People are always hoping there is a miracle “cure” to weight loss, and the latest solution to conquer willpower is forced suffering.
It’s possible now to get a doctor to sew a patch onto your tongue that makes it too painful to eat solid food. The patch is a piece of marlex mesh that’s often used for hernia repair, and is worn for a maximum of one month. Some patients have dropped as much as 30 pounds over the course of the month, and they’re supposed to work closely on a diet regimen with a nutritionist afterwards.
“We wanted to offer patients something effective without resorting to the risks of invasive surgery,” says Nikolas Chugay, the L.A. doctor who started the practice in 2009. He also says his patients see the procedure as a “last result.” Patients are placed on an 800-calories liquid meal plan and are supposed to engage in 45 minutes of exercise daily.
Besides not being able to eat solid food at all, patients can have trouble speaking, and even sleeping, because of the discomfort. Dr. Chugay says that the extreme measures help “jump-start” a long-term weight loss and maintenance program, but other weight loss professionals disagree.
Weight loss specialist Dr. Rob Huizenga, who has worked as an expert on The Biggest Loser for years, has major concerns. “I think it’s a barbaric procedure,” he told ABC News. “This is so primitive an approach. You could hire somebody to hold a gun to your head and threaten to shoot you every time you eat. You could have somebody with a hammer hit you over the head every time you threaten to have something to eat.”
As for the theory that the tongue patch “jump-starts” weight loss or a lifestyle change, Dr. Huizenga doesn’t believe that’s true. “There’s not one scintilla of hope or evidence that putting a patch on your tongue and not being able to eat for a month is going to have any effect on you at one year, or two years or three years,” he said.
What’s so crazy about this is that you could technically eat non-chunky milkshakes while wearing the tongue patch and end up gaining weight.