No need to jump on the treadmill, scientists invented a new pill that will help people shed the pounds while they relax.
Researchers announced they had created a compound, when injected it caused mice to lose weight and improved their cholesterol, The New York Times blog reported.
The compound activated a proten called REV-ERB, which has the ability to "partially control animals' circadian rhythms and internal biological clocks. "
The injected mice lost weight even though they were on a high-fat diet. They used about five percent more oxygen than the untreated mice, and expended more energy even though they weren't moving around more than usual.
In a lot of cases the treated mice were actually even more lazy than they had been before treatment.
The researchers were not sure how the REV-ERB protein worked in the muscles, so they developed a strain of mice that were "anti-athletes."
Aerobic exercise works because it increases the amount of mitochondria (cellular structures that consume oxygen and produce energy) in muscles, the newly engineered mice were designed to have very few of these structures.
The treated mice were found to have "diminished endurance, with a maximal oxygen capacity about 60 percent lower than normal."
When the team injected the compound into isolated muscle cells of the ant-athletic mice, more REV-ERB and mitochondria were produced.
When the compound was injected into sedentary mice, they ran "significantly longer both in time and distance" than the untreated mice.
The study concluded the drug "certainly seems to act as an exercise mimic," co-author Dr. Thomas Burris, said.
An exercise pill approved for human use is still a long way off, health complications as a result of the treatments have not yet been tested and there are concerns athletes could use it to cheat.
"I have been told to expect some weird phone calls [from athletes,]" Burris said.