The gastric balloon is an exciting opportunity to help you lose weight faster than conventional diet and exercise programs without the commitment of bariatric surgery. Since the procedure is temporary, you will need to be more mindful of your efforts while you have the balloon and after it is removed.
Adhere To A High Protein Diet
Once you can return to a normal diet after the procedure, you likely want to focus more on protein than other macronutrients. You goal is to adopt dietary habits that will work long after the balloon is removed, which includes making good food choices and eating smaller portions. Since protein is denser than carbohydrates with fewer calories per gram, you want to shift more of your food towards increased protein.
When you eat carbohydrates, make sure you are combining them with protein so they digest slower or use sources that are also high in protein. For example, a good lunch or dinner option is chili. Since most chili recipes contain meat, beans, and vegetables, you have a protein-packed meal, which helps offset the starchiness of the beans. Just skip the crackers or bread and opt for Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
Although cardio will be an important part of your exercise regimen to improve your weight loss with the gastric balloon, building muscle may be more important. Since the goal of the gastric balloon is to temporarily restrict your stomach capacity, it is unrealistic to think you will not regain any weight after the balloon is removed, even if you continue to eat healthily. For example, if you only eat 800 calories while you have the balloon and eat 1200-1400 calories after the balloon is removed, you may gain some weight although you are eating an appropriate number of calories. Adding muscle mass while you are losing weight not only helps combat loose skin, but it can mitigate the increased calories after the balloon is removed.
Tackle The Issues
No matter the weight loss method, it is always important to tackle the underlying issues associated with being overweight. You will likely have a support system through your doctor's office, but it may help to seek additional counseling. Although being overweight can be a matter of eating too much and not exercising enough, it is rarely that simple. If you avoid dealing with issues contributing to your relationship with food, you will likely undo your hard work. Some contributing factors can include mental illness, trauma, and/or abuse.
Although your insurance company may require a psychological assessment before approval for a weight loss procedure, this is a separate issue. You should speak with a counselor or psychologist on your own. For some people, a combination of medications and psychotherapy can make tackling weight loss a little easier and promote long-term success.
No weight loss strategy is an easy fix. Whether you lose weight with a diet and exercise program, medication, or a medical procedure, you will need many tools at your disposal for the best chance at losing weight and keeping it off.