Weight Loss Q&A With Dr. Terence Tan, Halley Medical Aesthetics
Type the word “weight” into Google search, and we are likely to get results related to weight loss and weight management. This is hardly surprising as we all want to look and feel good about ourselves. But weight loss or the process of achieving one’s ideal, healthy weight can be a real challenge, and this task is made more difficult — no thanks to the number of tips, opinions, and diet plans tossed around online.
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Q: A lot of people look slim, or they work out a lot. But why is it that they can never get rid of the stubborn fat around their tummy?
Dr. Terence Tan: It’s something that we hear very often, but I am afraid that my answer may disappoint quite a few people. Studies have shown that exercise does not promote spot reduction of fat. That means doing a lot of sit-ups will not lead to the reduction of fat specifically over the tummy.
Q: So the next question people would ask is: why do we even bother with sit-ups?
Well, sit-ups and exercise, in general, are still important as it consumes calories leading to weight loss. It also tones the abdominal muscles, giving it a better shape.
Q: So how do I get rid of the stubborn fat around my tummy?
Dr. Terence Tan: First, focus on weight loss. Nothing beats eating healthy and exercising.
But some people just genetically have more fat over certain areas, like the tummy. This is where medical technology such as fat reduction with CoolSculpting®comes in. This treatment is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it uses cryolipolysis to cool and safely kill fat cells within the treated area.
The premise behind this technology comes from research, which showed that fat cells are more susceptible to cold than other tissues. Scientists discovered that at a certain temperature and at a certain period of time, fat cells would die while the other tissues surrounding it would be unaffected. And since we do not produce new fat cells after the age of five, CoolSculpting can be used to remove unwanted fat cells in problematic areas.
Other than tummy fat, CoolSculpting can be used to treat the love handles behind, outer and inner thighs, back of the thighs, arms, double chin, and armpit fat. It can also be used to treat bra fat in women and in men, their chest or breast fat.
Q: Does drinking beer give us a beer belly? If we cut off our beer consumption, will that help to lose the beer belly?
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Dr. Terence Tan: There is no scientific research that I know of which links drinking beer to having a beer belly. However, beer contains a lot of calories, and people tend to drink many bottles at one go. When you drink a lot of it, you have to make sure you expand the same amount of calories through exercise. When you don’t exercise enough, you put on weight.
Q: People who often work overtime end up eating their dinner very late. This lifestyle causes their weight to balloon. Is there a way to avoid this problem?
Dr. Terence Tan: I hear this problem all the time from my patients. Our competitive, fast-paced environment demands that we spend more time in office nowadays. Eating late tends to make us gain weight, as late night food tends to be unhealthy and high in calories.
What’s more, there is a long time gap between lunch and dinner when one eats late. Many studies have shown that fasting behaviour leads to weight gain rather than weight loss. I believe we even have local studies to support this. This is because when we get too hungry, we generally lose control when we eventually eat.
Losing control makes us choose unhealthy food and gobble down lots of it. A patient once told me that she does not understand why she cannot lose weight. When asked, she says that she skips lunch but has chocolate chip cookies for snack and has a big dinner.
I would say that if a late dinner is necessary, try to have a healthy, low-calorie late tea. I routinely advocate high protein meal replacement shakes for these people. Some shakes are delicious, have high protein content, and works well for people on the go.