Great idea! Then I’d like a bottle of thalidomide and a frontal lobotomy.

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
  • Popcorn
  • Dried fruits
  • Sodas and carbonated beverages
  • Granola
  • Stringy or fibrous vegetables, such as celery, broccoli, corn or cabbage
  • Tough meats or meats with gristle
  • Breads

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.

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5 Responses to Great idea! Then I’d like a bottle of thalidomide and a frontal lobotomy.

  1. Amy Dungan says:

    Great post as usual Jerry!

    I wish people could see what weight loss really does to the body. Not everyone has problems, which is amazing in itself, but many people do. I have a friend that is 5 years post-bypass. She is vitamin deficient and has grand-mal seizures. Neither were a problem before her surgery. Another person I know had lap-band surgery. It worked for about 9 months and she lost a good amount of weight, but then she started having health issues. They learned it was caused by the band and she had it removed.
    Surgery isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, and I agree that they should be required to stick to the post-op diet first. Two reasons come to mind. #1 If they can’t stick to it for several months or a year pre-op, why would it be any different post-op? They’d learn what they are really in for. #2 They would likely lose the weight and not need the surgery at all. Especially if they take your advice and basically morph it into a full-blown low-carb diet. Ah… but there’s the answer. Surgeons don’t make money if the diet works before the surgery. Silly me!

    We don’t seem to believe anything will will work unless it requires a prescription or $20,000 surgery bills.

    At least the lap-band seems to be technically reversible.

  2. Tom Naughton says:

    Since you’re an economics buff, here’s another way to look at it: those surgeries run $50,000 and up. For half that, you could hire someone for who is armed with a pistol and instructed to shoot you through the head if you eat any sugar or other refined carbohydrates any time during the next year. Same weight loss, fewer side effects … unless of course you eat a cookie.

    I’d be a little concerned with the political implications. Think about it —

    Joe Biden, Democrat — brain tumor, no problem.
    Lee Atwater, Repulican — brain tumor, dies.
    Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat — shot in head, recovering.
    James Brady, Republican — shot in head, turns into liberal Democrat.

    So I’m afraid that people who got shot in the head not only would still keep eating carbs, but the Democrats would gain an unfair advantage because their brains are apparently vestigial organs.

    Of course, the government nutritionists would insist that the reason people kept eating carbs after being shot in the head was that they didn’t use a big enough gun.

  3. LisaW says:

    Hmm…so I checked out the post gastric bypass diet and was thrilled to see that after only a few days you might be allowed to whip up a nice meat paste and choke it down…Now that IS enticing…


    “Gak” says it all.

    — JN

  4. Jason Flores says:

    Gastric bypass surgery also makes your farts smell like rancid butter. Take it from me, unless you are seriously in risk of dying due to being overweight, don’t get it done.

  5. Jonathan says:

    “get a friend to randomly pop up and make you down the laxative at times you can’t anticipate”


    Maybe you could get a laxative made in capsule form with varying thicknesses of the capsule encasement that gives you an varying onset of effect. Could call it “Random Dump Diet”

    Wow. Even better. You’re an evil genius!


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