The Magic Bullet for Weight Loss

The latest trend in weight loss is the new “Magic Bullet” gastric balloon. Gastric balloons used for weight loss have been available for some time. This new balloon is a little different.

Previous balloons are placed in the stomach and filled with liquid. They take up space in the stomach and give the feeling of fullness. There are side effects such as discomfort and a breakdown of the balloon which could cause a blockage in the intestines. Usually, these balloons are used for approximately 6 months and provide significant weight loss. The new Obalon balloon is hailed as the “Magic Bullet”. It is a made of a “novel polymer” that resists breaking down in the stomach and is filled with an “inert gas” (most likely nitrogen). The Obalon balloon is about the size of a large vitamin and is swallowed. Once in the stomach it is inflated to the size of an apple. A new balloon can be swallowed each 30 days until there are 3 balloons. The recommended course of treatment is 90 days and then the balloons are removed. The treatment includes 90 minutes per day of exercise and healthy eating choices. Healthy foods are critical as patients can eat no more than a small plate of food each day – much like gastric bypass or banding. The cost is approximately $4000 and the treatment is not available in the United States. In fact, there are only 9 countries that have allowed this treatment so far – Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, and Mexico. The Obalon company estimates the weight loss to be 20 lbs. in 3 months (less than 2 lbs. per week) but other reviews state 17 lbs. over 3 months. There are, however, no side effects other than some discomfort during the first few days.

Sounds great! Doesn’t it? Just swallow this balloon and eat less to lose weight.  This truly is magic.

Magic is an illusion – it’s not real. The initial weight loss may be real but there’s no plan to keep the weight off. You can’t keep the balloons for the rest of your life. The hope is, that while the balloons are in place, you will learn to make healthy, low-calorie food choices and incorporate exercise into your routine to maintain the weight loss.

The reality is that gastric balloons are no better than any other “fad” diet. The potential to regain the weight (and more) is overwhelming.

Gastric balloons take up space in the stomach to produce a “full” feeling, but, they don’t decrease the levels of ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”). So, you’ll feel full and still be hungry. This doesn’t make sense! Do you eat because you’re hungry and then feel overfull? Overeating causes the stomach to stretch so that we can eat more. When the balloons are removed there will be a lot of room for lots of food. How can that be good for you? Healthy, low-calorie food choices are the best way to eat all the time. If you haven’t learned how to eat during the 12 weeks with the balloons, how will you deal with it when the balloons are removed. I don’t live on a farm and there is no all-natural, organic produce stand on my way home from work. The supermarkets have limited organic foods (not that everything labeled organic actually is organic) which means we’ll still eat a lot of the foods we ate before. This is a recipe for weight gain. When all-natural, organic, healthy, low-calorie foods are available, they’re usually more expensive and need to be cooked – no ready-made, microwaveable foods here. The best food choices are not the easiest choices, but they’re worth it.

So, while you’re spending more time shopping for better food choices and cooking healthy meals, let’s get exercising! The “hunger hormone” ghrelin may cause a problem here. Ghrelin is produced in the cells of the stomach lining to signal the brain that you are hungry. When you don’t eat, ghrelin will signal the body to slow your metabolism and store the fat you have. Now, you’re hungry at the supermarket, hungry when you cook, and because of a slowed metabolism, exercise will not burn calories as you would expect.

All around, the gastric balloon is a bad idea. There’s no “magic” to weight loss. We need to feed our bodies with high-quality foods in the least amount of calories – eaten in the proper ratio (40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 30% fat). It sounds much more difficult than it is. There are great recipes available on the internet, on our website and on this blog. You can investigate healthy meal replacement shakes and bars for fast meals that fit into your schedule. Exercises can be done in a short time with no gym membership, no special clothes, and from the comfort of your own home.

Balloons are a toy and should not be eaten!

Journal Your Way to Fitness

Keeping a food journal is a powerful tool! 

Most people are unaware of their food habits.  We just don’t realize the amount of unhealthy, high-calorie foods we eat.  We don’t realize how many snacks and drinks we consume.  We eat when we’re hungry, tired, bored, or on auto-pilot.

Many people don’t want to keep a food journal because it might be too much work or they just don’t want to see how much they eat.  A journal will reveal when and why we eat and also give us a chance to realize that we have better choices.   Maybe we eat too many foods high in fats or maybe we don’t eat enough vegetables.  A Food Journal will let us really see what we’re doing.  Maybe we get hungry in the mid-afternoon when there is no meal available, so we snack on whatever we can get.  A Food Journal will let us know so that we can bring a healthy, low-calorie snack. 

 Let’s get started!  All you need is a notebook and a pen. 

Set up your pages as shown in the illustration. 

  • Day/Date – the day of the week is just as important as the date.  We often have different jobs and stressors on different days.
  • Time of Day – You can use actual time (1:00, 2:30, 8:15) or approximate time (early morning, before work, late night), but actual time works best.
  • Food & Drink – Include everything!  20 oz. diet or regular drink, coffee with sugar and creamer, broccoli with cheese sauce, loaded burger, grilled chicken, etc.
  • Where you ate or drank – In the car, standing at the counter, at the table, in front of the TV, etc.
  • Why you ate – Were you really hungry?  Or, were you tired or bored?  Maybe it was time to eat or you were being social.
  • How did you feel? – Were you satisfied, stuffed, tired, or still hungry?  Did it meet your emotional needs?  Sometimes we need something crunchy or sweet, hot or cold, or a comfort food to meet emotional needs. 
  • Calories – You may find that there are just too many calories or that the amount of calories from fats and carbs are too high.  Knowing where the calories are gives you the ability to exchange those items for lower calorie, lower fat alternatives.  There are many free calorie counters available online and calorie apps for ipads and phones.

 The most important thing is that the journal works for you.  Write everything down as soon as you eat and drink (or as soon as you can).  You don’t want to rely on your memory.  Review your journal at the end of each day and at the end of each week.  You’ll see patterns that you can change.

Day/Date

Food/Drink

Where, When & Why

Feelings

Calories

  Be honest!  It’s a journal, not a newsletter.  No one has to see it but you!

Start Here for Weight Loss Success

If you want real, lasting, permanent weight loss success – you have to change your lifestyle.   Scary!

We all want what we want, we want it now, and we want it to be easy.  We know we want to lose weight, look good, and be healthy – but we want our comfort foods and sedentary lifestyle.  We want instant gratification.

Which is more important?  We can always find new comfort foods that are healthier, lower in calories and higher in nutrition.

Don’t give up what you want most for what you think you want right now!

Review the Steps to Success – it won’t happen unless you think, plan, and act.

You’ll not only enjoy your success, but each time you choose the healthy option you can give yourself a pat on the back.  (Pats on the back are free and have no calories),

We want it easy – Sorry!  There is no magic pill that will remove all the calories from food or make you wake up thin and fit in the morning.  There is no scientifically engineered exercise equipment that will reshape your body and build muscle without some time and sweat.

It’s becoming very common for people to be more than 100 pounds overweight.  Steadily losing 1 to 2 pounds per week is difficult because of the amount of will power and determination it takes to lose so much weight over a long period of time and the results are slow, giving a feeling of hopelessness.  Any amount of weight loss is going to improve health.

Changing what we eat will help with weight loss, but changing how we feel about food will make the weight loss permanent.  Isagenix solutions for weight loss combine low-calorie meals and nutritionally dense, all-natural shakes for fast, healthy weight loss.  Another great choice is to eat healthy, low-calorie meals and exercise.

Your weight loss success depends on your reason for losing weight, your short-term and long-term goals, your plan – the one you can stick to, and your determination to succeed.  After you set a goal, make a plan and set up your food journal, you should check out this article by Greg Gomez, Want to REALLY Lose Weight But Are Confused Where To Begin? 

If you’re in the Savannah, Georgia area – stop in to see us at 105 Wheeler Court, Suite 204, Savannah, GA 31405. If you’re anywhere in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Netherlands, or Ireland, just give us a call! 912-289-8085

 

Lose Weight the S.M.A.R.T. Way

If you want to succeed, you need a plan. We don’t go on vacation for a week without a plan, why do we leave our future to chance?

First things first – Why do you want to lose weight?  

Write a mission statement.  Actually write it down.  Be positive.  “I want to lose this many pounds by this date because I . . . . .  Maybe it’s health reasons.  Maybe you want to look better.  Maybe you want to be stronger.  Maybe there are things you can’t do or can’t do easily.  Maybe it’s a combination of reasons.  Write it down.  

Then set your goal.  Write your success story!  This may sound crazy but write a news headline and a short story of your success.  See yourself crossing the finish line before you start.  Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done – it just hasn’t been done yet!


Using the acronym SMART is the best way to set goals.  Write it down under your Mission Statement.

S – Be Specific The most important part of planning for your goals is to identify your goal.  Saying “I want to lose weight before the next summer season” is an unattainable goal.  But if you say, “I want to lose 100 pounds before June 1”, you have set an attainable goal.  It may seem unrealistic, but you have decided where the finish line is.  Setting goals gives us the direction we want to go and can keep us on track.    Set goal markers – how many pounds per week or month.  Goal markers are just short term goals on your journey to success but they measure your progress.

M – Measurable Your goals should be measurable.  Decide goal markers to measure your success.  If you find yourself ahead, don’t slow down, revise your plan to cross the finish line sooner.  If you find yourself behind, add more exercise to your plan or revise your plan so that you can stay on course.  Don’t give up or you will never get to the finish line.  Even the last runner to finish a marathon has reached the goal.

A – Attainable Your goals should be attainable.  You cannot lose 50 pounds in a week without cutting off a leg.  

R – Realistic You must be WILLING and ABLE to carry out your plan.  Wanting to lose 300 pounds is realistic but not in 30 days.  Your plan should take your available time, resources, ability, diet and exercise programs into account.  

T – Time Sensitive Your goal and goal markers need time limits.  These time limits will give you the feedback you need so that you can celebrate successes and revise your plan if you need to.

Just remember – 

Healthy & Delicious Beet Salad

Beet Salad
Serves 4

Enjoy the many health benefits of beets, apple, and ginger in a delicious salad. 

4 fresh beets
1 Granny Smith apple
1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, mashed

1. Wash and scrub beets and apple.
2. Slice the beets and apple into ¼” slices, then cut the slices into fourths.
3. Peel and mash the ginger root.
4. Combine all ingredients, including the liquid aminos.

Per serving:  64 calories, 2g protein, 14.5g carbs, 0g fat,3.7g fiber, 307.5mg sodium.