Elipse: The Magic Weight Loss Bullet You’ve Been Waiting For?

How would you like to lose weight by simply swallowing a pill?  

Imagine no counting calories, weighing or measuring or even paying attention to the quality of the food you’re eating for that matter.

And this time, experts are suggesting it’s a reality; patients lost an average of 37 percent of their excess weight (about 22 pounds each), the researchers who led a study[1] in the Czech Republic report.

So how does it work?

It’s not about suppressing your appetite; rather, creating a sensation of being full…by swallowing a balloon.

Allurion Technology’s ‘gastric balloon[2]’ gets packed inside a standard-sized capsule attached to a tiny catheter and when swallowed, this capsule descends into the stomach, where its shell dissolves. Known as ‘procedure-less’, patients swallow the capsule during a brief office visit and pass it into the toilet several months later.

According to their website, “Elipse will empower overweight and obese patients (and their healthcare providers) to reclaim their health with a safe and effective weight loss tool.”

If your stomach is full, you have less room to stuff more into it. OK, that much makes sense.

But if we’re talking solely about volume of food, and nothing more, minor details such as food quality, nutrient density, sourcing of proteins, balancing our macros, just to name a few aren’t even being mentioned.

So where is the education here?

If a the space in a patient’s stomach is temporarily occupied by a balloon so they don’t have as much room for whatever their food of choice that made them overweight in the first place was, then yes, they will eat less of that food or those food choices.

But what would their impetus be to change the dynamic of what and how they eat if they’re seeing the pounds come off?

With 8 out of 10 dieters, on the low end, failing[3] to keep the weight off for any extended period of time, it’s no surprise that we’re getting desperate here.

Lap Band surgery, in which a band is surgically inserted around your stomach to reduce the room for food so that you feel full after eating very small amounts[4], has become so commonplace we don’t even think twice when we hear about another colleague or family member undergoing the procedure.

Lap Band Patients learn that if they eat too much, especially too much of certain kinds of food, they will feel nauseous or will vomit and in theory, these unpleasant experiences will motivate them to avoid over-eating and will help them lose weight.

But it’s a surgery.

And with a laundry list of potential complications and nearly 50% of patients having a need for at least one secondary surgery in the years following the procedure[5], you’d think it might be something that would be considered a bit extreme or radical.

But it’s not.

Yet when we look at different types of approaches to eating that happen to eschew grains (Gasp! Those are great sources of fiber, aren’t they?) or suggest completely avoiding white sugar rather than enjoying ‘everything in moderation’ (Is there any other drug that can be used in moderation, especially by someone who may have an addiction to it?), they’re quickly cast aside as being too radical, not sustainable, too trendy or even downright crazy.

To reiterate: neither swallowing a pill which contains a balloon which will inflate our stomachs nor having a surgical procedure that will tie a band around our guts, then, is crazy?

But cutting out dairy and sugar? Ditching the daily diet sodas? Opting for veggies at breakfast with our eggs instead of toast?

Well, those are all downright nuts.

The worst part of all is that my sarcasm is far too many people’s reality.

If only we could add a touch of patience, we may have a better chance at long term success with weight loss via a healthy eating plan combined with educating people (on how their body’s actually work, what foods’ glycemic index and sugar content may be prohibitive to weight loss, how good fat doesn’t actually make you fat but refined carbs do…and so on, and so on…).

Why patience?

Because we all want everything now.

50 pounds of fat to lose?

With a slow but steady, healthy eating and moving approach, one could safely see this goal come to fruition in a year’s time or perhaps a bit sooner.

But it’s not good enough.
So all possibilities are exhausted, regardless of consequence.

In my opinion, that is what

[1] “Experimental Weight-loss Device You Swallow like a Pill.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 2015. Web. 06 Nov. 2015

[2] http://allurion.com

[3] “Do Diets Work?” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2015

[4] “What You Need to Know About Lap-Band Surgery.” What You Need to Know About Lap-Band Surgery. Dr Oz Show, n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2015

[5] “Study Adds Weight to Lap Band Risks.” ABC News. ABC News Network, n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2015.