If you’ve left it a little late to fit into that bikini, breathe – there could still be a solution, in treatments that promise to tone and slim in as little time as your lunch hour. Question is, do they work? Charmaine Yabsley finds out.

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Thinkstock
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Slendertone System Abs?

How does it work?

Using Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) which pulsates through the ‘belt’ you wear for 30 minutes a day, it promises to mimic the body’s natural muscle movements. Signals are sent from the pad, which then switch on the nerves that control your muscles so they contract naturally.

You can increase the intensity – and are encouraged to do so every week – for better results. At first, the tingling sensation can feel uncomfortable, yet it’s strangely addictive as you feel your stomach becoming stronger and flatter.


What does it promise?

Slendertone promises to increase ab endurance by 100 per cent, and ab strength by 58 per cent. More impressively, your waist will shrink by 3.5cm.

How many sessions will I need?

Around six weeks of daily 30-minute sessions.

What the expert says:

“This doesn’t work immediately,” says personal trainer Edwina Griffin. “You need to do this continually to see any difference. But for the amount of money and energy you’re putting into this, you’d be better off doing some crunches and exercise yourself.”

Cost: $299
Contact details: Visit www.slendertone.com.au or call
(02) 9939 0200

HYPOXI?

How does it work?
Loved by celebrities like Robbie Williams, Cheryl Cole and Madonna, this magic machine promises weight loss and reduction in cellulite. Heaven-sent for those who want to lose weight but can’t be bothered with the gym.

You lie in a vacuum chamber, wearing a strange, balloon-like skirt, cycling for 30 minutes (sorry, there is some exercise involved), while your metabolism and circulation is stimulated. A drawback is that you won’t be able to eat carbs for three hours before or after your sessions.

You’ll also need to exercise regularly and cut down your meal sizes. Plus, no chocolate, chips, coffee or soft drink. And definitely no alcohol.

What does it promise?

According to their press notes, you’ll lose three times more weight than with a standard exercise program.

How many sessions will I need?

30 minute sessions three times a week for four weeks.

What the expert says:
“There may be some good results with this, as they’re giving you good nutritional and fitness results,” says Griffin.

"But you’ll get this result, if not a better one, if you focus on yourself and your own goals, and your belief to achieve a weight loss goal," she says. "Anything that's an artificial stimulation is not as good as doing it yourself. Why not empower yourself rather than allowing a machine to do a workout for you?"

Cost: $69 per session. 12 sessions are recommended.
Contact details: www.hypoxi.com.au or call 1300 497 694.

POSE?

How does it work?
A hand-held device for you to use in the comfort of your own home, it can help reduce the appearance of cellulite and firm the abs, bum, waist, thighs and even those bingo wings.

You apply TriPollar Preparation Gel to the area you wish to tone, check the setting, and begin massaging the skin in circular motions. The skin is heated gently through the radio frequency technology, which then stimulates activity that will make it appear smoother, more elastic and toned.

What does it promise?
Official literature claims the device reduces visible cellulite by heating and instantly shrinking fat cells. Extra collagen fibre production is said to also result in greater contouring.

How many sessions will I need?
You’ll need to use the device two to three times a week, for four to six weeks.

What the expert says:
“Massage is good for cellulite, although it won’t make it completely disappear,” says Accredited Practising Dietitian Kate diPrima. “You can also achieve similar results with a clean diet, clear of toxins, regular exercise and skin brushing.”

Cost: $499
Contact details: www.stopandpose.com.au or call 1800 22 83 93.

FAT CAVITATION?

How does it work?

Using a low-frequency ultrasound, your fat is virtually ‘vibrated’ away. It’s non-invasive and promises results similar to liposuction, although obviously not as long-lasting. It works by placing an ultrasound onto the area to be treated, which helps to break up the fat. You’ll need to follow a low-calorie diet and drink at least two litres of water before and after the treatment.

What does it promise?
You can lose around a dress size.

How many sessions will I need?

Depending on your needs, around two to five sessions.

What the expert says

“This is an expensive way to lose weight – although it may be useful if you’re especially overweight. However, you’ll still need to exercise and follow a strict diet, otherwise the weight will pile back on,” says Griffin.

Cost: From $230 per session.
Contact details: www.ultrasoniccavitation.com.au

ENDERMOLOGIE WEIGHT LOSS TREATMENT?

How does it work?
Endermologie is a specialised weight loss treatment that works by applying a small hand-held treatment head with motorised suction and rollers to the area. You’ll don a full-length body stocking while the suction and rollers work over the entire body, concentrating on problem areas. It promises to break down fat and speed up your metabolism. If you’re bloated or complain of fluid retention, then this is for you.

What does it promise?
Twice weekly sessions will help shave around 6cm from your body.

How many sessions will I need?

A course of at least 10 is recommended.

What the expert says:
“This can help to alleviate bloating, as does any form of lymphatic drainage massage,” says DiPrima. “Of course, as with any form of losing weight and keeping it off, you’ll need to address your exercise and diet program for ways to change your habits for the better.”

Cost: From $120 to $150 per session.
Contact details: www.amtlaser.com.au or call 1300 257020.

TRY THIS!

“Exercise and diets work,” says Edwina Griffin. “Empower yourself to lose the weight and you’ll revel in your success.” A recent study found that just 20 minutes of exercise a day helps to add years to your life, as well as shift weight and improve all-over toning. Griffin suggests the following 20-minute workout, which involves cardio, as well as weight training.

“You want the cardio to burn the body’s fat, plus for general health. You want the weight training to increase your resting metabolic rate and to tone you up,” she says. “Head to the park for a great upper and lower body workout,” she advises. “On alternate days, do visualisation and goal orientated workouts,” she says. “Sit in the park and connect with nature. Or do a yoga class.”

Lower body
Squats: 2 sets of 30
Lunges: 2 sets of 15
Single leg squats (support your foot on a bench): 2 sets of 12 on each leg

Upper body
Narrow grip pushups: 2 sets of 10
Tricep dips: 2 sets of 20
Upright rows with a stretchy band or weight: 2 sets of 20
Plank: Hold for 60 seconds, or work your way up to this level