The Orbera weight loss balloon only remains in your stomach for six months. However, as your provider told you at the beginning of the process, Orbera is a 12-month commitment.
The weight loss balloon provided you with a guiding hand in relearning portion control and what it means to be full. After you remove the balloon, you are on your own because unlike other interventions, the balloon doesn’t alter the physical shape of your stomach.
To continue losing weight and keep it off, you’ll need to continue making healthy choices for at least another six months. Fortunately, these choices won’t be new to you: they should be in line with what you discussed with your providers during the six months with your balloon.
Keep reading to learn more about what comes next after you remove the Orbera balloon.
Preparing to Remove the Balloon: What’s Next
Your preparation for life after the balloon begins 48 hours prior to the procedure. You need to avoid solid foods for 48 hours before the procedure and take a prescription (Reglan) to aid the procedure.
It’s a good idea to drink carbonated beverages in the days before the removal to keep food out of your stomach and help clean the balloon.
On the day of your procedure, your provider deflates the balloon and carefully removes it the same way they inserted it – through your esophagus.
Orbera’s Aftercare Program: Eating After the Weight Loss Balloon
After removing the weight loss balloon, it is essential that you recommit to the healthy practices you embraced during the six months with the device.
The balloon was the size of a grapefruit when it was in your stomach. Once it comes out, all that space is there again immediately.
Ideally, you followed your nutritionist and dietician’s advice while you carried the balloon – so now you know what full really feels like and can continue making good choices. However, if you chose the Orbera balloon, then you also have help via the Aftercare Program.
What Is the Orbera Aftercare Program?
While you had the balloon in your stomach, you visited your specialist’s office on a regular basis and chatted with your assigned specialists.
During the Aftercare program, you complete your appointments online using the online portal and app. You still benefit from speaking to your nutritionist, but now you also have access to a program called Orbera Coach.
Orbera Coach provides you with:
- Content libraries
- Group sessions
It becomes your one-stop solution for continuing your weight loss journey for the next six months.
For additional fees, you can ask for further professional help. The support level you receive depends on the package you worked out with your provider before choosing the balloon.
What to Do to Keep It Off on Your Own
Although you have plenty of support from the Aftercare program, much of what happens next is up to you.
It’s important to make sure whatever path you choose to follow is both healthy and sustainable. Avoid falling for fad diets or attempting to restrict calories further than even when the balloon was still in your stomach.
Instead, use these tips to help you make the transition to healthy, sustainable weight loss.
1. Eat Slowly
In the first few days and weeks after removing your balloon, the way you eat might change. You can slow the change and encourage the portion size you used before by eating slowly.
The benefits of eating slowly impact everyone – not just those trying to lose weight. You feel fuller faster, digest your food more easily, and generally enjoy what’s on your place a whole lot more.
Remember, food is a life-sustaining pleasure – and eating is good for you. Take the time to appreciate it and your body and mind will thank you.
2. Use a Schedule
The Aftercare plan helps you find recipe ideas, but you need a schedule to put them in place.
Meal planning saves you time, money, and calories because you always know there’s a healthy, nutritious meal around the corner. It prevents trips out to restaurants (where portions are huge) or incessant snacking during the day.
3. Stay Away from Fast Food and Sugar
A restrictive diet is unnecessary unless your doctor gave you a reason to follow one. However, you do benefit from staying away from fast food and sugar during the months after your Orbera removal.
Both fast food and sugar tend to be carb-heavy, which causes your insulin levels to spike. When this happens, your blood sugar crashes and then you feel hungry. Because sugar also decreases the hormone that suppresses your appetite, you may even feel hungry after eating 1,000 calories an hour ago.
Avoiding high-carb, highly-processed foods helps you protect your blood sugar and avoid over-eating during those crucial six months after Orbera.
4. Find an Exercise Style You Enjoy
Don’t keep exercising in a way that you hate.
If you don’t like running, don’t do it. If you hate Zumba, stop going.
You should find ways to move your body that are pleasurable because, in the end, you’ll engage in it more.
Get out there and try new things – and re-try old things that your body hated 20 to 40 pounds ago. Find a way of moving that makes you happy, and it won’t (always) feel like a chore.
If you hate exercise altogether and can’t be persuaded, try these 40 ways to exercise without realizing it.
5. Join a Group
There are a few Facebook groups and forums run by those who use or have used gastric balloons. Here, you’ll find more community, inspiration, and even new friends who inspire you to stick to your plan both during the six month period and after.
You Can Keep the Weight Off After the Weight Loss Balloon
The weight loss balloon can help you lose up to three times the weight compared to diet and exercise alone. It’s most important function, however, is showing you that weight loss is possible when you make healthy choices.
Portion control, diet, and exercise are all important in helping you continue to lose weight after your provider removes the balloon. Orbera helps by providing you access to the Aftercare program, but it’s still up to you to make the commitment.
Are you ready to try Orbera? Click here for a free consultation to learn more about how the gastric balloon can change your life.