It’s easy to be tempted by products touting quick and easy ways to lose weight, like magnetic weight loss rings. But generally, if a weight loss gadget seems too good to be true, it probably is. There is no solid evidence that magnetic therapy will help you lose weight.
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A quick search on Amazon for “magnetic weight loss rings” yields a range of magnetic products that claim to help you lose weight. Magnetic rings are placed on your finger, but many other products are sold for weight loss magnetic therapy, such as:
- Magnetic wristbands
- Magnetic toe rings
- Magnetic earrings
- Magnetic patches
- magnetic “seeds” worn on the outer ear
How do magnetic rings work?
“Magnetic rings, bracelets and earrings are sold under the guise that they aid in weight loss by affecting metabolism, hunger, satiety and circulation,” says Michelle Cardel, PhD, RD, Associate Director from the Center for Integrative Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville.
These devices are “supposed to increase your metabolism through the north pole of the magnet,” says Cardel. A fast or “high” metabolism allows you to burn more calories at rest and when you exercise, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“Some people also suggest that rings and bracelets can be used in combination with acupressure,” an alternative therapy technique, based on the idea that stimulating certain points on the body will cause changes in the body, Cardel explains. .
There is no evidence to support the use of magnetic therapy for weight loss.
In an August 2019 study in Diabetes, obesity and metabolism, researchers found that noninvasive electromagnetic brain stimulation, along with increased physical activity and reduced calorie intake, can help overweight people lose weight. This may have gotten people thinking that magnets might enhance their weight loss journey, but electromagnetic brain stimulation isn’t the same as wearing magnetic jewelry.
“There is no evidence to suggest that ring magnets, or similar magnetic devices, aid in weight loss,” Cardel said. “That’s magical thinking.”
What works for weight loss?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, as being overweight is a “complex, multifactorial disease,” Cardel says.
According to the USDA, weight loss can be achieved by combining:
- Set a reasonable and realistic goal
- Adopt a calorie-reduced and nutritionally balanced diet
- Regular physical activity
- Other behavior changes to help you stay on track with your goals
Cardel recommends working with your doctor to create an individualized weight loss plan.
Read more:5 weight loss “rules” doctors want you to stop following
Can magnetic rings be harmful?
Magnetic rings may not help you lose weight, but is there a problem trying them anyway?
There could be: Magnetic rings could interact with imaging tests and medical devices.
In an April 2014 case report in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Journal,The researchers noted that wearing acupressure magnets (or any magnet) could be very harmful and/or compromise test results if you also have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test, which your doctor could prescribe you if you have certain conditions.
According to the American Heart Association, magnetic rings can also be harmful to people who wear devices such as pacemakers, which regulate heart rate.