How can I optimize my coolsculpting experience? (e.g. hydration level, electrolytic balance, fasting 24 hours prior)

I understand the process works by destroying fat cells in the treated area. I feel like perhaps it would be best to be dehydrated as the cells would be smaller so more could be targeted. I also have heard that on a low-carb diet fat cells shrink because they have to use up their storage of nutrients. Would you want the cells fat and hydrated or smaller and dehydrated for optimal results? (I only expect a theoretical and educated answer from a Dr. , No proof required other then accreditation)

Doctor Answers 7

Optimizing your Coolsculpting results

While hydration levels and short-term fasting will have no impact on your Coolsculpting results you should have an evaluation by a highly skilled technician and follow their suggestions.
Coolsculpting has a proven 20-25% fat reduction of the fat layer contained in the tissue that is able to be drawn into the applicator.
In some cases where a paint presents with more dense, less malleable fatty tissue our expert and national educator for Coolsculpting Jeannel Astarita recommends that a patient lose a few pounds prior to the procedure. The shrinkage of fat cells translates to more "pinchable" fat and allows more tissue to be drawn into the applicator, consequently exposing more fat cells to the cooling panels and to ultimately be destroyed. While this may not be necessary for you to get a good result, it will certainly contribute to an even more favorable outcome. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise ensures that your optimal results last.
Be sure to seek out a highly skilled provider is your area.

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New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Coolsculpting and optimizing results

Coolsculpting is a fabulous procedure to reduce a bulge in the abdomen or flanks.  You definitely should not try to do the procedure on less water or a crash diet since you may feel weak before the procedure.  The fat cells contain lipids and not water so being dehydrated would have no effect on your fat stores.  It is more important to diet and exercise consistently to maintain the great effects you will have from Coolsculpting.  Please find a board certified dermatologist with a great deal of experience with Coolsculpting for the best results.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

No Need to Optimize for CoolSculpting®

Hi, Matthew. Kudos to you for wanting to educate yourself before undergoing CoolSculpting®! Fat cells do not contain a significant amount of water and therefore the patient's level of hydration will not improve the effectiveness of CoolSculpting. Although fat cells do shrink after long-term adherence to a low-carb diet, there is also no evidence that small, lean fat cells are better suited to CoolSculpting than large, "well-fed" cells. At present, there are no known ways to optimize your body for CoolSculpting. Although I don't recommend significantly changing one's dietary habits before the procedure, practicing healthy habits after CoolSculpting helps to keep the remaining fat cells from enlarging and causing weight gain. Ask your physician whether he or she has any pre-treatment instructions you should follow, and good luck with your procedure!

Jody Comstock, MD
Tucson Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

How can I optimize my coolsculpting experience? (e.g. hydration level, electrolytic balance, fasting 24 hours prior)

It is best to maintain your typical diet and lifestyle habits before undergoing a CoolSculpting treatment. Short term dietary changes like fasting have not been shown to increase the effectiveness of CoolSculpting. 

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

CoolSculpting freezes fat cells to reduce fat volume

Fat cells don't engorge nor shrink with water consumption or dehydration as they contain lipids not water. A long history of a low carb diet would decrease one's fat because the fat is used for energy as there are not enough carbohydrates to supply the energy level needed. However, this occurs slowly. It would not make much change in the effectiveness of CoolSculpting whether a fat cell were large or small as the cell contacts once there is less fat in it and so the density of the cells would be the same, and the freezing point, which is critical to the mechanism of action of CoolSculpting, would not change. Certainly, however, it is always better to have CoolSculpting when someone is close to their ideal body weight but wants the stubborn bulge to finally get reduced, compared to those patients who are obese.
We are not aware of any benefit that dietary factors would have shortly before undergoing CoolSculpting in our NYC practice.

The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice. The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Coolsculpting results and diet

I would advise to maintain your typical daily diet so the fat cells are stable.  Coolsculpting is recommended for people who are close to their ideal weight and exercise regularly.  It is not for weight loss.  The fat cells will be destroyed by the freeze whether they are hydrated or not.

Heather Haley, MD
Mobile Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


Coolsculpting is an excellent form of non-invasive  fat reduction for the right patient. Some applicators take 1 or 2 hours but the new advantage applicators take only 35 minutes and have significantly less risk for delayed onset pain (especially in the abdomen). Results are seen at 2 months and typically 1-3 treatments will be necessary on each area to achieve ideal results. The number of treatments depends on the amount of fat there and the patient's goals.  There is not downtime and the results can be impressive in the right patient.  We also use the Zimmer Z-wave for improved patient comfort and added results. The best candidates are those who are in pretty good shape with areas of stubborn fat that won't go away no matter what.

There are no studies showing dehydration will improve your results.

My best,

Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Beverly Hills, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

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.