An Experimental Weight-Loss Procedure Could Completely Eliminate Feelings of Hunger

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Regardless of your body type, dieting is always a challenge. For many, cutting calories often results in pangs of hunger that eventually lead to binge eating, sabotaging any weight-loss efforts we’ve been striving for. However, a new study is giving researchers hope that it might be possible to eliminate those feelings of hunger completely, allowing dieters to remove that temptation to binge eat altogether.

In a small-scale study recently presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology in Los Angeles, researchers tested the idea that freezing the nerve that carries hunger signals from the gut to the brain could possibly stop the body from feeling hungry entirely. The experimental weight-loss procedure was done on 10 participants who all reported a decreased appetite and weight loss after the procedure was performed. 

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The participants in the study were categorized as obese, however, not eligible for gastric bypass surgery. During the procedure, part of the vagus nerve was frozen by inserting a needle into the patient’s back to release a gas that cools the nerve to freezing temperatures and ultimately prohibits it from sending hunger signals to the brain.

Ultimately, everyone in the trial ended up losing weight, with people losing an average of 3.6 percent of their initial body weight and 14 percent of their body mass index with no adverse side effects.

Unfortunately, the procedure isn’t permanent (the nerve fully regrows within eight to 12 months) and a larger study is necessary to ensure this procedure doesn't have any long-term side effects. However, it’s certainly exciting news regarding an alternative approach to weight loss for people who haven't had luck with traditional diet methods. After all, the easier calorie restriction is for people, the easier it'll be to achieve results.