Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
25 Feb

The Incredible Future of Weight Loss Technology

Cheesy Futuristic Stock PhotoIt’s an exciting time to be alive. I remember reading Douglas Adams and trying to imagine what it’d be like to have all the universe’s knowledge in the palm of your hand – and now almost everyone carries a supercomputer around in their pocket that puts the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to shame. Robotics is getting scarily lifelike, the Singularity draws near if you ask the right people, and Google’s self-driving cars should hit the market in the next decade. Sure, we don’t have hoverboards, flying cars, or android bounty hunters yet, but we’re doing all right. I fully expect to reside inside a VR simulacrum of my design before 2030.

You know what jazzes me up the most, though? The incredible future of weight loss technology. Being an industry “insider,” if you will, I’m privy to all the “interesting” stuff coming down the pipeline. And let me tell you: it will blow your mind. Allow me to give a few hints at what’s coming in the next 10-15 years. Three of them are fake, five are real. Can you guess which is which?

Caffeine-Infused Tights

Every woman out there knows how hard it can be to shed those pesky pounds hanging around on the hips and thighs. Squats and deadlifts don’t do it (they just make you all bulky and overly muscular!). Dieting doesn’t seem to help, either. What you need is a topical substance that increases metabolism and melts away body fat on contact.

When you slip on a pair of Caffeine Tights, the microcapsules of high-potency caffeine woven in between every fiber begin secreting the fat-burning stimulant directly into your skin. Need to squeeze into that wedding dress? Go for a jog, or better yet a sprint followed by an hour in the sauna – the increased heat will speed up the caffeine release and burn up to two inches in a 24-hour period!

Vibra-Fork with Sensorimotor Technology

Eating enough to reach satiety, but not too much, is hard. Forks are literally designed to streamline the delivery of food into our gaping maws. A flick of the wrist and before we know it we’ve got 50 calories down the hatch. The average person can probably manage around 20 forkfuls per minute – far too many for our overworked satiety mechanisms to keep up with. We end up eating far more food than we actually need (or even want, on a physiological level) as a result. The fork is tricky. It cannot be trusted.

So what’s the alternative? Switch to chopsticks, toothpicks, or quarter teaspoons? Remain present as you eat and actively regulate the forkful-per-minute (FPM) rate?

Don’t be silly. In the future, the Vibra-Fork with Sensorimotor Technology will monitor your forking habits in real time and begin vibrating if it exceeds 10 FPM. You can try to ignore the vibrations to maintain your gluttonous pursuits, but the vibrations intensify if you don’t reduce FPM. After-market mods will boost the vigor of the vibrations enough to actually dislodge the food from your fork, administer electric shocks to the sensitive nerves located along your fingers, or secrete bitter taste compounds into the forked food.

Cookie Collar

Cookies are the perfect fusion of sweet and crispy, taste and texture, nostalgia and flavor – which is why they’re the downfall of many a diet plan. But really? Cookies are just emblematic of a larger problem: the collective failure of our willpower. You may not know this, but willpower is a finite resource. We can’t just summon it out of nothing. Every time we decide against that slice of cake, that handful of chips, that crispy gooey salty chocolatey cookie, we dip into our willpower stores. Eventually, inevitably, they run out. And that’s when you find yourself ears deep in a gallon container of cookie dough ice cream wondering how you even got there. What if you could remove the need for personal willpower altogether? What if you could outsource your willpower to a third party?

With the Cookie Collar, you can do exactly that. A couple years ago, I discussed twelve tools a person could use to keep themselves accountable to their health goals and regimens. None of them used actual physical pain as a motivator, though, and that’s where the Cookie Collar comes in. Like an electric shock dog collar, the Cookie Collar trains you to stop eating bad food by giving you a painful jolt. There are two models:

The entry level Cookie Collar requires a “trainer” – an actual person who will monitor your eating habits and administer jolts when necessary. It’s smartphone compatible and comes with a camera, so your trainer can keep tabs on you from afar.

The premium Cookie Collar interfaces with your hypothalamus so that when the automatic response to “eat that cookie” comes down the pipe, the Collar sends a jolt before you can decide to follow through. Earlier models interfaced with the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain where conscious decisions are made, but that wasn’t good enough. We need to inhibit that automatic response if we want to train a person to truly stop eating cookies (or whatever food) and preserve willpower, and Cookie Collar does just that.

Plastic Tongue Mesh

A lot of people claim that overeating is the primary cause of weight gain. I’ll go one step further: eating in the general is the cause and we quite frankly should stop doing it. It is way too easy to put food into your mouth, chew, produce a bunch of saliva rich in digestive enzymes, and swallow. The entire process takes less than ten seconds and self-perpetuates, leading inevitably to obesity.

What if you could just stop eating altogether?

In the future, you’ll be able to do just that. Specialized doctors will implant postage stamp-sized plastic mesh on the surface of your tongue, making the act of eating extremely painful. If you feel you need nutrients, you can insert a feed tube that bypasses the mouth altogether or slurp down specially-formulated high-protein, high-vitamin c, low-calorie, natural mineral-based smoothies that satisfy all caloric, macronutrient, and micronutrient requirements.

Tongue Lamination

What’s the problem with food – the one sensory attribute that makes us salivate it and crave it and overeat it? Flavor. Food simply tastes way too good for us to be trusted with intact tongues replete with working taste receptors. Sure, a few of us can handle flavors without ballooning, but the vast majority of the population cannot.

Tongue Lamination solves this problem with a thin plastic film that coats your tongue. Just place the plastic on your tongue, close your mouth, wait 30 seconds while the plastic melts and shrink wraps around your tongue, and your taste buds will rendered ineffective for a full 24 hours. Without flavor, food loses its luster, and overeating becomes a thing of the past. Look for it at your local big-box store in the near future.

Dinnerware with Fatphobic AI

Forget exercise, reducing carbohydrates, and eliminating sugar. The most time-tested, reliable way to lose weight is subjecting yourself to ample levels of shame and guilt. Unfortunately, it’s tough to get an actual friend or relative to berate you into fat loss. Maybe they’re too nice or you’re too sensitive. Either way, you run the risk of tarnishing an important relationship.

The way research into artificial intelligence has been developing, future AI will actually be able to feel and express complex human emotions, like love, lust, joy, desire, and even hate. A team of scientists are hoping to capitalize on the latter, having developed a prototype for a fatphobic AI with extreme disdain for overweight people bordering on revulsion. It’s a few years away from commercial release, but they plan on producing a line of fatphobic dinnerware housing a hyperintelligent AI who simply cannot stand to be in the same room as your tubby self and lets you know every time you eat just how disgusting you look and ashamed you should feel.

Transmogrifying Food Spray

Eating healthy is hard. Fresh, healthy food is expensive, spoils easily, and most importantly tastes terrible. It’s nearly impossible to enjoy a healthy dinner of raw broccoli, boiled spinach, whole wheat bread, and plain pasta when you’ve got delicious but unhealthy food breathing down your neck. Anyone but the most stalwart of dieters would be hard pressed to make the right choice in that situation.

What if you could make healthy, disgusting foods taste like some of your favorite foods without sacrificing the health benefits? With the upcoming Transmogrification Food Spray, you can transform the flavors with a single spray. Plain pasta becomes cheesy pasta. Celery becomes bacon. Plain chewing gum becomes a never-ending chocolate truffle that you can chew all day long, totally forgoing eating altogether!

Fat-Selective Necrotizing Fasciitis

You’ve probably heard of “flesh eating bacteria disease.”  The real name is necrotizing fasciitis, and it describes a deterioration of the subcutaneous tissues (mostly fat) and underlying fascia (connective sheath surrounding the muscles) due to bacterial infection. Until recently, there were two recognized types of necrotizing fasciitis: Type 1 NF, which is polymicrobial, meaning multiple bacteria are responsible; and Type 2 NF, which is monomicrobial, meaning a single strain is responsible. Both are life threatening, if it’s not caught early enough and treated with a massive round of antibiotic therapy.

Scientists are beginning to cultivate a third type of necrotizing fasciitis that selectively and exclusively degrades adipose tissue – body fat. In rodent studies, application of the proprietary bacterial strain Staphylococcus adiposus has turned obese, diabetic mice into lean, healthy mice within a few weeks with no negative side effects. The only “unwanted” effect is body fat leakage through the pores, but that’s not all bad; one scientist reported that the necrotized mouse adipose tissue is secreted pre-rendered and makes a great cooking fat with a high smoke point.

Guess what, guys: the future is now. Some of the ridiculous, seemingly far-fetched products and weight loss methods described above exist in some form or another. Want caffeine-infused tights? Wear the Skinkiss. Want a dinner plate that makes you feel bad about your belly? Grab the Smart Plate. Feel like making the act of eating so physically painful that you simply stop doing it? You can actually have a piece of plastic mesh installed on your tongue. The Flavor Spray promises to transform foods without affecting caloric intake and the HAPIfork lets you know when you’re eating too quickly.

So, how’d you do? Did you guess which ones were completely made up and which had at least some basis in reality? Scary, isn’t it?

Thanks for reading, all, and let me hear what you think they’ll think up next!

P.S. Your guess is as good as mine as to what that “doctor” is doing in that cheesy futuristic stock photo above.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. The future of weight loss technology was put out in the 1930’s. Weston A. Price: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

    Nocona wrote on February 25th, 2014
  2. This is more like a horror story!

    Now off to get my coffee tights :)

    Karen wrote on February 25th, 2014
  3. Calvin and Hobbes flashback.

    Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on February 25th, 2014
  4. A picture of a caveman with a vibrating fork would be priceless.

    Groktimus Primal wrote on February 25th, 2014
  5. You missed your calling, you could have been a great satirist and be mentioned in the same breath as Swift et al.

    Michael Trumper wrote on February 25th, 2014
  6. I have a better idea of how to lose weight. Just follow the advice given by our friend Stephan Guyenet, I think that would be much more effective.

    David wrote on February 25th, 2014
  7. Does anyone know what’s in the Flavor Spray? Not that I’m rushing to buy a cheese mister, but the website’s link to nutritional info is mysteriously broken. Something tells me they don’t want us to know…

    Brian Stanton wrote on February 25th, 2014
  8. I love your tongue-in-cheek articles like this. As I was going through I was thinking “okay, more than three of these have to be fake.” I can’t believe the crazy things people will try…

    Just eat real food!

    Derek wrote on February 25th, 2014
  9. Am I the only one who remembers the Miracle Frooties episode of Robb Wolf’s podcast?

    PrimalParkGirl wrote on February 25th, 2014
  10. No, No, and No thank you. All of it, real or fake, totally goes against what I am striving for in my life – to live the primal lifestyle as much as possible in this day and age. For me, all of the items listed in the article go into a category I’ve created for things (ideas, horror & sci-fi movies, etc.) called Stupid Sh*%. Thank you for your research & writing time, Mark, but I won’t be referencing this article in the future. Oh, and have a great time at Tulum next week! Really wish I was going.

    Donna wrote on February 25th, 2014
  11. The vibrating fork isn’t a terrible idea.
    The tongue mesh? Oh gross. Gross.

    SB wrote on February 25th, 2014
  12. All but the transmogrifying spray and the tongue mesh are phony (I say). the rest sound too good to be true, so I’m discounting them. Necrotizing fasciitis being selective and controllable? We could only hope.

    Wenchypoo wrote on February 25th, 2014
    • If any one of these shows up on a Dr. Oz show, then I’ll know it at least has HIS financial backing, and is likely to show up at my local Sam’s Club store about a month after the doctor’s devotees have flocked to it and bought the lie.

      Wenchypoo wrote on February 25th, 2014
    • yes – it will be totally controllable, with the chances of mutation resulting in a horrifying death of the host only being 1 in every 1000

      Storm wrote on February 26th, 2014
    • Nope, I’ve seen video of the tongue mesh patch being attached. Ridiculous!

      RenegadeRN wrote on March 1st, 2014
  13. Brilliant and scary in equal measure. I’m always amazed at how we can put brilliant minds to work on such rubbish – just when we can’t imagine the inventions of the future (apart from time travel and such) some bright spark comes up with something we didn’t know we needed!

    Grokesque wrote on February 25th, 2014
  14. Man…these things are crazy. I wonder if these technologies are being developed and funded by the same people and corporations that make people sick and fat. You know…tapping into a new market. Brilliant business! Cause the problem that you can fix!

    Just eat real food and get off your arse people!

    I was having a conversation the other day with a co-worker about dropping some pounds for a vacation. About 30 seconds into my recommendation I learned that she hates exercising and doesn’t really want to change her eating habits…maybe I should suggest she look into some of these!

    Quite amusing though, Mark!

    Nate wrote on February 25th, 2014
    • Speaking of, you should watch “How to Get Ahead in Advertising” hysterically funny satire. The advertisers create a pop princess, give her acne so all the Tweens want zits all over, then sell them acne cream to get rid of them. Meanwhile other surrealities ensue….

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097531

      Samantha wrote on March 2nd, 2014
  15. I was laughing so hard that I had tears about this one:

    “The only “unwanted” effect is body fat leakage through the pores, but that’s not all bad; one scientist reported that the necrotized mouse adipose tissue is secreted pre-rendered and makes a great cooking fat with a high smoke point.”

    JoeBrewer wrote on February 25th, 2014
    • OMG I leaked coffee out of me nose just now when I read that line!

      Krissy wrote on February 25th, 2014
    • Necrotized mouse adipose tissue should be next on the ‘is it primal?’ questions.

      I’d vote for not really, but can be a sensible vice as part of a primal diet.

      Jack Y wrote on February 26th, 2014
      • ROFLMAO!!!

        Katerina wrote on February 26th, 2014
    • I’m not sure I should mention this or not, but I have often wondered about the cooking properties of human fat.
      Yes, I am serious and no, Joshua is not a pseudonym for Animanarchy.

      Joshua wrote on February 26th, 2014
      • lol
        they suspects uss!
        To be frank I have an interest in eating humans. Not a fetish or anything, more of a clinical interest. I assume the meat would be delicious and the nutrient ratios ideal if you’re eating an organic, free range, healthy person. I’ve heard numerous times that human flesh tastes like pork so if you want to simulate bacon fat maybe you could get cure some fat from a liposuction clinic.

        Animanarchy wrote on March 9th, 2014
  16. Hmmm… well if primal ever fails me and these are the only options… I may just have to give Soylent a try instead… this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_(food_substitute), not that one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green

    Andrew D. wrote on February 25th, 2014
  17. The “food spray” reminds me of what’s in food now. I picked up some sour cream, looked at the ingredients (should read – cream – right?) yeah, there was a paragraph so put that one down and picked up the one that had only one ingredient. Told my son that he can only have “junk food” that has the ingredients that you would expect – potato chips should have potato, salt, oil. Anymore than that and they go back on the shelf. I know it’s junk food, he doesn’t need to eat chemicals too. Really cuts down on the options for junk food. (Muwahahahahaha)

    2Rae wrote on February 25th, 2014
  18. I’m a little bit torn. I sorta like being a a part of a super-optimal community that outperforms everyone else.

    BFBVince wrote on February 25th, 2014
  19. Somewhere, I’ve seen mention of the caffeine tights and, I think, the fork that counts. My third guess would be the fat-eating bacteria. Eeeewwwwww! I’ll stay chubby, thank you. ;)

    granny gibson wrote on February 25th, 2014
  20. Wow. Just, wow. Are people really that desperate/stupid/lazy/gullible? :0

    Sarah wrote on February 25th, 2014
  21. The vibra-fork reminds me of anti-matter chopsticks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwdxIUeMrSM

    Dave wrote on February 25th, 2014
  22. Anyone else thinking of Willy Wonka and the three-course meal stick of gum?

    Nanc in Ashland wrote on February 25th, 2014
  23. What about a hybrid of caffeine-infused, vibrating tights? The caffeine melts the fat, and the tights start vibrating when you’ve been sedentary too long. Wait…now that I think this through, people might move less if the vibration gives them a thrill, which would be counterproductive.

    Lobrow wrote on February 25th, 2014
    • I was waiting patiently for someone to say this!

      Nocona wrote on February 25th, 2014
      • And I’m bummed you beat me to it.

        Samantha wrote on March 2nd, 2014
        • I mean that kinda sounds like a pleasant Sunday morning…

          Samantha wrote on March 2nd, 2014
  24. That futuristic doctor is thinking, “Dammit, I’m a doctor, Jim, not a glowy-screen-pusher.”

    shannon wrote on February 25th, 2014
  25. brb
    telling the wife about the tongue lamination

    bubbajank wrote on February 25th, 2014
  26. An alternative to the smart plate:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcxQa-0TX9g

    KariVery wrote on February 25th, 2014
  27. Where do I buy the caffiene tights…..
    I love products that do two things,
    Lose weight while I stay awake!!!!!!
    Whatever they cost, I’ll pay it!!!!!!

    Grace wrote on February 25th, 2014
  28. Makes me wonder how we all became so disconnected from our bodies that we need so much technology to regulate what should come naturally.

    Is sad…

    Lisa wrote on February 25th, 2014
  29. hey we’ve got 3D printers…it’s only a matter of time before we have “inorganically materialized” meat-like products that are ‘perfectly’ suited to our government’s preset dietary guidelines

    mmm…just as tasty….

    http://youtu.be/sS7NRtEJBcA?t=31s

    Natalia wrote on February 25th, 2014
  30. Ha! What is so hard about following primal/paleo? :)

    Dr. Anthony Gustin wrote on February 25th, 2014
  31. Next up in future weight loss technology:

    Ripped California surfer looking guy who dubiously claims to be 60 starts telling everyone the food pyramid is backwards and that real fat is good for you….er…wait

    =)

    I’ll leave off the tongue mesh and enjoy every primal bite.

    Danny wrote on February 25th, 2014
  32. Someone on this sight mentioned taking the red pill. When I look at all the available information on health and nutrition I just have to marvel how most of the population either interpreted the same information differently or perhaps simply took the blue pill.

    victor wrote on February 25th, 2014
  33. I’d rather just live as naturally as possible and be happy.

    The quote “Fresh, healthy food is expensive, spoils easily, and most importantly tastes terrible” doesn’t sit well with me. Sure, if you’re used to lots of bad food, the good food will taste bad/different, but once you get used to nature’s wonderful food again, you start to remember just how wonderful it tastes. Also, do we really want to eat something that never goes off? That’s not natural.

    I think the best weight-loss technology is already here and it’s just eating natural, whole foods and avoiding artificial stuff. But no corporations can make money out of that. Hence, the “future of weight-loss technology” is now something that can be patented, can be advertised in dubious ways, and from which companies can make huge profits. Does anybody really care about us?

    Peter Whiting wrote on February 25th, 2014
  34. One could argue that we DO have android bounty hunters. (I’ll leave it at that.)

    oxide wrote on February 25th, 2014
  35. I realize that losing weight is the goal of many “Grok-ites”, but believe it or not there are some of us who desperately want to gain weight. How about a tutorial on that?

    Bear wrote on February 25th, 2014
  36. Seems like we are working way into a Victorianesque shame spiral in which we need oddly designed technological torture devices and gimmicks to control the bane of human desire and lust (for food). At least the devices stay above the waist “for the most part”. I for one can’t wait for “coffee crotch” to become a listed possible side-effect. If “buzz” persists for more than 4 hours, call your physician. Hilarious!!!

    Sean wrote on February 25th, 2014
  37. The plastic mesh tongue thing is already happening, not the future:
    http://nypost.com/2014/02/08/beauty-queen-had-mesh-sewn-on-tongue-so-she-wouldnt-eat/

    Really sad.

    Rachel wrote on February 25th, 2014
  38. I haven’t laughed so hard since a Carlin skit. Fantastic!

    martha wrote on February 25th, 2014
  39. + 1

    Jade wrote on February 25th, 2014
  40. Pre-rendered body fat through one’s pores? Holy moly. Need a bit of fat to cook that lean steak? Rub it over your chest and slap the steak in the skillet.

    James H. wrote on February 26th, 2014
    • This made smile lol

      Mary wrote on February 26th, 2014

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