No matter where your approach to pre-wedding diet and exercise places you on the spectrum between bridezilla and bridechilla, it's safe to say every bride-to-be has her own set of problem areas that make getting in shape for the Big Day not exactly stress-free. And while there are plenty of healthy, accessible ways to achieve your best look, sometimes a girl needs a little extra help...
So when we heard acclaimed New York City dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman was debuting a next-generation technology in skin tightening and toning, we jumped at the chance to test it out. The noninvasive body-shaping treatment uses the BTL Vanquish ME, a device that emits radio frequencies to send targeted heat under the skin's surface and kill fat cells deep within.
"In comparison to other treatments on the market, BTL Vanquish ME works on both soft, pinchable fat and harder, firmer fat because the machine has a large spot-treatment area to 'melt' it away," Dr. Engleman explains. "Once the fat cells are destroyed and eliminated from the body, they're gone forever, meaning the results are permanent."
Sound too good to be true? Well, I decided to put Vanquish to the test, and here's how it went down: Over a period of six 30 to 45 minute treatments I basically sat around and let the machine do its work. That's right, all you have to do is sit there while the fan-like device is placed over top of the targeted body part, be it your stomach and love handles, upper back, or thighs. (The machine doesn't actually touch the skin, as it can get quite hot, but rather hovers a few inches above it.) The experience is actually quite soothing, and since you can't use a cell phone during treatment — as cellular radio frequencies can interfere with the machine — it's actually a perfect way to decompress and meditate to rid yourself of any pre-wedding stress.
After the third time, I started noticing that my lower abdomen had slimmed out a bit, especially when we combined each treatment with 15 minutes using another gadget called the BTL Cellutone. This device looks like an oversize pen with a flat metal disk on the end that a technician moves across the treated area to provide an oscillating massage therapy (fancy term for "it basically slaps you like a rubber band a hundred times"). The goal is to increase blood supply for better lymphatic drainage, improved elimination of fat cells, and overall smoother results, which definitely took effect a few months after completing my sixth treatment.
Like all noninvasive therapies, the Vanquish isn't a fool-proof miracle worker, but, as Dr. Engelman explains, you'll achieve maximum efficacy when you maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and drink a ton of water during the two days before and after each treatment. "This isn't a ticket to binge! But it gives you that extra boost to get rid of that stubborn fat," she says.
So while "get perfect bod" shouldn't be on your wedding to-do list, it's good to know well-heeled docs like Dr. Engelman can come to the rescue in a pinch. She recommends planning out four to six treatments at least six months before the wedding, but if you find yourself sweating it out every day to no avail, "It's possible to fit in as many as four treatments one to two months before the Big Day, as long as your schedule allows for last-minute appointments!" she says.
Trust us, we'll make time.
Cost varies by physician, but prices usually run $500 to $750 per session.