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How Does Gastric Bypass Make You Lose Weight?

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Updated February 15, 2014


Q: How does gastric bypass make you lose weight?

A: Gastric bypass procedure involves sealing off a large portion of your stomach. In fact, after the procedure, most of your stomach is no longer used.

A small pouch at the top of your stomach is created. A bypass is created in part of your small intestine to reduce calorie absorption. The procedure is now performed with miniature instruments and it requires a succession of five to six small incisions (less than an inch in length each).

It’s the reduction of your portion sizes and the lessened calorie absorption that leads to weight loss, not the procedure in and of itself. Thanks to your much smaller stomach, you must eat restricted portions following gastric bypass.

However, you will not feel hungry after eating those small portions like you would with your stomach the size it is now. Plus, the calories contained in the foods that you eat aren't absorbed as well by your system due to the intestinal bypass, further reducing total calories taken in.

To keep the weight off, those lifestyle changes your doctor prescribes will need to be permanent. Al Roker, for example, has given up his favorite McDonald's meals and exercises regularly.

Carnie Wilson, who formerly binged as a comfort-eater, dines on healthy fare like grilled salmon and also exercises religiously. Carnie has commented that it's a one-two punch: when she exercises she doesn't want to undo the good she's done by downing a candy bar.

Gastric bypass works, but you have to work hard at it!


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