Obalon for weight loss, YO! In case you haven’t noticed, as you get older your metabolism slows down a notch and it takes a lot more time and effort to trim off those extra pounds.At least it’s that way for me. I can no longer drop a quick 5 by cutting down on the donuts and walking up the stairs a few times.
It takes work! And I know that for some people no amount of exercise or dieting seems to get them into their favorite black dress without some hard-core Spanx bodywear. So what to do? Obalon. Maybe.
Weight Loss Options
Besides starving yourself there are plenty of options. To name a few:
- Liposuction – surgically sucks out your fat cells
- CoolSculpting – freezes the fat away
- Bariatric Surgery (for serious weight problems) – shrinks your stomach pouch and keeps you feeling full
- Orlistat – medication that blocks your intestines from absorbing 25% of the fat you ingest then redirects it out of your body in a most unpleasant way
- Phentermine – a pill that controls your appetite and makes you feel as wired as Andy Warhol at Studio 54 in the seventies.
Today though, I’m going to talk about the latest weight loss hoohaw, Obalon.
What is Obalon?
Obalon is a weight loss treatment that I’ve been watching since I first saw it mentioned a couple of years ago. It’s a pill but not really because there’s nothing medicinal in it – no chemicals to speed up your metabolism, help you poop your fat out or change your appetite.
This is actually a capsule with a deflated balloon inside which, when filled inside your stomach, limits the amount of food you can eat and in turn sends a signal to your brain telling you you’re not hungry anymore.
It looks like this:
How does Obalon work?
Well I wanted to know this too so, in addition to checking out their website and reading their research abstracts, I spoke to Gloria at the Obesity Control Center to get the skinny (I made a pun!). Here is what she said:
1. I told her I would like to lose 10lbs and she told me that I am an ideal candidate.
2. You swallow a small capsule which is attached to a tube. They will give you a valium or such to relax you if you feel it’s necessary.
3. Nitrogen Gas is used to inflate the balloon then the tube attached to the pill is removed then you leave.
4. You are on a liquid diet for 2 days but then you can eat as normal however they have a nutritionist in house that will give you guidelines to help you lose weight. She also said that it’s probably not a good idea to eat anything that may normally upset your stomach because however you would normally feel it will be like double with the Obalon in your belly. No raw chicken for you girls!
5. In 21 days you go in to get the 2nd balloon inserted the same way as the first. So now you have 2 – 250cc nitrogen filled balloons in your stomach. (Obalon say’s you can get up to 3 in a 12 week period safely)
6. After 12 weeks the balloons are removed in a short procedure using an endoscope (light sedation may be required). The gas is drained outside of your body and they pull them out through your mouth. The whole procedure takes 20 minutes but they have you stay for 2 hours after to make sure that you don’t leave sedated.
And then repeat. Uh, huh. You can do this over and over again. It’s just that the allotted time per balloon is 3 months each.
Here is a short animated video of how it goes down (another pun!).:
Um, definitely not what I had in mind when I read about a diet pill that expands in your belly and keeps you from being hungry. But there have been studies for it’s safety and it has been shown to help patients lose an average of 8% of their body weight. Check out the published abstracts.
Ideal Candidate for Obalon
Obalon’s website says that the ideal candidate should have a BMI of 27 or above.To calculate your BMI is a little intense so I’d recommend just using a BMI calculator that you can find online. But, as mentioned by Gloria, those with 10 or 15 unwanted pounds are said to benefit as well.
Cost of Obalon
So basically you swallow this pill/balloon and your not hungry and you eat less and lose weight. So how much is this worth? Obalon thinks it’s worth about $4,000 per treatment using two balloons. At the center I called it was $3,950 to be exact.
Possible Side Effects of Obalon
- Stomach Cramps or Pain
- Gastric Ulcer
Where to Get Obalon
If this sounds interesting to you, check out Obalon’s physician locator. As for me, I think I’ll just keep those extra pounds!