Some women will go to extremes to try and lose weight. For two women, that meant using the newest product in the battle against the bulge—a tongue patch.
Both women who have had difficulties fighting their food cravings and, as a result, are overweight, had a patch surgically stitched to their tongue which inflicts pain on them if they attempt to eat food. Liquids are fine, but any morsel of food they put in their mouth and try to eat will bring about pain and discomfort.
Is this a realistic weight loss tool or just a quick money-making scheme feeding off of the insecurities and lack of self-control that many women deal with each day?
The Tongue Patch’s Origin
A Beverly Hill surgeon, Dr. Nikolas Chugay, came up with the tongue patch back in 2009. The procedure takes only ten minutes, costs $2000 and involves surgically stitching a patch to the tongue using six stiches.
If someone with the tongue patch tries to eat solid food, the sutures make it extremely painful which means they cannot eat. The only they are able to consume is a liquid diet throughout the day which amounts to only eight hundred calories—also developed by Dr. Chugay.
Dr. Chugay believes that this thirty-day patch can be the jumping off point for people who want to lose weight. If they lose a decent amount of weight in the month and learn that they can control their urges and defy bingeing, then they can continue this for the long haul after the patch is removed. He believes it is about changing people’s behaviours and patterns.
Video courtesy of ABCNews
Obviously, this method of weight loss has its pros and cons. Both women did lose weight in the thirty days—one lost twenty-three pounds while the other lost eighteen pounds. Those are some impressive numbers in only one month’s time.
The other positive is that it did make the women look at food differently and help them fight cravings. Even when they attempted to give in to just one bite of popcorn or something else, they experienced pain and realized it was not worth it—much the same way people on diets who exercise and eat right realize it is not worth caving in to temptation and undoing all of their hard work.
The tongue patch is not the only part of the process. The women were required to exercise at least forty-five minutes a day. Once the patch was removed, they still needed to maintain a strict diet for another month (the boot camp diet as it is referred to) and then they are counselled on how to maintain their newfound thinness through a proper diet. There is an effort to help people continue on the road of living healthy and losing weight even after the patch is removed.
On the flip side, there is a lot wrong with this type of weight loss. Inflicting pain on someone just because they are eating is extreme—even inhumane. The procedure, while short, is expensive. Plus, there is the liquid diet and the after maintenance as well which most likely costs more. The tongue patch has not been approved by the FDA and there is no word yet on if it will be approved any time soon. Data supporting this research claims that subjects keep the weight off for eight months which is not much of a long-term strategy for permanent weight loss. Even the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery is hesitant to publish any data from these procedures because it deems it insufficient.
Should You Try the Tongue Patch?
The tongue patch does work, but for the short-term. If you quickly (and desperately) want to lose weight fast, this will certainly accomplish that goal. You may even manage to keep the weight off for an extended period of time after it is removed.
However, this is considered an extreme method of weight loss and is not suitable for everyone. Those with existing health conditions, for example, may not be able to live on an eight-hundred calorie, liquid-only diet for one month. At the same time, you need to ask yourself if you could deal with the pain that you will feel even if you try to sneak one tiny bite of food into your mouth.
If you cannot, this is definitely going to be a very miserable month for you—aside from the moodiness and grumpiness that usually accompanies having the tongue patch. But if you can live with pain, hunger and mood swings, and manage the hefty price tag, you can certainly give it a try.
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