In Light of New Study Suggesting Men Are Ashamed of Their Body Fat, Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Richard Buckley Comments on Men’s Motivations, Options for Fat Removal

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Researchers in a new study report that it’s often not the desire to build muscle that motivates men to workout at gyms, but rather feelings of fear, guilt and shame about having body fat. MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center’s Medical Director, Dr. Richard Buckley, says men have more cosmetic procedure options than ever before to sculpt their bodies, but their motivations should be based on self-love; not self-loathing.

High definition laser body sculpting by Dr. Richard E. Buckley at MilfordMD.

Before & after photo of male patient after high definition body sculpting procedure performed, while patient was awake at MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center in Milford, PA

The study points out the need to focus on positive feelings of achievement & pride, which would lead to healthier motivations. MilfordMD encourages & educates patients to continue healthy lifestyles and exercise regularly after a body sculpting procedure.

Researchers in a new study report that it’s often not the desire to build muscle that motivates men to workout at gyms, but rather feelings of fear, guilt and shame about having body fat. MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center Medical Director Dr. Richard Buckley says the study’s findings aren’t surprising. In fact, men are more likely than in the past to seek cosmetic procedures, including high definition body sculpting to address areas of fat that plague them despite regular gym attendance.

“This is the first study to examine men’s attitudes about their bodies—looking at their conscious and subconscious motivations for going to the gym, says the Milford, Penn., cosmetic surgeon. “And it sends an important message to men, personal trainers and cosmetic surgeons.” The men responded to statements about body image. Among them: “seeing my reflection makes me feel bad about my body fat and muscularity." And they evaluated statements about their motivation, such as "I feel under pressure to exercise or work out regularly from people I know well."

In the study, published in the September 2016 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, UK researchers studied 100 men’s exercising motivations by having them complete a questionnaire, as well as a second test evaluating their non-conscious motivation. The men in the study were slightly overweight, as measured by a slightly elevated body mass index (BMI). Each claimed to work out for about an hour, two or three times weekly.

More than half of the men - nearly 60 percent - indicated their primary reason for going to the gym or engaging in fitness activity was health and fitness. Only 16 percent said that appearance or amateur body building was their motivation. And only 8 percent of the men listed training or competing as their main focus.

To study the men’s hidden, or subconscious, motivations, researchers had the subjects take an Implicit Association Test, which assesses automatic associations. The test helps to identify how men associate positive and negative feelings about exercising.

The researchers found that men, like women, are impacted by body dissatisfaction and even an obsessive preoccupation with how their bodies appear. The men who were more concerned with body fat were more likely than others to be motivated to work out because of guilt, shame or pressure. These men were also more likely to do spontaneous workout, which tend to be less effective and difficult to sustain.

“There are so many great options, including CoolSculpting, Prolipo and Smartlipo Triplex, for men who want to address stubborn love handles, fatty male breasts and other areas that bug them,” Dr. Buckley says. “This study helps to shed light on an important issue, however. Men’s and women’s cosmetic motivations should be driven by a desire stemming from self-care and self-love; not self-loathing.”

“The researchers call for the need to place more a focus on positive feelings of achievement and pride, which would lead to healthier motivations and lifestyles,” Dr. Buckley says. “This is similar to the goals we have for patients as cosmetic surgeons. Patients who have healthy lifestyles, exercise regularly and are near or at ideal weight make the best candidates for body sculpting procedures. We can really help these men and women achieve their aesthetic goals.”

However, adults who look to address every imperfection and are motivated to achieve what they see as the ideal (often taking that image from social media and the media, in general), may not be good candidates for cosmetic body sculpting or fitness programs. Why? According to Dr. Buckley, they won’t achieve true satisfaction until they change their motivation and learn to like who they are.

About MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center:

The MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center offers state-of-the-art highly specialized procedures in laser and cosmetic surgery and aesthetic skin care. In addition to its extensive laser surgery capabilities, MilfordMD offers physician designed skin care products for home use. Milford Pennsylvania’s MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center is sought out by patients from around the world for expertise and innovation in cosmetic treatments performed by Richard E. Buckley, M.D. and Marina Buckley, M.D.

MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center is located at 303 W. Harford Street, Milford, PA 18337. Tel: (800) 664-1528. For real patient video testimonials, visit our MilfordMD YouTube channel.

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