What makes me thick from the side? (photos)

What can I do to decrease my width from the side? I'm very self-conscious about it. People ask me "when's the baby due" all the time. So many women are small from the side and I don't know why I'm not. I don't have a lot of body fat, so I don't know what's wrong? I've had cool sculpting to my "pooch" but that didn't really change my shape. Please help me and tell me what procedure I can do.

Doctor Answers 14

How to lose body fat

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Sorry to hear about your stubborn fat.  You are not alone.  Millions of Americans have the same problem.  An examination in person with a weight loss specialist or plastic surgeon (if you are considering liposuction) would be the best.  Here are some tips from a book I am writing that may be helpful:

The Ferrari Guide to Maintain Your Body Contouring Results

After performing over 10,000 body contouring procedures, I have sadly noticed that about 15% of my patients go on to gain weight after surgery and therefore lose much of what they gained by having surgery.  This information is provided to help you maintain and hopefully enhance your final body contours.  Bad information is typically what has led most people to gain weight so replacing it with good information is the key to empowering you to take control of your physique.  Here are some basic dietary and exercise tips that should help you.


1)      DRINK ONLY WATER.  Many patients think they are being healthy by drinking diet sodas or fruit juice.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Studies show that people that drink diet sodas gain more weight than those that drink sugary sodas.  Fruit juices give you instant elevation of your blood sugar levels.  The body must combat this by secreting the hormone “insulin”.  The insulin will quickly drive that sugar into your fat cells to bring the blood sugar levels back to normal.  Therefore, fruit juices also make you fat.  So drink just pure water (add lemon or lime juice for flavor if desired).  You should drink enough water that your urine is a very pale yellow color.

2)     AVOID OR SEVERLY LIMIT ALCOHOL.  Alcohol has a TRIPLE WHAMY effect.  First, it is a source of empty sugar calories that get stuffed into your fat cells.  Second, it causes increased uric acid levels which put you in “hibernation” or “fat storing” mode.  Third, it slows down your metabolism so it’s even harder to lose fat.  So, the maximum alcohol you should have is 1 or 2 five ounce drinks per week.

3)     EAT FAT.  One of the myths of dieting is that you should avoid fat.  If you do, your body sends off “famine” hormones that cause you to store more calories in the fat cells.  Be sure to eat modest amounts of the right fats such as olive oil, fish oil, or coconut oil.  Nuts are also a healthy form of fat.  Never eat fried foods.  Eat grass-fed red meat once a week at most.

4)     SHOP THE PERIPHERY OF THE GROCERY STORE.  In other words, avoid buying processed foods typically found in the center aisles as much as possible.  Processed foods have chemicals which your body will try to shuttle away from your vital organs and stuff it into the (you guessed it) fat cells!

5)     FORGET THE WHITE FOODS; GO FOR COLOR.  This means that “white” foods such as bread, rice, pasta, sugar, potatoes, etc are what cause weight gain.  These foods all have a high “glycemic index” and should be avoided. You should eat multiple helpings of colorful veggies and fruit every day (but not bananas). 

6)     EVERY MEAL OR SNACK SHOULD HAVE BALANCED CARBOS, PROTEIN, AND FAT.    If you need detailed instructions on this, please read “The Zone” diet books by Dr. Barry Sears.

7)     CHECK YOUR HORMONES.  If you’re still having problems losing weight, see your doctor to have your thyroid, DHEA, and sex hormone (testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone) levels checked.  If these are sub-optimal, weight loss is extremely difficult.



2)     START WITH RESISTANCE TRAINING.  If you only have 3 hours or less to workout per week, do some resistance training.  If you have more than 3 hours per week, add some cardio workouts.  Resistance training not only burns calories, if increases your metabolism so you continue to burn calories while you sleep and into the next day.  Cardio only burns calories while you are doing the exercises.


4)     MIX IT UP.  Your body has an incredible ability to adapt to your workouts.  You should completely change your workout routine about every 6 weeks.

5)     WORKOUT FOR ONLY 45 – 60 MINUTES.  Working out for over an hour will cause depletion of the glucose (sugar) in your liver which then causes your body to release a hormone called “cortisol”.  Cortisol is also given off in times of stress. Cortisol reduces muscle mass (which is the engine that burns fat) and  causes your body to age faster.  It also leads to weight gain.

6)     CONSIDER HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT).  HIIT involves bursts of all out exercise for 60-90 seconds followed by slow exercise for about a minute; then repeat.  You can try to do this for 6-8 cycles.  HIIT has been shown to greatly increase metabolism and burn fat.  You can find many good workouts on the internet.


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You appear to have some stubborn fat, which should respond well to Vaser ultrasound liposuction or Smart Lipo. You can treat your whole abdomen and sides/flanks for waist definition. Cool Sculpting only treats about 20-25% with each session while liposuction removes the majority in one.

An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon is recommended to discuss your options and expectations.


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 Thank you for your photos and inquiry. Based on these photos it is difficult to say for sure what procedure is right for you but it appears that liposuction will be able to help you achieve the slimmer look "from the side". Liposuction will remove any fatty tissue from your abdominal and flank regions and allow your physician to contour and define the natural curvature of your waist/hips.  A tummy tuck would be another option to if you also had to remove excess skin. It is hard to say for sure from just the photos submitted but I do not think you need an abdominoplasty. Upon consulting a board certified plastic surgeon your skin quality and amount of fatty tissue will be examined. These will be important factors in determining which procedure(s) is right for you. Good luck and best wishes. James Lee

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What makes me thick from the side?

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A component of this is fat.  Some of this may be skin and some may be muscular laxity.  An exam and more history would be necessary to make a recommendation.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Lipo + BBL, some advices:

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Thanks for the question. 

In this regard, I recommend you waist and back Liposculpture, getting better curves especially in the waist, improving your body contour.

Finally, I suggested take the fat we get and transfer to the buttocks and hips, to mold them and get better volume, contour and butt projection, is that we know as "Brazilian Butt Lift" (BBL).

Kind regards 

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 307 reviews

What makes me thick from the side? (photos)

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A front photo and back photo would be helpful, but I suspect that you will be an ideal candidate for liposuction of the lower abdomen and hips. Every surgeon tends to have their own preferred liposuction technique, but in the hands of a skilled surgeon, any of the liposuction techniques will give you an excellent result. Traditional vacuum suction will do just as well as any other liposuction technique using ultrasound, laser, or water jet pressure to remove the fat. It is more important to pick an experienced surgeon than to go to one who espouses a special technique that they perceive is better than the other. 

Tummy Tuck - Liposculture

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It´s my pleasure to answer your question.

You are a candidate for liposculpture where your abdominal fat is going to be mold.


Dr. Aramis Vega

Plastic Surgeon

Aramis Vega, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon


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Thank you for your question. If the thickness is due just to fat you would be a candidate for liposuction. If you've been pregnant before and you have loose skin and loose tummy muscle you would be a candidate for a tummy tuck. You would require a physical exam by a plastic surgeon. I invented the MALIBU tummy tuck and was one of the pioneers for ultrasonic assisted liposuction. For more information please watch the enclosed video and I hope you find this helpful. 

Flank fat or love handles

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Yes it is truly frustrating how our bodies hang on to fat for that rainy day when no food is available.  It is a defense mechanism of your body and very hard to overcome.  Your best option would be liposuction.  Difficult to give you a thorough assessment without a physical exam.  Good luck!


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You have good skin elasticity and not much excess skin.  Liposuction would be a good procedure to reduce the fullness in your waist and lower abdomen.  

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.