The gastric balloon is a non-invasive weight loss procedure that is temporary in nature. Essentially, unlike with gastric surgery, the device is only installed for around six months at the time. The procedure is quite simple: a balloon is placed inside the stomach through an endoscopic procedure. Once in place, it is filled with a sterile saline solution, thereby reducing the amount of space available in the stomach. As a result, people are no longer able to consume as much food, with weight loss being the inevitable result. The gastric balloon was developed mainly to help people who are too heavy to manage weight loss through diet and exercise alone, but not heavy enough to have surgery. That said, it is now also offered to those who are so overweight that they cannot safely have surgery yet.
Can You Really Lose Half Your Excess Weight in Half a Year?
The biggest claim of the gastric balloon is that people can lose as much as half of their excess weight in just half a year, so long as it is used in conjunction with a proper diet and exercise program. It is a very effective method, but should be seen as a ‘starter’ option for further weight loss. There are now a number of different gastric balloons available on the market, and their average achieved weight loss is between 26% and 46%. As such, it is true that you can lose half your excess weight, but only if you are committed to the journey yourself. In reality, it is not realistic to expect you to lose half your excess weight as quickly as that, and if that is your only goal, you are likely to be left disappointed and unmotivated to make any real changes. Hence, it is better to set realistic goals.
Realistic Goal 1 – Qualify for Bariatric Surgery
There are numerous types of bariatric surgery available on the market. Many of these are only suitable for people within a specific BMI category. If you are too heavy, then the gastric balloon could be perfect to get you inside the goldilocks zone. All surgeries carry the risk of complication with them, and it is a known fact that, the less you weigh, the less likely you are to suffer from complications. Hence, having the gastric balloon may help you qualify and will definitely keep you safer and more comfortable.
Realistic Goal 2 – Jump Start to an Exercise Program
The gastric balloon was firstly developed for those who weren’t overweight enough to qualify for weight loss surgery, as previously mentioned, and it is still suitable for that. If you have tried numerous diet and exercise programs and hence already have the mindset to make real lifestyle changes, but nothing is working, then you could kick start results with the balloon. Do not, however, see the balloon as a quick fix if you just want to lose a couple of pounds to get beach body ready.