Practical, Impractical and Bizarre Ways to Lose Weight

By Anupum Pant

Here are some impractical, practical and bizarre ways to lose weight scientifically:

1. Practical – Switch to Smaller Plates [Study]

While it may sound like switching plates won’t help your diet, it actually greatly affects the way you see, and consume food. In the long run it helps you lose weight effortlessly.

If you don’t believe me, I suggest you look at the following common optical illusion – Tell me which one of the circle that is filled with black color, is larger?

You know the answer. Although they don’t look equal to our not-so-smart brain, both of the circles are really equal in size. But what does that tell you?

Moral: Think of the black circle as food. Put it in a larger plate and you think it is less food, and you don’t mind adding little more food to it. Whereas, if you use smaller plates, the amount food looks like it is a lot already. As a result, if you own only small plates, you won’t add more food. Who am I to tell you that little changes give big results.

It has been proven by scientists that using smaller standard plates will reduce your consumption by around 20% every time. 20% is not less!

Note: Similarly, if you want to drink less, you could try replacing your short and stout glasses with taller glasses. This technique is based on another optical illusion known as the T-Illusion – which says that we tend to over-estimate the length of objects placed vertically. See it for yourself. [link]

Other Good Ways: In fact, before moving on to the bad ways, you must know that there are several good ways to lose weight without even trying hard. For instance:

  • Drinking good amounts of cold water can help to some extent.
  • Or, you could try making it a rule to turn away and use stairs, every single time you come across an escalator.
  • When you are travelling in a bus, make it a rule to always get down one stop before your destination.
  • An apple before breakfast everyday can help you lose weight by making you feel full due to its fiber content. – [Source]
  • Just place a mirror in your kitchen or your refrigerator door. Yes, that helps. How? See this – [Video]

2. Bizarre – Excessive Gum Chewing? [Study]

Wait! Before you try this, let me tell you, this is one of those impractical / bizarre ways to experience severe weight loss I was talking about in the first line of this post. Since excess of anything isn’t good – backed by the fact that in ancient China people committed suicide by eating a pound of salt – chewing excess gum probably isn’t a good way to lose weight. I mention it just for the sake of information.

Sugar-free chewing gums contain Sorbitol – a laxative. Chewing these in excessive amounts – about 15+ a day – can cause serious weight loss and chronic diarrhea.

You’ll end up in the hospital if you try this.

3. Impractical – Don’t get Married. [Study]

Although deciding to remain single all your life is not so impractical for everybody, you could consider it socially impractical (at least in orthodox Indian societies).

Yes, studies prove that Married men were 25% more likely to be overweight or obese than single men or men in committed relationship (i.e. dating or engaged). – Thanks to UsefulScience.org

Now, go and subscribe the budding 59 Seconds channel on YouTube and buy the book. That is what I am doing…

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Nuclear Powered Pacemakers for the Heart

By Anupum Pant

Heart and Pacemakers

Your heart is a complex device. It comes with its own sophisticated electrical system that controls the rate and rhythm of your heartbeats. The electrical system is responsible to make the heart contract and as a result pump blood into your body. It is required to keep a proper rate and rhythm. There is a whole lot to learn about how the human heart works. But that is for some other day. Or, you can read it here – [Link]

As years pass, like any other electrical system, even the heart is prone to electrical faults. Faulty signals can make the rhythmic beating, non-rhythmic. This can make life difficult for a person. Enter pacemaker…

Pacemakers are small devices that are placed in the chest. They use low energy pulses to maintain the rate and rhythm of your heartbeats by overcoming the faulty electrical signals. Sometimes Permanent pacemakers have to be used to control long-term heart problems. For this, they are required to run for a long time without replacement. Who’d want their chest dug every two months to replace the pacemaker battery?!

Nuclear powered

Nuclear batteries work due to a nonstop radioactive decay of certain elements. They can last for incredibly long times. Due to their extremely long lives and high densities they are used in space devices and other underwater systems; basically, in systems where replacement of batteries is not an option. So, scientists from the past thought – why not use them to power pacemakers too!

In the 1960s, scientists at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in New Mexico began exploring the feasibility of being able to use nuclear power for pacemakers. The idea was to develop a penny sized battery that could be used with a pacemaker and could be implanted in a human body. It was made. And they decided to call it an atomic battery or Radioisotope battery or simply a nuclear battery.

Despite bearing the name “nuclear” battery, they were not really little nuclear reactors as they didn’t use chain reactions to produce energy. So, there was no danger of a meltdown. They were safe devices. No radiation related issues were ever reported.

The Problem

Agreed these batteries were costly and weighed a lot, but that was not the problem. The big problem was that they contained hazardous material which had to be recovered once a patient died. There were several instances when a person had died; the living relative had returned the nuclear battery, but the Nuclear Regulatory Commission never received it.

However, later in the year 1988 last of the nuclear batteries were used. Now they were being replaced with long lasting (~10 years) lithium batteries.

Even today Los Alamos National Laboratory has a fact sheet on their website that mentions what to do in case you find a nuclear battery.

Darkness Is Good For You

By Anupum Pant

It is astounding how the tiniest things can affect your life greatly. Who would have thought that sleeping with lights on can change you into a completely different person, over time?

Sleeping with lights on, or simply not getting enough exposure to darkness can have long-lasting effects. Darkness is good for you.

Melatonin – The Darkness Hormone

Melatonin is a hormone found in all living creatures from the most basic ones to humans. Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland (a part of the brain), by the retina, lens and GI tract. Production of melatonin is influenced by the information received from the retina about the daily pattern of light and darkness. It is primarily secreted when the information of “darkness” is obtained by the gland.

Its Effects

Its levels vary in a daily cycle. In humans, it plays a role in the regulation of several biological functions. Three of its functions we are interested in here are – its effect on out mood, performance and aging process.

Aging, behavior and memory effects:
According to one study, in mice that were aged artificially, Melatonin had immense anti-aging effects. In a similar study, the combined effect of physical exercise and increase in of Melatonin concentration led to improvements in behavior, learning and memory.

Studies on humans have also produced results on similar lines. The hormone’s effect on mood, performance, memory and visual sensitivity were assessed among 14 healthy men in a study carried out at MIT. It was found that externally administered Melatonin had a significant but short acting sedative-like effect on humans. In terms of mood, it had a calming effect.

Anti-Cancer effects:
Melatonin causes cancer cells to self-destruct. The hormone also boosts your production of substances that make your immune system stronger. As a result, your system gets better at identifying and attacking mutated cells that lead to bad cancer.

Other effects:
Melatonin’s effect is not just limited to that. It plays a great role in decreasing Heart Diseases, Headaches, Diabetes and Osteoporosis too. And more…

Improving your Melatonin production

  • Avoid screen time during the last few hours of your day before going to bed.
  • Avoid using any sort of night-light or bed-side lamp. Sleep in complete darkness.
  • Avoid waking up abruptly due to loud alarms or bright light. Use a crescendo for alarms.
  • Sleep away from your phone.
  • Maintain a set light and dark, wake and sleep rhythm.
  • Most important of all, to optimize the production of this hormone, you need exposure to bright sunlight during the day. Unlike what just-the-headline suggests, it is important to note that you are not doing yourself any good by lying in darkness all the time. There has to be a continuous rhythm of light and darkness.

 

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