Gastric Balloons for Weight Loss!
Intra-gastric balloons are a relatively new strategy in the war against obesity. The idea is rather simple. A balloon is placed into the stomach and filled with air or water. This balloon occupies space in the stomach and gives the sensation of fullness (satiety). In addition, there is less room for food when you eat, so you feel very full after eating only a small amount of food.
Weight loss is, therefore, achieved by what we call in the weight loss business as "calorie restriction." The balloon is a tool that helps you control the amount of calories you eat each day. As a general rule, if you are maintaining your weight at a particular calorie intake, then decreasing your daily intake by 500 calories a day will help you lose about one pound per week. There are many variables that come in to play when calculating this. Mostly., we must know how many calories you should take in just to maintain your weight, and that depends on you basal metabolic rate (BMR) and your activity.
Your basal metabolic rate is how many calories you burn in a day if you would just lay around. Active calories is what you burn moving around throughout the day. There are two ways to figure this out. You can do a metabolic cart that objectively measures your carbon dioxide output and uses a formula to determine what you burn at rest. Another way to do this is use an app to accurately measure your calorie intake over the course of several weeks and monitor your weight. If you are maintaining your weight and know how many calories you are eating per day on average, then you can assume that is your basal plus active metabolic rate.
It may seem all a bit confusion, but once you start measuring your calories, it gets easier. The balloon, then, helps you achieve that 500-1000 calories deficit a day. It can stay in for up to 6 months. (If you lose a pound a week, that could be as much as 25 lbs.) Once the balloon is removed, most people have learned how to control their calorie intake enough to keep the weight off long-term. Everyone is different.
While a balloon is not the answer to extreme weight loss like a gastric surgery would be, it does offer the benefits of a reversible method of losing weight that is very safe and effective. If you are interested in learning more then read more on my website, or come in for a personal consultation.