I can’t sleep. It’s the night before I’m scheduled to get my fat zapped by a Zerona laser, and all I can think about is where the fat will go once the laser has punctured tiny holes in my fat cells, causing their contents to leak out and . . . disappear. But to where exactly? I hope not my chin.
Zerona is a non-invasive laser that essentially melts excess fat in people with typical trouble areas such as love handles or saddlebags. It’s like liposuction—minus the suction, pain, and recovery time. It’s not for the obese, and it’s not permanent unless you exercise and eat right, but the results can be staggering: up to 10 inches in a matter of weeks. Sounds too good to be true? I agree. Although Zerona has been FDA-approved for safety, there’s no scientific proof that it works—yet.
Michael Baza, a fiftysomething with the energy and physique of someone half his age, is the only physician in the state to offer Zerona. He considers it a jump-start—not a quick fix—for someone who is trying to lose weight and has committed to a healthier lifestyle. Before clearing patients for treatment, he uses a full-body x-ray scan to ensure that they have enough muscle to burn the fat that the Zerona will “release.” I’m simultaneously thrilled and dismayed to learn that I have plenty of muscle, and about 30 percent fat—the ideal woman has 25 percent, according to Baza—making me the perfect candidate for Zerona.
At Laser Body Sculpting clinic in Edina, a nurse takes my measurements and photos from several unflattering angles. Then I lie on a table as an octopus-like device emits red laser-beams across my stomach and thighs. I don’t feel a thing. I listen to Enya and flip through a magazine. For fat-melting, it’s pretty anti-climactic.
Over the next two weeks I undergo a total of six treatments. During that time, I must get 40 minutes of cardio a day, drink tons of water, and eat mostly fruits, veggies, and lean protein—measures that help flush out the fat through my body’s natural elimination process (measures, one could argue, that could cause fat-loss without the help of Zerona).
I’m not perfect. I drink some wine. I eat a doughnut. I skip a few workouts. Basically, I don’t do anything differently than usual. But after the fourth treatment, my waist seems trimmer, my ab muscles more defined. Maybe I’m imagining it.
After my last session, I get proof: I’ve lost 1.5 inches in my abdomen, and a total of 4 inches throughout my body. Although I can’t argue with the results, I have no way of knowing what caused them. Maybe I did eat less. Maybe I lost muscle or water weight, not fat. Either way, I’ll take it. And—fingers crossed—I haven’t developed a double chin.
What: Zerona non-invasive body contouring
Where: Laser Body Sculpting, 6545 France Ave. S., Edina,
Time: Six 40-minute sessions
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