If your BMI is over 27 then you may be putting your health at risk. Being overweight or obese significantly increases the risk of your suffering various health conditions.
Conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can severely limit your life expectancy and put a huge strain on relationships.
Now is the time to change, but what is the best method you can use to lose that excess weight?
The Orbera weight loss balloon is claimed to be a solution, but how does it work and will it really give you the results you need?
How does the Orbera weight loss balloon work?
This weight loss balloon is placed into your stomach via endoscope, which is a non-surgical procedure that can be completed within 30 minutes while under mild general anaesthetic.
The balloon is made from silicone and once inserted into your stomach after being inserted through your oesophagus is inflated with a saline solution and left to float around freely for six months.
The idea behind this balloon is that it will reduce the amount of food you could eat and will ensure your cravings are kept to a minimum.
Is the Orbera weight loss balloon proven?
In a published clinical study of 2,515 patients who had tried the Orbera weight loss balloon, the average weight loss after a 6-month period was 20 kg.
Of course results are going to vary depending on your own lifestyle changes. It is always recommended that you make healthier diet choices and exercise more often if your aim is to lose weight.
Is there an alternative to the Orbera weight loss balloon?
A similar solution to Orbera is the Obalon weight loss balloon. However instead of the balloon being placed with an endoscope it is instead swallowed using a capsule the size of a large vitamin pill.
This capsule contains the deflated balloon and once it arrives at the stomach it is inflated to the size of an apple using a micro-catheter that is attached to the capsule.
The capsule will then dissolve and the catheter is removed.
The balloon itself will sit at the top of the stomach and will make you feel fuller than normal, therefore reducing the amount you will want to eat.
Unlike the Orbera solution that lasts for 6 months, the Obalon weight loss balloon is an even shorter term solution with the first balloon only lasting 30 days.
Another balloon will be administered at this time and an option for a third after 60 days is also available depending on results.
To remove the balloons an outpatient endoscopy will be needed.
Problems with weight loss balloons?
Most patients will experience some nausea and vomiting within the first 48 hours of the procedure, which is due to your body trying to expel the balloon.
The main issue with these weight loss balloons though is the cost. The Obalon weight loss balloon for example will cost around £2000 (it is not available on the NHS).
This is quite costly, especially when you consider that it is not a long term solution to your weight issues.
Once the balloon has been removed the lost weight will quickly return unless you are able to change the habits that caused you to gain weight in the first place.
Recommended method to lose weight
To lose weight and keep it off long term you need to change your lifestyle habits for the better.
Eating healthier is a good start, cut back on the junk food instead eat more fresh fruit and vegetables with plenty of lean protein.
Protein is slow to digest so will help keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Drinking more water is also a good idea, as it can help to flush out those toxins that prevent weight loss. Furthermore, it can help to cut your food cravings as your body will often mistake thirst for hunger.
Exercise is also an important aspect of any weight loss attempt, so doing 30 minutes of intense exercise 3-4 times a week will help you to see good results.
Finally, for a little extra help losing weight you may want to try using a dietary supplement such as Phen375, which will help burn off those excess calories while reducing your appetite and keeping your energy levels high.
The most important aspect of weight loss however is that you do not quit at the first sign of trouble.
If you stay dedicated and make those much needed lifestyle changes then you can lose that excess weight and reduce the chances of suffering those debilitating health conditions.