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The Bakewell tart that can help you keep slim… and other bizarre gadgets involving weight loss
NHS doctors have been trialling a 1,500 electronic talking plate in the fight against child obesity. The device, called a Mandometer, monitors the amount of food leaving the plate and tells those who shovel their meals to eat more slowly. The results of the study, at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, have shown promise.
And last month electronics giant LG announced its latest offering – a fridge that tells you what to eat. Welcome to the wonderful world of 21st Century weight-loss gadgets.
High-tech developments that claim to aid weight loss are all the rage. But how effective are they
The tart that talks: Push it and it will try to discourage you from eating treats
Here Zoe Harcombe, nutritionist and author of The Obesity Epidemic, assesses whether they will help burn pounds, or just a hole in your pocket…
CALORIE BURNING HOT-PANTS
WHAT Zaggora HotPants are cycling-style shorts made from neoprene worn under clothes, ideally for 30 minutes a day while exercising. ‘Bio-ceramic’ technology causes them to reflect body heat, increasing perspiration by up to 80 per cent, promoting deep warming of tissue and breakdown of fat cells. The harder you work, the more effective they are as sweating helps burn calories.
HOW MUCH 44.99, zaggora.com
ZOE’S VERDICT: You are going to temporarily lose weight through water but it’ll go back on as soon as you start drinking again. Skin may look smoother temporarily. The exercise would have the most benefit.
TALKING BAKEWELL TART
WHAT Deter yourself from treats with this fridge magnet shaped as a cherry Bakewell. When you feel the urge for a calorie-laden treat, just push the magnet and listen to one of five diet-boosting phrases. Phrases include: ‘Naughty pickers wear big knickers’, ‘A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips’ and ‘Those who indulge, bulge’.
HOW MUCH 5.95 from gadgets. co.uk/item
ZOE’S VERDICT: Research has shown you’re less likely to give in to cravings for sugary or fatty snacks if someone is encouraging you to go without. It’s better not to have rubbish in the fridge in the first place.
The CACI quantum body Treatment aims to tone and give measurable inch loss
THE HUNGER BLOCKER
WHAT Hunger is the enemy of the committed dieter. The FoodWatcher generates safe electrical impulses that have been developed to block nerve impulses from the hypothalamus, the brain’s control centre, and therefore curb hunger pangs for up to four hours. Users insert ear pieces into the ear canal 30 minutes before a meal or whenever they feel hungry and turn on for a maximum of ten minutes per session. Use twice a day.
HOW MUCH 75, themicrocurrentsite.co.uk
ZOE’S VERDICT: This is based on a device developed for pain relief, but I’m not aware that microcurrent therapy has any effect on hunger or weight loss. You shouldn’t feel hungry if you’re dieting properly. There are plenty of healthy foods to help you lose weight and fill you up.
FAT MELTING BELT
The Rio Sauna belt is an electronically powered belt made from a sweat-proof material that heats gently
WHAT The Rio Sauna Belt, above, is an electronically powered belt made from a sweat-proof material that heats gently, causing water loss. Manufacturers claim it ‘melts away fat’ to produce a slimming effect. Used long-term, it may help with more lasting weight loss and improve circulation and decrease muscle and joint pain.
HOW MUCH 34.99, currys.co.uk
ZOE’S VERDICT: You may see some short-term relief from bloating and perhaps have a flat stomach for a few hours. Nothing is going to melt your fat, as breaking fat down is a metabolic process. If you’re doing exercise as well, you will get some weight loss benefit.
WHAT The CACI Quantum Body Treatment, above, aims to tone and give measurable inch loss. Pads are placed over muscle groups and as the electric current passes through them, they are forced to contract, pulling upwards as they do so. A 20-minute stomach treatment is the equivalent of 300 sit-ups.
HOW MUCH From 40, www. caci-international.co.uk
ZOE’S VERDICT: You may see a little muscle toning. Even if you notice a tiny difference, it may spur you to start exercising and cut out junk food.