Let’s not mince words here. Anyone who undergoes a painful tongue procedure to lose weight is an idiot – especially when they could have just as easily lost the weight by simply following the prescribed post-surgical routine.
A little back story is in order.
ABC News recently profiled two young women who each willingly had a hard plastic mesh patch sewn into their tongue… just so that they could each lose 20 pounds!
Their surgeon charged them $2,000 for the 10-minute procedure – and then the girls were instructed to follow an 800-calorie-a-day liquid diet for a maximum of 30 days. They were also instructed to exercise for 45 minutes a day.
Any healthy person who wants to lose weight can do so by eating eat a prudent and balanced diet—one that involves real food. Add 45 minutes of daily exercise to the mix and just about anyone will lose weight steadily – without resorting to an invasive and possibly life-threatening procedure.
Does this not remind you of other fad diets of yore?
Cosmetic dentists still advertise wiring jaws shut to prevent the consumption of solid foods. They also manufacture removable retainers that prevent eating.
The feeding tube diet was all the rage last year. Brides-to-be desiring to dump “a quick 20” before walking down the aisle opted for a feeding tube that was inserted into their nose and snaked into their stomach. Nourishment was liquid from a can. These poor women walked around with this tube sticking out of their nose. They were sustained by a meager 800 calories a day – nourishment that was fed directly into their stomach through the tube.
Of course, feeding tubes were invented to prevent extremely sick people who are unable to eat from starving to death. That’s what makes this “intervention” so bizarre.
Interviewed for forbes.com, Dr. David L. Katz, founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center noted, “Why not medically controlled anaphylaxis for weight loss? Why not a medically induced coma/anesthesia for weight loss? There is truly no limit to our weight-loss idiocy, and the willingness of the unscrupulous to capitalize on it.”
There is no end to greed or stupidity. Idiocy reigns again.
Dr. Rob Huizenga, veteran weight loss physician and expert on The Biggest Loser, expressed this diet lunacy well to an interviewer from 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."
A tongue-patch doctor said that not only did he think it’s “not unhealthy,” but he thinks that it’s a “pattern interrupt” – one that becomes a behavioral modification tool.
Behavioral modification is meant to be a thoughtful strategy to identify why and when you overeat, so you can then take deliberate and healthy steps to change those behaviors. Most savvy dieters understand that they didn’t become overweight in a month; it takes time to put that weight on.
The way to lose weight wisely is to modify what you’re eating in a healthy way, so that you don’t feel deprived or uncomfortable. You should be able to maintain energy and vitality as you whittle away the stored fat.
Losing 1-2 pounds weekly has been shown to have a better shot at permanent weight loss. By taking the time to learn to eat differently and healthier, you’re just about guaranteed to make your weight loss last for a lifetime.
Susan Burke March is Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator, who as eDiet's Chief Nutritionist promotes the dietary health and well being of consumers worldwide.