Steps to weight loss success this Summer


It is important to employ a 360 approach to weight loss, to achieve one’s desired results

Words by Cynthia Bou Khalil, Nutritional Consultant, Allurion

As a nutritionist working in UAE who has had the opportunity to help many on their journey towards a healthier weight, I have found that there are no shortcuts to getting on the healthy bandwagon. And whilst one might be tempted to try out the many “quick-fix” methods, especially during the summer months, an effective weight loss program will always combine good science and healthcare and take a holistic approach – this  takes into account how all areas of one’s life can impact their overall wellbeing and weight loss success.

Many have found that their lives have been impacted in unforeseen ways. For example, the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns have led to dramatic changes in health behaviors, prompting people in the UAE to cut back on physical activity and eat more. Interestingly, besides being less physically active, the main cause of weight gain in the UAE is snacking, with 53% of the UAE residents eating more frequently between meals than they used to. The result is now 47% of UAE residents eat more than they used to do before the pandemic. 

For one to thrive on their weight loss journey, there needs to be a variety of supportive techniques to balance proper nutrition, a commitment to fitness, self-care, rest and mindfulness, continued learning and evolution. Weight loss programs and individual support from professionals means a tailored approach to hit target areas of improvement, results, fit into schedules and ensure it is sustainable at the same time. We are multidimensional beings and work at our best when we feed our whole selves and do so consistently.

With the above said, we can often lose ourselves in daily pressures. This is why I remind my patients that the weight loss journey is as much  mental as it is physical and one must not lose focus on total wellness, afterall it is not just about body image. This is where the support of health and wellness professionals, such as myself, and programs, such as Allurion’s Program, come into their own and can be tremendously helpful in creating a firm foundation with long term results. It is all about taking a multi-layered approach involving a positive lifestyle change that incorporates methods backed by healthcare professionals. For example, the program I work with, Allurion’s Program, avoids surgery and takes a holistic approach to its methodology, which I much prefer. With no need for surgery or indeed an endoscopy, or anaesthesia  patients literally swallow a pill, which is an innovative high-tech balloon solution. However, remember no weight loss program is a magic bullet and to follow there has to be a full package of support to help individuals develop good lifestyle habits that can remain with them long after they have finished the six month program. It is groundbreaking, especially for those who already lead a healthy-lifestyle but suffer from the feeling of constant hunger, as it gives patients the chance to take a break from dieting and the feeling of hunger associated, which is more often than not the reason for weight gain. 

Having said this, it is also important to remember that no weight loss program is a magic bullet. This is why I am uncompromising in my quest to find the best result-driven solutions that help my patients achieve their healthy weight goals. With this in mind, here are some simple steps to achieving weight loss success.

  1. Find out the “why”: First, before embarking on the journey, you have to understand your reasoning behind wanting to lose weight. Whilst the reason could be as simple as doing it for one’s health, it does help to be specific, such as wanting to be alive and well 15 years from now. Knowing why you are on your weight loss journey would help motivate you on those tough days when all you want to do is give up.
  1. Set realistic goals: The truth is everyone has a different approach to starting their journey. But rather than looking for a quick fix solution, why not set realistic goals for yourself as opposed to radically changing your lifestyle. A process that is tailored to you, and will ensure long-lasting success, even after the heavy lifting is complete.
  1. Look at combining good science and healthcare: If you are looking to lose weight, look at solutions devised through a 360-degree spectrum – this means a combination of science and good health care support. I  firmly believe that there no process to losing weight that is a magic bullet and this is what led to my collaboration with the Program, by Allurion, a process that involves a 16-week balloon placement coupled with a lifestyle modification program that focuses on diet and exercise, resulting in more weight loss than diet or exercise alone. 
  1. It’s not just about the diet, it’s about portion control: I have found that portion control and the horrible feeling of never feeling full play a huge role when it comes to my patient’s success on their weight loss journeys. Pay attention to what you eat and how much, and understand when to stop. Whether you are a full health junkie, snacking on celery sticks, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables or your vices are donuts, chocolates and a multitude of sweet and savoury treats, if not consumed in moderation, you can do your body more harm than good. However, that’s easier said than done and requires education, discipline and often, the support of a professional such as myself. This is why I joined forces with Allurion. The Allurion Balloon helps my patients feel fuller for a longer period, and thus, are less likely to overeat.

One may think that all it takes to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. However, weight loss is a bit more complex than this. Everyone looking to get on this health journey has a different reason for wanting to do so. And whilst no programme will ever be a one-size-fits-all method, look to proven methods, such as Allurion’s Program that take a holistic approach to losing weight. And most important, make sure to look for adequate planning and support, from healthcare professionals, as well as a trusted group to guide you along your weight loss journey.

Allurion’s Program is the world’s first and only weight loss device that requires no surgery, endoscopy, or anesthesia. It is a swallowable capsule that expands in the stomach to around the size of a grapefruit and allows patients to lose an average of 10 to 15% after approximately 16 weeks. Allurion’s Program combines its high-tech balloon solution with a full package of support to help its patients develop good lifestyle habits that can remain with them long after their balloon has gone. Patients benefit from six months of dietary support from a nutritionist to ensure lasting lifestyle changes alongside an Allurion Connected Scale and Allurion Health Tracker both connected to the Allurion App.