Fitness and Weight Loss Can this brain-zapping headset help you lose weight without dieting or exercising?

The inventors claim itll suppress your appetite and rev up your metabolism.

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Always quick with a joke, an Irishman may refer to his hangover as “an inexplicable headache.” He cures it with, naturally, a full Irish breakfast. Think bacon, sausage, black and white pudding, mushrooms, fried tomato, fried eggs, baked beans and soda bread. play

Always quick with a joke, an Irishman may refer to his hangover as “an inexplicable headache.” He cures it with, naturally, a full Irish breakfast. Think bacon, sausage, black and white pudding, mushrooms, fried tomato, fried eggs, baked beans and soda bread.

(Photograph by Getty Images)
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Notice your jeans getting a little tighter? And having some trouble dragging yourself away from seconds and thirds at the dinner table?

If so, there may be an easy way to shed that excess fat fast—without tweaking your diet or spending your free time at the gym. At least, that’s what makers of the headset Modius claim.

The inventors of Modius claim their invention can help you lose weight by decreasing your appetite and increasing your metabolism. In fact, one of the creators claims he reduced his own body fat by 44 percent in just a year.

The device uses low-level electrical impulses delivered directly to your hypothalamus. Although a very small region in your midbrain, the hypothalamus coordinates activity of the pituitary system, which controls body temperature, thirst, hunger, and other activities. Because of that, it’s a frequent target for weight-loss medication development and obesity research, according to Scott Kahan, M.D., M.P.H., director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness, and Chair of the Clinical Committee at the Obesity Society.

“Since a specific area within the hypothalamus is the seat of appetite, being able to stimulate that area could have an impact on weight loss, in theory,” he says.

The challenge comes from transforming theory into action. Modius creators are confident that the headset—designed to be worn for a few hours per week—can prompt your brain to decrease appetite without hunger pangs. But Dr. Kahan is not yet convinced.

He didn’t find any peer-reviewed data on Modius that can back up the claims that developers are making. That doesn’t mean the device is a sham, but it does indicate that there is not sufficient research supplied to convince obesity experts like Dr. Kahan. The developers note that a large study is about to begin, but it will be available for purchase in the meantime.

Plus, another issue is that it doesn’t need to have that scientific backing behind it, as, say, a new weight loss drug would. That’s because Modius is considered a “general wellness device,” which means it can be purchased without a prescription. It also means it doesn’t require the kind of rigorous testing associated with new medications or surgical procedures.

“There are many of these kind of devices, supplements, and herbal remedies that don’t require full FDA approval before making weight-loss claims,” he says. “There’s no burden of proof needed for them to come to market.”

But if you’re up for trying it, there likely aren’t any safety issues to prevent a trial run, Dr. Kahan says. “From what I see, there aren’t dangers that would make me warn patients away from it,” he notes.

One important caveat, though: The device still doesn’t substitute for well-studied, evidence-based approaches like diet modification, And that could be one of its pitfalls.

“An indirect way that things like this device can be harmful is that they may push people away from tried-and-true strategies like dietary shifts,” says Dr. Kahan. “So, I’d say it’s fine to try it if you want, but not as a substitute for those kind of behavior changes.”

In the meantime, here's where you should start if you have a whole lot of weight to lose. brain-zapping headset help you lose weight without dieting or exercising?

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