Belfast Telegraph

Flab to fab: Mum who struggled to get waistline back after baby hails new weight-loss treatment

Helen Carson puts the clinic's weight and skincare products to test... and vouches for the results

Angela Hunter (blond on the right) opened Cinch Clinic after losing inches thanks to cryo treatments with business partner Nicola McIlhagger
Angela Hunter (blond on the right) opened Cinch Clinic after losing inches thanks to cryo treatments with business partner Nicola McIlhagger
Gemma Garrett wearing her Clinch corset - Angela Hunter cinch feature
"Cinch has helped maintain my figure in my fifties - Pamela Ballantine"

A Holywood mum who struggled to lose weight after her second child was born has brought treatments favoured by the A-list here.

And if your New Year's resolutions are beginning to flag, Cinch Clinic in Co Down could give you some much-needed motivation thanks to its clinically-proven treatments.

Whether it's glowing skin like Kylie Minogue, or a sexy silhouette like Jennifer Aniston or Khloe Kardashian, the Holywood beauty haven offers a cocktail of high-tech treatments which don't involve going under the knife.

Clinic co-owner Angela Hunter struggled to shift some post-baby weight five years ago after her daughter Heidi was born, but was determined to find an effective treatment which was instant and lasted.

"The clinic was basically the result of my inability to lose weight after my youngest was born," says the mum of two young children.

"Many women find they have that pouch of weight on their stomach which they just can't shift, whether that's after childbirth or a result of the menopause."

A firm advocate of healthy eating and exercise, Angela wanted something to kickstart her weight loss when she discovered the fat-busting, inch-zapping benefits of treatments such as laser lipo, cryolipolysis and cryotherapy.

"I looked like I'd lost a stone after cryotherapy - which treats the exposed area to a liquid nitrogen vapour, crystalising the fat cells," she adds. "I lost six inches from my waist - then I wanted to see what it could do for my thighs and arms."

Angela was so impressed with the results of the non-invasive treatment, which is also pain-free and requires no downtime afterwards, she researched the market.

Then, just over a year later, she teamed up with business partner Nicola McIlhagger and they opened Cinch Clinic. "Having struggled to lose the post-baby weight, I wanted to provide treatments for other women. Getting back in to shape shouldn't be that hard. What we do is help people feel better," says Angela.

And the mum-of-two knew she was onto something when a bride and her mum visited the clinic recently. "The bride-to-be was upset because her wedding dress was too tight," she adds.

"Her mum wanted to lose some weight too. After treatments she needed her dress taken in and the suit her mum was going to wear was also too big."

While the clinic offers Botox and fillers, the most sought-after treatments are the non-invasive ones such as the Kylie facial - a procedure the Aussie songstress opted for rather than having face-freezing injections.

While the 'Ten Years Younger Kylie Facial' uses radiofrequency and is collagen boosting, another option is Frotox, which taps into the cryo techniques to tighten the skin, fill in fine lines and reduce wrinkles.

"Frotox is the new Botox," says Angela, whose clients love the results.

And just like the glamorous stars who turn to Cryolipolysis to maintain their svelte figures, Angela says the treatments are a perfect fit for those who want to manage their weight alongside a healthy lifestyle.

Frotox Facial by Laura Maguire, therapist
Frotox Facial by Laura Maguire, therapist

While many come to the clinic before a wedding or special occasion, others just want to get healthy. "We have men and women coming here of all ages," she says. "A 60-year-old man wanted to get healthy and reduce his waistline. He was happy with results and said everyone should come here."

But there doesn't have to be a red letter day event in your calendar to benefit as Angela explains: "Cryolipolysis is perfect for those who want to get off the starting blocks and back into fitness after Christmas."

The clinic has a post-treatment care list with some healthy eating recipes - simple, fresh, home-cooked food - and advises drinking two litres of water a day, avoiding alcohol for three days and getting half an hour of daily exercise.

Angela says: "Water is the life-blood of every cell in your body. Drink at least two litres every day."

And it's essential to the Cryolipolysis process. She explains: "The fat cells that you are destroying through the treatment are flushed out through the lymphatic system and the urinary tract."

Upping your H2O is also important for organ function, in particular fat-burning, as well as keeping energy levels high.

Meanwhile, banning the booze for up to three months and swapping your usual cuppa for green tea are all a recipe for getting a fabulous figure.

Now even celebrities know body-boosting treatments are the first step to a life-changing, healthy living plan, which includes those all-important sensible changes such as eating well and leading an active life. Angela invited me to try some of the treatments for myself, which included the Cryolipolysis to cinch in my waist and the Ten Years Younger Kylie Facial.

After a quick assessment with the usual health questions, there is a tick list of what you want to achieve from the treatments, creating a bespoke package.

Nicola McIlhagger (with Gemma Garrett, the face of Cinch Corsets)
Nicola McIlhagger (with Gemma Garrett, the face of Cinch Corsets)

The questionnaire also establishes what can be achieved, how many treatments are required as well as a commitment to a healthier lifestyle to get you en route to the body beautiful.

At 52, I was more than happy to be treated to the facial which is applied with a roller device as well as the clinic's organic skincare range to sate my parched skin.

My therapist spotted that I was dehydrated which was having a detrimental effect on my skin as well as making me feel sluggish and tired.

Meanwhile, the Cryolipolsis treatment targeted my less than flat tummy. Measuring before and after revealed a three-inch loss to my waist after the 40-minute session.

As someone who fell off the regular exercise wagon a few months before Christmas, the treatments were just the tonic for geeing me into action. Having seen the results it made committing to an alcohol-free regime seem worth it.

The results are impressive but the biggest change is feeling energised and motivated again to get back to exercising, drinking more water and eating well after the seasonal binge.

And getting back to a weekend run has also helped shift the January blues - as well as those unwelcome pounds. The clinic also offers waist-training corsets which are beloved by the Kardashians. Again, the body-shaping underwear helps cultivate an hourglass body alongside some simple lifestyle changes.

Northern Ireland beauty queen Gemma Garrett is a fan and believes waist training keeps her enviable figure looking sensational.

Many of the treatments are on offer this month and can be tailored to you after a full assessment.

Angela says: "Because most people feel the pinch financially after Christmas we have a payment plan, so those who may want to try out treatments can do so at an affordable price."

This might be just the pick-me-up to help shirk off the January blues.

Cinch Clinic, 39 High Street, Holywood, tel: 028 9099 5388 or visit

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