How come it’s so easy to gain weight but so hard to lose it? How can liposuction help?

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When we intake an abundance of calories, we put on weight. Our bodies have been developed through millions of years of evolution to do this, where calories were rare in the days of our early ancestors, so it was important to hold onto every little bit of excess energy to maximize our chance of survival.

Inside our bodies, through a series of biochemical processes, the first that happens is that our body coverts the excess energy and stores it in the form of oil within our fat cells, called adipocytes. Unlike normal cells found elsewhere in the body, adipocytes are a specialized type of cells where >95% of the cell volume can be a large droplet of oil. Therefore, the first thing that happens when we eat in excess is the adipocyte getting larger. Well, how big can adipocytes get? Normal cells in the body are typically smaller than 10µm in size, but in contrast, an adipocyte can reach sizes as large as 150-200 µm in diameter! Once they reach their full capacity to store fat in the form of oil droplets within their cell body, your body begins to create more “capacity” to store fat.

In order to understand how this works, we need to understand how adipose tissue is organized. At the base level are adipocytes (100-150 µm; not individually distinguishable to the naked eye), which are organized into lobules (10-50 cells), which are in turn, organized into pearls (mm in size). On a more macroscopic scale, pearls are organized into sections and then compartments.

As the adipocytes start to fill up with oil, the cells start to compress against each other in the very tight space of a lobule. This sends a signal to the body to produce more space to house more cells, which can in turn, take up more oil. To do so, the body uses a slew of signaling molecules and cause the vast stores of stems cells in your adipose tissue to start dividing and differentiating into different cell types, like the fibroblasts that make up the connective tissue regions of adipose tissue, but also preadipocytes – cells that will eventually mature into adipocytes, to create that additional storage capacity. As new compartments are created and new cells fill them, your body’s capacity to store fat has now permanently increased.

Now let’s pretend you come to a sudden realization that you’ve let yourself go for too long and you need to start living a healthier lifestyle and lose weight, so you start dieting and working out. What’s the first thing that happens? Just like during weight gain, the first thing affected is the adipocytes – they start losing oil and shrink in size, freeing up space in the compartments within which they are stored. So, you do this for a week, and in a moment of weakness, you let yourself go and eat in excess. Suddenly, your week of hard work is gone. Why did you gain the weight back so easily? Well, unlike in weight gain, where additional compartments were created to store more energy, you never lost that capacity to store fat. It takes a long time of dieting and exercise, on the order of months, where you keep the weight off, before you body realizes, “hey, maybe I don’t need all this storage capacity”, and starts remolding your body to eliminate the excess.

It is for this reason that liposuction is so effective. Liposuction is a procedure that will reduce your body’s capacity to store fat by actually removing the adipocytes your body created. In fact, liposuction is actually most popular among people who are typically considered ‘skinny’, because it’s almost impossible to lose that “last little bit” of body fat”. So this begs the question, is liposuction a permanent cure to weight loss? The answer is, unfortunately, NO! Because if you start overeating and your body experiences an abundance in calories, it will start making adipocytes and adipocyte compartments all over again to store all that delicious delicious calories!

We at Cellmyx have been working for over 20 years to bring doctors the latest and greatest in liposuction tools and devices, from cannulas, to cannisters, to power-assisted liposuction systems like our AcquiCell™, so that they can use these tools to help you eliminate your stubborn body fat.