French food influencer Rachida Sassou says she lost 48kg, following the allurion gastric balloon weightloss programme. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A French food influencer in Dubai has lost 48 kilos, all thanks to the allurion gastric balloon weightloss programme.

Rachida Sassou, 29, who is a professional marketing manager for a consultant firm in Dubai and a food influencer by passion, said she weighed a massive 106.5kg for a height of 163cm.

That was 2019.

The story is quite different now. Sassou now weighs 60kg and looks fit. She has worked around her food cravings to include a healthy diet. “I came to Dubai in 2015 to do my master’s programme. I was alone, no friends or family staying with me. I was eating out all the time.”

Little did she also realise then that her love for eating out would one day lead her to becoming a food influencer. While that meant exploring different cuisines, it also resulted in Sassou eating a lot. She piled up 30kg in three years. “My Instagram handle @rashoou grew in numbers, so did my weight. Whenever I would go on vacation, my parents would gently tell me to look after myself. They did not want to hurt my sentiments, as I would visit them only for a short while. But they would ask me to take care of my health and it played on my mind.”

It was then that Sassou finally decided to put an end to her rising weight.

Sassou had heard about the Allurion programme through a friend and decided to give it a try.

Rachida Sassou
Sassou had heard about the Allurion programme through a friend and decided to give it a try. Image Credit: Supplied

“I made an appointment with the team there. They sent me for a psychological assessment first. There, the doctor asked me if I was ready for the changes that the balloon would bring. After I said yes, I was put on medication for two weeks to prepare the stomach for the non-intrusive programme.”

Whole process took only 20 minutes

On the day the programme began, as a first step, Sassou was asked to swallow a capsule. A catheter was linked to the capsule. Inside the capsule was the thin sheath of a balloon. The balloon was filled with water through the catheter. An X-Ray was done to ensure the capsule was placed at the right position in the stomach. The catheter was then pulled to close the balloon. The balloon filled with water stayed inside her stomach for four months. “After four months, the balloon burst on its own and was flushed out of the body through natural excretion.”

Life-changing procedure

Sassou said she lost 28kg in the four months after the balloon was placed inside. “With the balloon inside my stomach, I used to feel full even with eating just a little bit. This gradually reduced my food intake and I started losing weight. I topped this with daily exercises and before I knew it, my body was being transformed.”

She also started doing intermittent fasting. “My confidence increased. I began loving myself all the more and my family was happy that I had finally taken the decision to put myself on the right track.”

Rachida Sassou
Sassou said she lost 28kg in the four months after the balloon was placed inside her stomach. Image Credit: Supplied

So, what is the gastric balloon weightloss therapy?

As part of the gastric balloon therapy, a capsule is swallowed with water. It remains lodged in the stomach with the help of X-ray. Once it reaches your stomach, it is inflated using special sterile water. The inflated balloon gives a feeling of being full sooner and thus helps in reducing food intake, thereby achieving weightloss.

After a span of four months, the balloon automatically deflates, without the need for endoscopic procedure and it passes out of the body through excretion. Hence, this procedure is completely safe and non-invasive when it comes to weightloss. It is a case of shedding those extra kilos without inconvenience of hospital admission or sedation or even endoscopy.

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The advantages:

• The gastric balloon procedure has several benefits as compared to the other bariatric procedures for losing weight.

• In the first 16 weeks, the patient loses around 10-15kg of weight. In some instances, the weightloss is more.

• There is considerable reduction around the waist.

• Patients undergoing this procedure had reported significant reduction in BMI, body fat, waist circumference, blood pressure and cholesterol.

• The procedure itself takes a short time and the recovery period is very short.

• The procedure is not permanent, unlike other bariatric procedures, and so there are no permanent changes to the digestive system.

• Unlike other procedures, you are not required to take daily nutritional supplements.

• There are no side-effects as such after the procedure. Hence, it is one of the safest ways to lose weight.