What's the one problem area on your body that you just can't seem to shrink - let's be honest, we all have one.
Whether it's sagging arms, a bulging waist or those infamous love handles, these unsightly areas are so difficult to get control of that they drive us to give up on our exercise routine and just grab a burger. As long as human beings have been exercising, we've been searching for an easy way to "spot reduce" these fat deposits.
Now, scientists may have finally answered our prayers with a wearable patch that shrinks fat wherever you apply it on your body. Yes, it's really that simple. The miracle patch was developed by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina.
The "one simple trick" it uses to help you lose weight relies on an unexpected helper: baby fat. Babies are born with a high concentration of "brown fat," which actually burns fat to keep them warm. As we age, that healthy brown fat turns into chunkier "white fat," which has less health benefits.
The patch "browns" white fat using microscopic needles - we're talking really small, like 400 times thinner than a human hair, so don't get squeamish - and specifically targets whatever part of your body you place it on.
And scientists have already seen some very effective results from the patch's first test...
So far the patch has only been used on lab rats, but if the effect on humans is comparable this could be a big deal.
The mice wore a medicated patch on one side of their body and an empty "dummy" patch on the other side. In just a week the spot reducing patch shrunk their fat by 20%. It also lowered their blood glucose levels, which means this could be a promising treatment for diabetes patients.
It will be a while before we can get our hands on these patches, but until then here are a few proven ways to "brown" your body's white fat the same way the patch would:
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat healthy food, but also eat regularly by sticking to a meal schedule.
- Eat foods that contain ursolic acid (apples, cranberries, prunes) which improves your metabolism.
- Improve your body's melatonin production by eating foods like fish, almonds and cardamom. This will promote a healthy sleep cycle.
There are also a handful of treatments on the market right now that promise to brown your fat, but they all involve taking pills or getting injections. They also usually have nasty side effects, like bone fractures and weight gain. I guess we'll just have to wait until the patch is on the market!
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