My review of Zerona: The pre-treatment photos, measurements… and paper panties!

paper panties

UPDATE: I’ve concluded that this procedure does not work—my feeling is that any weight loss that people experience comes from the supplement, Curva (NOT the Zerona sessions themselves). To read the full series of posts on my experience, see here: a Q&A with Dr. Mulholland, the pre-treatment measurements and photos, my first two sessions, the mid-treatment measurements, post-treatment measurements and then final measurements. I then started a second round of (six) treatments, but once again did not experience any changes. I believe that LipoSonix sounds more promising.

Let’s get this out of the way first. My first appointment for Zerona—the series of fat-burning laser treatments I’m trialling at SpaMedica in Toronto (if you’re just joining us, read more about it here and here)—involved a pair of these.

Oh yes. And let’s not even TALK about where I got that photo. (Apparently there are sites out there that AUCTION THEM OFF. Unused, I hope. God, people are weird.)

Anyway, don’t let that scare you off. The reason you need to wear them is so that you can get before and after photos taken—a process which is, I’ll admit, not all that pleasant, but necessary nonetheless.

Before that even happens though, you get a more detailed explanation of what the treatments are all about. (At SpaMedica, this is with Tracey Beaudry, director of operations. She tries a lot of this stuff herself, so she can tell you honestly about what the treatment actually involves and feels like.)

Here are a few interesting tidbits that Tracey shared with me:

  • Like Dr. Muholland mentioned the other day, Zerona is for all-over fat loss—not spot treating. If you’re more concerned about one particular area of fat, like your belly, you’d be better off going with something like VelaShape, which is more targeted (but also more painful—Zerona isn’t supposed to hurt at all).
  • You’ll lose PURE FAT. Sounds good, right? Most people, when they lose weight, will initially lose water. With Zerona, we’re talking about losing three to four pounds of fat only. Hurray!
  • For best results, you should take a supplement called Curva, which helps the fat flush itself out of your system. (It’s basically a high dose of niacin, which is totally safe, but may cause a bit of flushing for a few minutes after you take it—just FYI.) Curva is included in the treatment package, so they’ll give you a bottle at your first appointment, and you should start taking it about a week before your treatments start. Note: Curva is optional—it’s got fish oil in it so it’s not suitable for vegans.
  • During the two-week treatment period, you also need to avoid alcohol and fatty foods (sorry) and drink eight glasses of water a day. Also try to get regular exercise—at least two 30-minute sessions per week.
  • Each treatment session is 40 minutes: 20 minutes on your front and 20 minutes on your back. You can talk on the phone, work on your laptop, read or just relax during the sessions. SpaMedica recommends maintenance sessions of Zerona twice a year.

After I got the rundown,  it was time for photos—and the dreaded thong! I had to don it in this room:

zerona treatment room My review of Zerona: The pre treatment photos, measurements... and paper panties!

And that’s where they take photographs of you wearing it (just showing your body from neck to knees). I won’t lie—it’s pretty traumatic, although it’s just you and the medical esthetician in the room, and she’s very discreet. But they’ve gotta do it—they take photos at the beginning and then when you finish all the treatments—so you can see the difference.

After that, you get your measurements taken VERY thoroughly from neck to knees. Also a bit ego-crushing, but they do this at the start, mid-way through and at the end.

So next week I start the actual fat-burning. Stay tuned for the play by play!


Friday, May 7/2010 at 7:04 pm

Thanks for letting us in on your journey. I’m a personal trainer and my clients have asked about this procedure multiple times. I won’t be recommending this treatment because nothing works better for keeping the fat off long-term than rest, eating clean and regular exercise, BUT I’m so happy to educate myself thru your posts. Keep em coming!


Friday, November 23/2012 at 2:23 pm

I have been a trainer as well for MANY years and now. I highly recommend clients that you many have who want to perhaps get a defined ab try this! Althlete’s would get the treatments back to back instead of every other day! It’s pretty cool!


Friday, May 7/2010 at 9:51 pm

So you get to try this out for free? How do I get to become a beauty editor? Can’t wait to hear about your experiences!


Friday, May 7/2010 at 10:13 pm

Oh God! Paper panties! *shocked and appalled* I’m curious to hear how well this works though. I look forward to reading about it. :)


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, May 8/2010 at 10:59 am

Hi Jen – yes, Dr. Mulholland (@ SpaMedica in Toronto) has very generously offered me, along with a few other editors, the treatments free of charge because he believes in Zerona so much. So I’m reviewing here… but honestly, the results should speak for themselves as they’ll be taking my measurements. I will be posting the difference in inches – the tape measure can’t lie!

Re: becoming a beauty editor – that’s a post for another day but I will do something on that soon.


maria padovani
Tuesday, May 11/2010 at 9:22 am

I was just wondering if there are any other spa/clinics that offer this procedure. I live close to Burlington…is there anything like that offered close to this area?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, May 11/2010 at 9:49 am

Hi Maria, you can search for a doctor in your area who does it here:


Thursday, April 21/2011 at 12:02 pm

So how did it all work out in the end?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, April 21/2011 at 1:36 pm

Hi Marianne, see here:
I did do a second round of sessions but also no results, so I can’t recommend it.


Saturday, March 2/2013 at 4:31 pm

When I signed up, they said I was the “perfect candidate”. Not overweight, mid-sized “pooch” for a belly, exercise regularly, ate right. All I had to do was drink more water and wear compression garments. It supposedly isn’t meant for overweight people. I am 49 yr old, 5′ 5″, 129 lb, size 6, but can fit into a size 4 without pooch. All of my waistbands dig into me because of my extended belly and I am strting to buy size 8 just for the waist, but the rest is baggy on me. After 8 sessions and NO LOSS (although when they measure me, I am SURE they will find inches lost somewhere on my last session), they told me my “pooch” “probably isn’t fat, but skin”. What a joke. DON’T waste your money.


Tuesday, March 19/2013 at 6:21 pm

The supplement is just milk thistle and niacin and can cause no weightless by itself. The treatment does work for most people, though 5-15% see no results.
Everyone at the clinic I go to has continued to see amazing results, I’m trying to convince my brother ( an ivy league educated plastic/ craniofacial surgeon ) to invest in one himself. It’s posts like these ( 1 person it not working on then going on to further assume it must not work for everyone then puts in their illinformed opinion on why there may be results ,despite medical journals and scientific study ) that actually hurts the larger population who could benefit.
I feel sorry for the people who are struggling with their weight and are missing out on this non invasive safe treatment. I put weight on due to medication and was working with a trainer and eating plan for months saw no results ( very common when dealing with weight gain as a side effect of medication ). With treatments I saw results after 3rd treatment and continue to see them it’s amazing.


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