A weighty issue

If it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body!”

– Cher, singer and actress

Fat man holding a measurement tape against white background

If the “perfect body” was for sale like a new dress, we’d all be rushing to the stores to buy one. Unfortunately, no amount of money can replace a healthy lifestyle or regular exercise regimen. For most people, staying in shape is hard work and making sensible lifestyle choices takes daily commitment. Especially when we get older and our metabolism slows down, it can be a Herculean task to ward off the extra pounds, which always seem to collect around our midriffs.

Besides the natural ageing process, we don’t have to kid ourselves about the causes of weight gain – a sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits. And anyone who’s seen the eye-opening YouTube clip of an ageing cheeseburger, which still looked edible (albeit a bit dried out,) after four years, knows well enough to limit their intake of overly processed foods. (In an experiment, author and obesity activist Julia Havey made this shocking discovery after keeping a cheeseburger, from a well-known fast-food chain, in the same cardboard box she bought it in to see how long it would keep.)


Scientific research has shown that yo-yo dieting doesn’t work. A whopping 95% of all diets fail, and of the small remaining percentage that are successful, a number of the dieters will develop eating disorders, like anorexia. If that’s not enough to put you off dieting for life, consider this alarming fact. To fatten up pigs quickly and cost-effectively, the farming industry first puts the pigs on a calorie-restricted diet and then feeds them again, after which the animals rapidly gain weight without requiring extra rations.

What it boils down to is that yo-yo dieting upsets the body’s delicate biochemical balance and hormonal system. There are no shortcuts. A healthy weight is a reflection of a healthy lifestyle.


It’s not only what you don’t eat but what you do eat that counts. Sometimes a nagging appetite can be mistaken for something else. It could be the body’s way of sending a message to the brain that it lacks certain vitamins or minerals. Cutting down on fatty, sugary and processed foods while increasing your intake of green leafy vegetables and other nutritious foods is the best solution.

Some nutritional experts disagree on whether nutritional supplements and vitamins are the answer. In some cases, these substances may be of great value if the body is seriously depleted of such nutrients. But always exercise caution and be sure to consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist before experimenting on your own, as uncontrolled intake of vitamins and dietary supplements could do your body more harm than good.

The same applies for fat burners, including L-carnetine and omega-3s, products that absorb fat from foods – such as Chitosan and Xenical – plus tablets used to reduce or stop hunger pangs like Glucomannan (a soluble dietary fibre commonly used in Asia). Again, it is advisable to check with your doctor first and only use them in combination with a medically supervised eating plan.


To jump-start a healthier way of life, some may opt for detoxification to flush out toxins from the body and ensure that it performs optimally. Thailand has plenty of places offering detox programmes such as how to prepare matcha, from wellness retreats on beautiful islands where you can sip coconut juice under a palm tree, to health centres throughout Bangkok.


For pesky fat deposits that absolutely refuse to budge no matter what lifestyle changes are implemented, it may be time to bring out the heavy artillery, namely Zeltiq and Zerona Fat Laser Removal.

Considered a breakthrough in body shaping, Zeltiq is a non-invasive “cold” technology first developed at Harvard Medical School. This technique employs cold temperature (SubZero Fat Elimination) to reduce targeted fat cells, enhancing the shape of the body in the process.


Another body contouring procedure to effectively remove excess fat is called Zerona. Essentially all parts of the body where subcutaneous deposits of fat can be found, such as the waist, hip and thigh areas, are treatable with this cold laser treatment. The newly-developed cold laser technology works by emulsifying fat. And within minutes of exposure, fat cells begin to develop transitory pores, allowing the contents to seep out from the fat cells. Once liberated, the contents are naturally expelled through the body over time.

All types of patients can benefit from this procedure – from slim body types with just a single problem area to body types with a few more kilogrammes to lose. Equally exciting is that Zerona has clinically proven to have health benefits; blood circulation is stimulated, triglyceride and cholesterol levels are reduced, and HDL/LDL levels are increased. The number of treatments necessary will vary from patient to patient; generally, best results are obtained when treatment is combined with a sensible eating and exercise plan.

The great advantage of these cold laser procedures is that they are non-invasive. Unlike traditional tumescent liposuction, no surgery is required, thereby avoiding the negative side effects commonly associated with surgery, like surgical pain, bruising, swelling and damage to other tissues. The procedure can be performed right at the doctor’s office and since there’s no downtime, patients can resume their normal activities almost immediately. Both cold laser procedures are FDA approved in Thailand and the US.


A person’s most important asset is his or her health. It’s invaluable and there’s no price tag that covers the cost of enjoying a long and healthy life.