  • Are older
  • Have experienced significant weight fluctuations

A tummy tuck is also sometimes referred to as an abdominoplasty. It combines the power of fat removal with skin tightening. Fat can be removed by direct excision, liposuction or both. Sometimes, surgeons are also able to tighten stomach muscles during a tummy tuck. However, this procedure does leave a longer scar (though it can usually be hidden by underwear or bathing suit bottoms).

Thanks to recent advancements in pain control, it’s now easier than ever to go through than in the past. Recovery from a tummy tuck averages about three weeks, depending on the site and the amount of fat removed.

Emory Aesthetic Center

If you can’t seem to shake that stubborn tummy fat and are looking for the best way to slim down waist, our expert plastic surgeons can help. Emory Aesthetic Center offers a wide range of non-surgical and surgical procedures. Contact us today and we can help you find the right solution for you.

About Felmont Eaves III, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Felmont F. Eaves III, M.D., F.A.C.S., leads the Emory Aesthetic Center as Medical Director. He is double board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Eaves’ leadership is apparent in his impressive accumulation of distinctions. He serves as Director of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the board that certifies plastic surgeons nationally. Previously, he served as President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery; he is currently a Trustee.

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