Aesthetics clinics are increasingly incorporating nutritional services into their clinic offering. Kim Pearson highlights nutritional interventions that can work alongside body contouring procedures to optimise treatment results
The non-surgical body contouring market has seen huge growth over recent years with the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons reporting a 43% increase in treatments in 2014.
There are various nutritional strategies designed to compliment non-surgical body contouring treatments—strategies that can work alongside treatments including cryolipolysis, infrared, low level laser, radiofrequency and ultrasound.
Although some of the strategies may also be appropriate for use alongside surgical body contouring it should be noted that there are potential contraindications for certain nutritional supplements and surgery.
Why consider nutrition?
Even when the best body contouring treatments are executed by expert therapists, treatment results can be compromised if a client is consistently consuming a suboptimal diet.
Incorporating nutrition as part of your approach to body fat reduction can not only help to optimise treatment results, it can also set you apart from the many aesthetics clinics in this competitive marketplace. It ensures that you are providing a comprehensive service to the client and has the potential to generate additional revenue.
Collaborating with a nutrition expert
You may choose to collaborate with a qualified nutrition expert enabling you to have a dedicated team member who can advise clients on a range of health and aesthetic concerns. Nutritionists and dieticians are trained to assess the health, diet and lifestyle of an individual and can put together tailored nutrition programmes based on the individual’s needs. However, providing such a service depends on the whole clinic team understanding the benefits of providing a client with nutritional advice and being actively involved in promoting the service.
Providing basic nutrition guidelines
Another option to consider is providing basic nutrition guidelines to work alongside the treatments that you’re delivering. You could develop a fact sheet, advising clients on the key considerations for reducing body fat. These might include macronutrient ratios—so the roles of proteins, fats and carbohydrates—and what forms and proportions they should ideally be consumed in, in order to support the reduction of body fat. You could also highlight the importance of micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) rich foods and considerations like adequate water intake and exercise.
Specific weight loss programmes
A third option is to integrate a specific weight loss programme into your clinic. This approach is more relevant for clients who want to focus on overall body fat loss, rather than clients who are coming wish to just reduce one localised pocket of fat.
One strategy that I recommend to my clients and find to be highly effective, is a weight loss programme called the Protéifine Diet provided by Ysonut Laboratories.
Proteifine is a sophisticated, evidence based protein based diet programme only available through nutritionists and medical doctors. It enables the client to lose body fat but retain their lean muscle mass, due to the optimised protein intake.
One problem with many reduced calorie diets is that protein intake is often compromised. Suboptimal protein intake can lead to a reduction of muscle mass, and when muscle mass is reduced, so is the basal metabolic rate. Reduction in basal metabolic rate can compromise long-term weight maintenance and result in a lifetime of yo-yo dieting.
A protein based diet such as Proteifine also ensures the maintenance of healthy skin structure and function. Our skin is made from collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are proteins, and therefore adequate intake of dietary protein is essential for maintaining healthy skin.
With any dietary approach it’s particularly important to not only consider helping a client achieve their target weight, but also ensuring that they maintain their results long-term. Proteifine provides a nutritional re-education programme, enabling you to educate clients in how to maintain their weight loss for good.
The term “nutraceutical” was coined from “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical” in 1989 by Dr Stephen DeFelice, MD, founder and chairman of the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine. According to DeFelice, a nutraceutical can be defined as, “a food (or part of a food) that provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and/or treatment of a dis-ease”.
Nutraceutical supplements can be used alongside the above-mentioned dietary approaches but can also be used independently alongside body contouring treatments. Some clients may not wish to address their diet in order to optimise their treatment results, for these individuals supplementation can be a useful complementary therapy.
Conjugated linoleic acid
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fat derived from omega 6 present in subtherapeutic levels in beef products, dairy and eggs. It has four primary mechanisms of action: it inhibits lipogenesis—the formation of new fat cells in the liver and the adipose tissue; it increases fat oxidation—promoting the burning of fat for energy; it promotes adipocyte apoptosis—encouraging programmed cell death of adipocytes; and it also supports the preservation of lean muscle mass.
CLA is one of the most well researched nutraceutical supplements for the reduction of body fat. One double-blind, parallel study published in the Journal of Nutrition studied 81 post-menopausal women supplemented with CLA over 16 weeks. Researchers supplemented 5.5 grams of CLA per day versus a placebo of olive oil, and it found that the CLA group had a 4% reduction in total fat mass compared with the control group, and a 7% less lower body fat mass than control.
A 2007 meta-analysis reviewed the results from 18 eligible human trials on the efficacy of CLA in reducing body fat mass. Researchers found that CLA’s effect on body fat reduction was consistent for up to six months, but effects gradually tailed off as it reached the two-year mark. In terms of practical supplementation, the research shows visible results at the eight-week mark, but at the 12-week mark results becomes statistically significant. A dose of 3.2 grams of CLA per day is the optimal dose, preferably spread over three meals. Ysonut produce a CLA supplement that I recommend in clinic. Based on the research, I recommend that clients take two capsules, three times per day, at each main meal for the first month, and then after the first month reduce the dose to one capsule at each main meal.
Thermogenic nutrients are another class of supplements that can be considered for use alongside body contouring treatments. Thermogenesis refers to the production of heat in the human body. Thermogenic nutrients work to increase heat and therefore increase energy expenditure above the basal metabolic rate, so increasing the body’s calorie burning effect. Well researched thermogenic agents include green tea, black tea, capsaicin (taken from the red chilli pepper) guarana and caffeine.
In a study researching the effects of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thai people, 60 subjects consuming a 2000 calorie, typical Thai diet, were enrolled onto the study. At week four versus the placebo the green tea group had lost 2.7kg, at week eight, 5.1kg, and week 12, 3.3kg. No dietary modifications were made demonstrating a significant impact of green tea on weight reduction. Results were believed to be due to the synergistic effect of polyphenols and caffeine present in the green tea.
Ysonut have a thermogenic complex that combines some of the most effective thermogenic nutrients. These include green tea, black tea, guarana and yerba mate as a source of caffeine. These nutrients are combined with chromium and l-carnitine to support blood sugar levels and promote the transport of fat into cells to be utilised as energy. Ysonut
Ysonut understand the needs of medical aesthetics clinics. They provide nutraceutical supplement protocols to work alongside many of the treatments clinics offer. These include protocols to compliment injectable treatments, four protocols for the different grades of cellulite, as well a range of protocols for a variety of aesthetic and health concerns.
Phaseolamin is a natural enzyme present in white beans. It works to inhibit alpha-amylase—an enzyme present in saliva and released from the pancreas into the gastrointestinal tract—which converts starch into glucose. Starch in the diet is converted to glucose, which enters the bloodstream and is then either used for energy immediately, or it’s transported into the muscle cells or the liver cells to be stored. However, if there’s a significant amount of glucose in the bloodstream it’s likely to be stored as fat in the adipocytes leading to weight gain. It is this that we are looking to prevent.
Interesting findings emerged from a recent study conducted on standardised Phaseolamin extract and it’s effect on body composition. The study was carried out on 60 slightly overweight individuals who continued to eat their normal diet. Phaseolamin was supplemented prior to the consumption of carbohydrate-rich meals in order to prevent conversion of starch into glucose and subsequently into body fat. Results showed a reduction in body weight, BMI, body fat mass, and waist, hips and thigh circumference. Phaseolamin supplementation is potentially beneficial to those clients who have a carbohydrate rich diet but who do not wish to make any changes to their diet. Phaseolamin could be an appropriate supplement for client’s to use ad hoc prior to carbohydrate-rich meals. It could be used in scenarios such as eating out or when on holiday in order to prevent weight rebound following treatments.
Since every client is unique, no one approach fits all. It is important to tailor your approach to the individual depending on theirs goals, their commitment and their lifestyle. Consideration of these factors can ensure and the implementation of the right nutritional strategy will ensure clients achieve the results they are coming to you for.
Integrating a nutrition offering into your clinic can ensure you are providing clients with the most comprehensive and results driven approach to body contouring. It enables you to offer a unique service to clients, allowing you to set your clinic apart from competitors. Implemented in the correct way, a sophisticated nutrition service has the potential to generate significant additional revenue for any medical aesthetics clinic.
Kim Pearson qualified in 2008 from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. She works in clinical practice within the medical aesthetics industry and her areas of speciality are weight loss, skin health and healthy ageing.