The late motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” The gastric balloon procedure represents an excellent way to do just that, take care of your body by losing excess weight.
You may already know that being overweight poses a significant risk to your health.
Not only are you at a higher risk of developing ailments like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoarthritis, but obesity makes COVID-19 symptoms worse and can lead to early death.
The gastric balloon helps you drop the excess weight. This way, you can live better and longer with a healthier lifestyle.
But what does that lifestyle look like?
Once you have the balloon placed, how much are you supposed to eat? More importantly, what foods are you supposed to eat? Oh, and can you eat anything as long as you don’t eat past the point of getting full?
These are all common questions people have about this simple gastric balloon procedure. Do you have these questions and more? If so, that’s good news. It means you’re researching the balloon device, which is the first step to taking advantage of this amazing weight loss tool.
Here is all you need to know about the post-gastric balloon procedure lifestyle. Therefore, you can maximize your weight loss after the device has been placed.
What is the Gastric Balloon?
To understand the lifestyle you are recommended to adopt after the balloon is placed, it helps to know how the technology behind the weight loss surgery works.
The gastric balloon is a bariatric surgical device that helps you lose weight by restricting how much food you eat. The gastric balloon procedure is simple, short-term, and has helped millions enjoy a healthier and obesity-free lifestyle.
Also called an intragastric balloon, the device is FDA-approved and involves a non-surgical procedure. This gastric balloon procedure can help you lose a significant amount of weight. Many patients who opt for the gastric balloon go on to experience lifelong weight loss.
What is the Gastric Balloon Procedure?
The outpatient technique for placing the balloon device in your body is simple enough. General anesthesia will be used before a flexible tube pre-loaded with the balloon is inserted into your stomach. In some cases, the balloon device is swallowed like a pill, where it will be inflated by the doctor.
To inflate the balloon, your doctor uses a serpentine camera known as an endoscope that allows for a quick and easy inflation of the balloon with gas or saline, depending on the model being used.
Who is the Gastric Balloon For?
The gastric balloon is ideal for those with a high body mass index (35 or greater). It comes with minimal side effects. You can still eat the foods you enjoy, but the intragastric balloon gives you help with regards to hunger, portion control, and satiety. That’s because the balloon stimulates the receptors in the stomach wall that communicate to your brain that you are full. Smaller meals will be enough to get you through your meals. You’ll feel less hungry, be able to eat just the right amount of food for health and weight loss, and you’ll end up feeling satisfied after meals without overeating.
How to Begin the Gastric Balloon Lifestyle
Now that you know how the gastric balloon works and what it’s used for, let’s discuss the lifestyle you should lead to get the most out of this life changing technology.
To get the most out of the gastric balloon, you must be committed to maintaining good eating habits and an active lifestyle. The balloon will be removed after six or twelve months. When it does come out, your stomach will once again be able to accommodate larger portions of food. Don’t fall into the trap of suddenly overeating just because you have the room.
For long-term weight loss, you must treat your stomach as if the gastric balloon is still there. You must continue to eat less food, maintain a healthy diet, and keep up with an active lifestyle, which should include regular exercise.
Let’s look at these lifestyle changes in much greater detail.
The Gastric Balloon Diet
After the balloon is implanted, your bariatric surgeon will place you on a heavily restricted liquid diet for around a week. The purpose of restricting what you eat is to allow your system to get used to having the balloon inside your stomach.
You can drink nonfat milk, protein shakes, fruit juice, or vegetable juice. Some gastric balloon patients also like meal replacement shakes. Talk to your doctor about healthy meal replacements to consume during your recovery from the gastric balloon procedure.
Here’s what you should not consume during this time: Alcohol, sugary drinks or foods, full-fat dairy, and carbonated beverages. Stay away from Jell-O, too.
Your doctor will let you know when it’s time to proceed to the next phase of the balloon diet.
Transition to Soft Foods
The second phase of the post-balloon diet involves slowly adding food back into your diet. Soft, mushy foods will get your stomach used to eating regular food again until it’s acclimated enough to eat normally.
Foods to eat during this phase include lean meats (cooked, not fried), cooked veggies, soft fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, thicker soups, and eggs. You can also start eating Jell-O again if you suddenly get a craving for something you couldn’t have before.
During this time, you should be especially careful to avoid fried foods. You should also avoid consumables that will be rough on your stomach like apples, carrots, or anything super crunchy. Stay away from tough cuts of steak and other meats, too.
The Gastric Balloon Diet – Beyond Week Two
The post-balloon diet in week two involves eating normal foods again but don’t go overboard. Just like the previous phase, start slowly and always with the cleanest foods you can find. Your bariatric surgeon can usually set you up with a dietician who can recommend the most nutritious foods for the healthiest and most rapid weight loss.
Foods to eat during this time include fruits, veggies, healthy carbohydrates like whole-grain bread, and lean meats.
Stay away from anything heavily processed or filled with sugar. Try your best to consume zero-calorie beverages when you’re not drinking water, such as coffee without creamer, and unsweetened tea.
Get as much fiber as you can, but keep your calories capped at around 1200 per day. With the gastric balloon, keeping to that maximum calorie allotment should be easy. It’s when the balloon is removed that requires the most dedication to keeping up with your advancing weight loss.
What is the Gastric Balloon Lifestyle?
Healthy eating is not the only change you are required to make if you hope for the most success with a gastric balloon. You are advised to adopt an entirely new lifestyle once the gastric balloon is inserted.
Start by getting regular exercise right away. Try to walk for ten minutes per day or join a gym and hire a personal trainer to put you through the necessary steps. As you feel healthier, increase the distance you walk or the exercise you do. Look for increases in both time and intensity.
If you are not used to exercising, start very slowly, and build your way up. As you get fitter, try to increase your endurance with light running, your flexibility with yoga, and your strength with light weight training. Do your best to find physical activities you enjoy so that you are more likely to keep up with them in the future.
Quick Tips to Living the Gastric Balloon Lifestyle
Living this type of lifestyle is not going to be easy, especially in the beginning. Print these tips out and look at them often the next time you feel like slipping on your new and improved gastric balloon lifestyle.
Learn to Recognize Stress Triggers
It has long been established that stress can lead to weight gain. This happens because the body becomes flooded with cortisol, which can increase your cravings for sugar and slow your metabolism, the perfect storm for weight gain.
Ask yourself; when life hands you lemons, do you immediately open the fridge? Do you open the pantry looking for your next quick fix that is sure to help you feel better? Eating for comfort is incredibly common. Instead of bottling up our emotions, we stuff food on top of them, and that keeps them buried. Except that food has to go somewhere, and where it went led you to considering a gastric balloon.
Instead of reaching for pies, cakes, and other comfort foods when stressed the heck out, try healthy habits like breathing exercises instead. Drink decaf tea and calm down. Meditate or exercise. These are tips you can use to reverse your tendency to binge when agitated or bogged down by life. With practice, you will learn better ways of coping, allowing you to maintain your weight loss post-gastric balloon procedure, no matter what life happens to throw your way.
Create a Support Team
Never assume that you must tackle your new gastric balloon lifestyle all on your own. Sure, fighting obesity is a solitary endeavor, but you can ask for help. Seeking a bariatric surgeon for the purposes of having the gastric balloon placed is an excellent way to get the help you need. You can continue your trend of getting much-needed assistance by hiring a personal trainer, talking to a counselor or psychologist, and by securing the services of a lifestyle coach.
Dieticians and even support groups filled with other balloon users are all excellent candidates for your unique support system. If you don’t have access to all these professional services where you live, look into online counseling, or speak to your bariatric surgeon about your options. Whatever you do, make sure you have the support of your family and friends. They can lend a supportive ear and shoulder when adopting your new lifestyle proves challenging.
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Plan your Grocery Tips and Meals
You can make mealtimes a breeze by planning everything beforehand. Once each week, write down the meals you want to make. Buying for the week means you will make fewer shopping trips and only pick up the things you need.
Save money by seeing what you already have in the freezer, fridge, and pantry. Use a spreadsheet to plan your meals and search online for some fast and easy recipes to try.
An excellent source for recipes is MyPlate Kitchen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which lets you search by the ingredients you already have. The interactive tool can help you with grocery shopping and meal planning if you hope to save money and eat more healthily.
When planning your meals, choose foods and meals that you can fix quickly. For recipes that take longer, save them for your days off when you have more time for cooking and meal preparation.
With meal prepping, you make all the meals you want to eat throughout the week ahead of time. Some meal preppers pick one day, such as Sunday, to fix all the meals they’ll need through the following Saturday. The ready-to-eat meals can be kept in plastic or other styles of containers and stored away in the fridge or freezer to keep them fresh until you’re ready to eat. Then simply stick in the microwave if necessary or eat them straight out of the fridge for easy meals you don’t have to think too much about.
Schedule Regular Exercise After Gastric Balloon Procedure
Exercising regularly is easy once you get started. It’s actually starting, that’s the most difficult part. To infuse regular activity into your gastric balloon lifestyle, try going for a brisk walk first thing in the morning. The key is to exercise before you do anything else. That way, you get it out of the way and don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day. Otherwise, you may continue telling yourself that you’ll get to it later, only later never comes. Doing your working out first thing upon waking forces you to get your blood pumping and those calories burning before the day’s obligations get in the way.
Engaging in an exercise plan “first thing” means walking out the door and into the open air before checking emails, showering, cooking, or eating breakfast. Start with ten to fifteen minutes of speed walking and work your way up. For an added tip, bring the dog along or find a walking partner, even your kids!
If walking in the morning isn’t possible, consider a lunchtime walk or visit to the gym. Ride your bike to run errands or do stretches and yoga in your office during breaks. If you want it badly enough, you can always find time to exercise. Even engaging in an exercise program or class after work will give you the level of activity you need to lose weight the healthiest way while using the gastric balloon.
Weigh Yourself Regularly
Finally, weigh yourself often to make sure the weight you are losing is not creeping back. Keep the excess weight at bay by stepping on the scale every day or at least once weekly. Studies show that this level of self-assessment works best for long-term weight loss.
Yes, a Gastric Balloon Procedure Can Finally Help You Lose Weight!
If you have long struggled with your weight, the gastric balloon procedure could be the answer you seek to losing weight and keeping it off for good. This affordable fat loss tool only costs between $6k and $9k and financing is available to help you achieve your ultimate health goals.
The first step to using the gastric balloon so that you can start on your new healthier lifestyle is to find a qualified bariatric surgeon. Finding the best weight loss surgeon can help you drop the excess pounds safely and more rapidly, for a major boost to your quality of life.