The shocking fact is that around 95 percent of people who lose more than two stone (about 28 pounds) will gain back all that extra weight within the space of five years. It’s something that has been known since the first weight loss trials in the US in the late 1950s, and the sober statistics haven’t changed all that much in over seventy years.
But now we’ve got a new weapon in the fight against the bulge: technology. Can it help us melt our love handles and get back in shape?
Ultrasound Fat Melting
For a while now scientists have been asking themselves whether ultrasound could be used to kill fat cells. Recently, a company that offers fat-burning ultrasound therapy started offering just that, and it got approved by the FDA, nothing short of miraculous.
Ultrasound melting occurs across three different sessions over a 10 to 14 day period. Clinics offering it will grab your fat, either from your belly or your thighs, make it into a sort of rectangular butter-like shape and then tape it up so that it stays in a neatly formed bulge. At that point, they begin applying the ultrasound therapy, designed to loosen the fat cells so that they can be more easily burned by the body during exercise. Women who have used the treatment say that they notice their stomachs getting flatter within a few days.
Fitness apps have been all the rage, thanks to the fact that they record your exercise efforts and count your calories. But there’s just been one problem: as passive apps, they’re not exactly motivating.
This is the problem with robots and apps: they aren’t really able to get us motivated in the same way that a person would. But thanks to an app developed by a symptom checker website, that might be about the change. The people behind the app realized that nothing was stopping real doctors and patients communicating over an app. The app is a little bit like the Uber of the medical world, connecting patients to their doctors and allowing their physicians to do things that algorithms can’t, like give advice and encouragement. It is hoped that having a doctor in your pocket will make dieting more successful in the future.
Scientists from the University of Southern California have suggested that it might be possible for people to live on a diet of endless fatty foods, like ice cream and cookies, if they can turn off certain genes. The basic idea is that it’s not what we eat, but how our genes interact with the food that we eat, that makes us fat. Scientists are suggesting that if those fat genes can somehow be switched off, then people will be able to eat practically whatever they want without ever putting on any weight.
One of these genes is called the SKN-1 gene. Researchers think that this is the gene that causes fat to be such a problem and makes it difficult for humans to metabolize in a healthy way. Pharmaceutical companies are already looking at drugs that could target this gene, turn it off and allow the body to repair its own cells as well as keep the fat off.