This was prompted by a May 25 article in the “Be Healthy” section of the local State Journal-Register. This is a regular section of the paper that health-conscious readers can use to their advantage by carefully studying the information, then doing the opposite of what they’ve read.
This particular installment was optimistically titled “Gastric bypass surgery can lead to other health improvements,” and focused on the story of a local woman who’d shed 130 pounds after this extreme surgery. The article then went on to claim that this surgery cures all sorts of other “comorbidities” of being obese; i.e., diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, arthritis, etc. Wow. What’s not to like about that?
Well, “dumping,” maybe. That’s the term for how what remains of your digestive tract responds when you eat a meal of more than about a half of a cup or cup of food. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. And that’s the name people who promote gastric bypass give it.
Here’s something interesting. I looked up the diet people who have this surgery are instructed to follow. You can check it out here.
It starts with a couple of days on a 2-3 ounce per meal liquid diet, and then a month on pureed meals, and another month on foods that have all been finely minced. Then you can start on “regular” foods. Except for any of these:
- Nuts and seeds
- Dried fruits
- Sodas and carbonated beverages
- Stringy or fibrous vegetables, such as celery, broccoli, corn or cabbage
- Tough meats or meats with gristle
Oh, and nothing with much fat or sugar in it. Ever. For the rest of your life. The total calories shouldn’t go over about 1,200 per day.
You’ll also need to take daily vitamin and calcium supplements. A permanent diet that is so calorie restricted means you won’t be getting enough vitamins in your food. Plus, after ripping out the majority of your gut, what’s left won’t be able to extract much of the vitamins you are getting. Also keep in mind that a number of essential vitamins and nutrients are only “fat soluble.” But you’re not supposes to eat fat, remember?
The person in the article noted how much her mood had improved and she no longer needed to take anti-depressant or allergy pills. Which makes perfect sense. After all, she’s been on a high-fat diet for a year. How’s that? Well, since her surgery, she’s lost 130 pounds in a year, meaning her body has been utilizing just over a third of a pound a day of healthy saturated fat (about 1450 calories) — her own. So if she’s ingesting 1200 calories daily and using 1450 calories of stored fat, her diet is over 50% fat.
The new major restrictions on carb intake means her body isn’t dumping insulin into her system and forcing fat storage, so her body is burning it. In fact, cutting out carbs, especially sugar (and even more especially fructose) tends to clear up all of those “comorbidities” mentioned earlier, without devastating your entire digestive system.
Unfortunately, if one does allow surgeons to second-guess what God and/or thousands of years of adaptation (take your pick) has created, after the stored body fat is consumed, there will no longer be a way to provide that fat that the body needs for the brain, bones, hormones, etc. May want to hang onto the anti-depressant prescription.
Here’s what I think. Before undergoing an irreversible “lobotomy” on your digestive system, maybe a person should spend a year on the post-bypass diet before going under the knife.
So, cut out all of the above-mentioned foods, including sugars, and keep your daily intake around 1200 calories. If you eat more than a cup of food at one meal, chug a bottle of Milk of Magnesia to mimic that “dumping” effect. To make it more realistic, get a friend to randomly pop up and make you down the laxative at times you can’t anticipate.
If you can do that for a year, I have a hunch you’ll be a lot thinner and won’t need surgery. I doubt most people would be able to stick with it, however. In more enlightened times, that would’ve been called a “starvation diet.” Even when people go through with the surgery, which would technically mean no choice, there’s still a discouraging rate of weight gain, only now with a thoroughly compromised physiology.
Better yet, take most of the diet but add a few hundred calories of saturated fat. You’ll still lose the weight and take care of those pesky comorbidities. Plus, you won’t end up, like the person featured in the story, “terrified of eating even one cookie.”
Pass the bacon.