The first step is always hard, but we are here to make it easier
Words by Nutritional Consultant and Clinical Manager Excellence at Allurion, Cynthia Bou Khalil
Although new years eve passed over a month ago, due to coronavirus we are all still in the mood of renewal and reviving our lives. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by YouGov; 48% of the people made it their 2021 resolution to lose weight. The same study found that exercising more (59%) and eating healthier (54%) were the other two most popular resolutions. However, the research also shows that the majority of those making resolutions tend to see a loss of motivation by the second month, once busy schedules and old habits begin to creep back in.
As a holistic nutritionist working in UAE, I have had the opportunity to work with many men, women, both Arabs and expats and be a part of their journey towards a healthier weight. Whether you are someone who has made a resolution to lose weight or have been at it for years, a crucial aspect to achieving your desired results is having a holistic approach and plan. Everyone needs to focus on total wellness and not just their body image. It has to be an approach that does not use quick-fix methods of shedding extra weight but ensures you stay on track all year round, as opposed to, just the start.
Whilst most of us know and understand the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it is not always easy to implement lasting and valuable changes. Did you know that a huge part of the weight loss journey comes down to portion control? Most of my clients at Allurion are active people who make healthy food choices, however, they are suffering from hunger and need a break from dieting and the feeling associated with never being full. With this said, ultimately, no matter how many diets or HIIT exercises you do, chances are the results will be less than desirable, unless all aspects are being focused on together. I worked with Allurion, and conducted a survey to gauge insights about the approach people have towards weight loss and saw 73% of people in the UAE were not satisfied with the outcome of their previous weight loss solutions. Most had gone through the tried methods of dieting, fitness and taking supplements, but with little to no success. The feeling of hunger and never feeling full are the two states of emotions people struggle with and thus, quit their diet.
With this in mind, sometimes dieting is just not enough, hence why we nutritionists and doctors in UAE recommend people looking to lose weight use a multilayered approach and seek out the guidance of healthcare professionals. Having said all of this, it is also important to remember that no weight loss program is a magic bullet, this journey is as much mental, as it is health and fitness. And, once you take that first step with the proper support, there is no going back. To help kickstart your health journey, here are my five golden rules that have shown significant success for people wanting to lose weight over the years in my career as a nutritionist.
- To be the healthiest version of you, it is imperative to understand where you are and where you want (or sometimes need) to be – Are you looking to shake off just 10kg to 15kg or are you currently teetering on the edge of obesity? The reality is certain situations can carry with them medical risks, so it’s important to identify the current state of your body to properly map out an effective course of action. No weight loss programme will ever be a one-size-fits-all method. You need adequate planning and support, from healthcare professionals, as well as a trusted group to guide you along your weight loss journey.
- A holistic approach for long-lasting results – Through my years of working as a nutritionist, I have come to find that an effective weight loss programme is one that combines good healthcare and good science. Looking to promote overall well-being throughout the journey would not only lead you to your desired results but would also help you remain motivated to continue working towards and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even after the heavy lifting is done. Thus, it is important to understand that for goals to be met, you must look to methods that don’t only focus on the physical journey but also your outlook towards health and nutrition as a whole. For me, educating yourself is essential to success.
- There are no shortcuts– The damage caused to your body by toxic habits developed over the years will not mend themselves overnight and anything that tells you otherwise is just offering you a quick fix to a bigger issue. Quick fix formulas may show you immediate results but are they sustainable? And more importantly, are they healthy? Those who see the best possible results are those who work to realistic timelines and goals for themselves and their bodies and put in the work. Think of this journey as investing your time for a long period to eventually live a happier and healthier life.
- Professional support – Healthcare professionals play a crucial role in ensuring you take on your journey properly, stay on course and focused throughout. Although I have noticed hesitation to seek out professional help and according to a survey conducted by Allurion in 2018, it was seen that 15% have chosen not to consult a professional, this mostly happens as people often think they can manage the weight themselves. Doctors, nutritionists such myself, and even fitness experts offer advice and methods backed by scientific research and can help guide you unto the right path. For example, after The Allurion Elipse Balloon placement, which is the world’s first and only weight loss device that requires no surgery, endoscopy, or anaesthesia, patients are finally provided with that feeling of fullness. It gives patients the chance to take a break from dieting and the feeling of hunger associated. Furthermore, the Allurion Elipse Program includes professional follow-up over 6-months, along with a connected scale, health tracker watch and app to monitor weight loss.
- Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve – When it comes to fitness, everyone has a different approach to starting their journey. Some start with a crash diet and others with regular exercise. But the key here is commitment. Remember that your habits will either make or break your body so stay determined and remain in control of what you do and consume.
As you start or get on with your fitness journey, employing a holistic approach which takes into account all facets of your life is often essential. Solutions curated based on each individual’s needs, supplemented by health and wellness professionals are what get the results that last a lifetime So kickstart your journey to becoming healthier throughout the year and not just for a month. Remember, this lies with developing good lifestyle habits that will remain with you, whether you choose to lose weight or just maintain your health.
About Allurion’s Elipse Program:
Allurion’s Elipse Program is the world’s first and only weight loss device that requires no surgery, endoscopy, or anaesthesia. 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 Elipse 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.