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New Ways to Burn Off Muffin Top, Lose Love Handles

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American consumers, battling strong headwinds in the labor and housing markets, are understandably more interested right now in spending money on just the basics.

This trend toward a greater appreciation for frugality and thrift has cooled once-red-hot industries: For instance, cosmetic surgery wasn’t as popular in 2009 as it used to be, according to the New York Times.

The number of tummy tucks, face-lifts, breast implant procedures, and other cosmetic plastic surgeries fell by roughly 18% last year.

Interestingly, though, in contrast to surgical procedures, less-expensive non-surgical treatments -- like laser hair removal and Botox injections -- have held relatively steady over the last two years.

Those Americans looking to achieve that aesthetic perfection without the pain and expense of surgery now have two new medical devices at their disposal.

Specifically, the Food and Drug Administration reportedly just approved new devices for “cosmetic body sculpting.”

Erchonia Corp. received approval for the Zerona laser, a device that uses a low-level cooling energy to break down fat cells in the waist, hips, and thighs. Average reduction? Three inches.

The approval follows another new non-invasive procedure which received the FDA’s green-light last week. Medical-device company Zeltig can now begin marketing its so-called CoolSculpting method for reducing "love handles." The procedure reportedly cools unwanted fat cells, resulting in a reduction of fat in targeted areas.

So short on cash but looking for a slimmer waist-line? Here’s the perfect New Normal approach.
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