Gastric balloons are a fantastic, non-surgical weight loss tool that can help jump start your weight loss journey. Unfortunately, after a period of time, they must be removed. At that time, you'll be left without the benefits of the balloon while you continue your new, healthier lifestyle.

This can be a difficult time. Since gastric balloons do such a fantastic job of curbing your appetite, it's much easier to observe proper portion control when they're in use. Many people fear the day when they no longer have that advantage in their weight loss struggle.

Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks you can use to make the transition easier on yourself. In fact, by fostering these habits during your time with the gastric balloon, you'll find it much easier to continue hitting your weight loss goals after the removal.

Tip #1--Drink Water Before Every Meal

For people who are battling cravings and hunger, water is an invaluable asset. Along with being a primary ingredient of healthy bodily function, it helps make you feel fuller without adding a single calorie to your diet. In fact, there's a lot of research to show that your body can actually trigger a hunger response when you're thirsty!

By drinking water before your meal, you accomplish two things. First, you eliminate any hunger response that caused by thirst instead of legitimate craving for food. Second, you physically fill your stomach with liquid--making it more likely that a small portion of food will result in a physical feeling of satisfaction. This "full" feeling has been well documented, and has led to increased weight loss in clinical studies.

Tip #2--Become Aware Of Stress

Stress has a unique way of creeping into the average person's daily life. From family discord to work deadlines, there's a seemingly unlimited source of pressure and stress in most people's lives. Unfortunately, this emotional experience can often lead people to eat more than they otherwise would--often without the person even noticing either the cause of the increased eating.

The best way to combat this is to become mindful of your stress. Try logging the sources of your stress in a journal for a week or two, then look for patterns in your thinking. Meditation is another way of developing awareness of the emotional forces in our lives. The most important thing is that you become aware of your stress. That way, you can know when the situation is primed for stress eating.

Tip #3--Be Crafty About Activity

It's a rare thing when a sedentary person wakes up and decides to run a marathon. Similarly, if you're not the type of person who gets immediate satisfaction from exercise or active hobbies, it's unlikely that you'll start doing so tomorrow. However, since burning calories is one of the most important things you can do to manage your weight, you're going to have to find ways to maximize the level of activity present in your daily life.

The good news is that you likely have to walk every day. That said, you probably walk at a normal pace--just over 3 miles per hour according to experts. An hour of that would burn approximately 156 calories each hour. If you up that speed to 4 miles per hour, the calories increase to 272 each hour--almost double! Simply put, when you have to walk, walk faster than normal.

Another important idea is to try and walk every hour. During the work day, breaks every hour are important for concentration and productivity. By logging a few hundred steps around the office every hour, your calorie burn will be significantly higher than normal. If you take walks to the water cooler, that's even better.

The time spent with your gastric balloon will help you establish a healthy weight and lifestyle. If you can use that time to develop habits that will endure long after the balloon has been removed, your lifelong benefit will be that much greater.

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