Healthy Weight Loss Tips

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Understanding Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass surgery is done to primarily solve or treat morbid or severe obesity and other health problems associated with it. With this procedure the stomach is made smaller. The food will bypass part of the small intestine. By doing so, the patient will consume less because he feels full immediately. Getting full easily would reduce the calories taken by the body and eventually lead to weight loss.

Actually, gastric bypass is just among the many similar operations to reduce obesity. To refer all of these procedures, bariatric surgery is the term. These operations intend to reduce accumulated fatty tissues by altering the physiological and psychological attitude of a patient towards food and eating.

How does it alter normal digestion?

What normally happens is that after eating, the food would go through the stomach and then proceed to the small intestine. The nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine before it goes to the large intestine where waste is eventually pushed out of the body. The most common gastric bypass procedure, the Roux-en Y gastric bypass, alters this process.

In the Roux-en gastric bypass, a small pouch is made on the top part of the stomach. The lower part of the stomach, which is much smaller now, is connected directly to the middle part of the small intestine. The stomach was made smaller and at the same time, the intestine was cut short, the upper portion of the small intestine was bypassed. Both the upper portion of the stomach and the small intestine no longer digest food.

Statistics showed that patients would lose 60%, on the average, of their weight after the gastric bypass surgery. There are even who would say that they have lost 80% of their weight. There are studies showing that about 90% of patient who have undergone gastric surgery were able to maintain their weight loss after ten years of having the surgery performed.

Having gastric surgery is not risk-free though. People who have undergone this procedure would report more cases of gallstones, in other studies, they would also report nutritional issues like anemia or osteoporosis.

Every year there are about 140,000 gastric procedure being performed in the United States alone. The results could really be successful, with people being able to get better weight-loss results, however, about 2% of patients would find it very fatal. In the 2%, one percent could be as a result of complications during surgery. The heart in unable to support the pumping it has to do to handle the excess weight or the complication brought by it.

The other one percent cause of fatality among people who gone through the procedure, would be about not following the dietary restrictions that should be followed after the surgery. After gastric surgery, the body could no longer handle too much intake of high-sugar and high-fat food. There is a special diet that those who have just undergone the surgery should follow. Bypass diet would usually include foods that are high in protein but low in fat, fiber, calories, and sugar. There are vitamins and mineral supplements that are required to be taken to avoid health and nutritional deficiencies.

With more and more people turning to gastric bypass surgery as a weight-loss option, it is important to understand not only the procedure and the benefits. It is also important to weigh the risks and if our lifestyle and our body would be able to handle the dramatic loss of weight.


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Top 10 Tips for Success after Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is a weight loss procedure that results in major changes not only in the body, but also in ones lifestyle. To be able to adapt well to those changes, a patient needs to bear in mind these guidelines that ensure success after the surgery. Success means maintaining a healthy weight and preventing the possibility of regaining weight.

1. Avoid foods that are not nutritious. The culprits for weight gain are foods and liquids that are rich in calories, fat, and sugar. These include soda, milk shakes, alcohol, and sugar-rich desserts. These foods do not provide nutrients; instead, they cause hunger pangs and vomiting. Avoid them so that you do not out your weight loss effort to waste. Make sure that your diet is rich in protein, and include lots of fruits and vegetables.

2. Avoid foods that cause discomfort. Sticky, dry, and fibrous foods such as pasta, rice, bread, and meat are usually a no-no for bypass surgery patients. Soda is also not allowed because it causes bloating, gas pain, and even pressure in the stomach.

3. Avoid snacking between meals. This will only hurt your chances of keeping a healthy weight.

4. Avoid drinking liquids immediately before, during, or after meals. Filling your stomach with liquids instead of foods will deprive you of your much-needed nutrients for healing and recovery. Be sure to drink fluids at least 30 minutes before and after your meals. And of course, avoid drinking fluids while eating meals.

5. Refrain from drinking alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. Alcohol does more harm than good for people who have gone through weight loss surgery. Devoid of calories, alcohol can cause stomach ulcers. Caffeine have the same effect, aside from working against hydration in the body.

6. Contact your surgeon if problems arise. If you experience one or more of the following problems, call your surgeon immediately: extreme pain in the legs, shortness or difficulty of breathing, fever, bleeding of the incisions, and dark stools.

7. Maintain your follow-up visits after the surgery. This will make it easier for you and your surgeon to monitor and assess your progress. Also, this will result in early detection of problems such as surgical complications and nutritional deficiencies.

8. Keep yourself from getting pregnant for two years following surgery. Because your body is undergoing weight months after the surgery, it may not be able to support a baby. This will be unhealthy for both of you and the fetus. Ask your surgeon for advice in case you plan on getting pregnant.

9. Join a support group. Coping with the aftermath of the surgery may be much easier if you do it with the help of other people. There are many support groups formed to provide emotional support and advice for people who have undergone weight loss surgery. Search for these groups on the Internet; for sure, you can find one within or near your locality.

10. Find ways to cope with stress. Stress usually leads to comfort eating, which is not good for people who have had weight loss surgery. Listen to your favorite music, read books, meet up with friends, and do whatever you can to effectively deal with stress.

You will get the best results from gastric bypass surgery if you follow the guidelines mentioned above.


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How Gastric Bypass Works

Gastric bypass surgeries and other weight loss medical procedures being performed in the United States are increasing for the last few years. This may be in response for the increase in the number of people suffering from obesity. According to the American Society of Bariatric Surgery, there are about 140,000 gastric bypass being performed every year.

Those who have undergone weight loss surgeries, lose about 50 to 60% of their body weight, a year after the surgery. Along with the weight loss, they would also be losing ailments associated with obesity like high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart diseases and even cancer.

The Procedure

The most common gastric bypass performed is called the Roux-en Y gastric bypass. In this procedure, a small pouch is created on the top of the stomach. It is stapled, to seal it off from the rest of the stomach. This small pouch will no longer digest any food. The upper part of the small intestine, the duodenum, is attached to this small pouch.

When eating, the food would bypass the small pouch in the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. The food would go directly to the middle section of the intestine called the jejunum. Since it is the small intestine that does the absorption of minerals, vitamins and calories, the body will absorb limited calories only. A Y formation is formed just below the stomach.

Incisions are made in the abdomen to perform the procedure. Surgeons will be using the laparoscope or a small, tubular instrument with a camera. This will enable the surgeon to see the abdomen and perform the surgery. The laparoscopic gastric bypass actually makes the stay in the hospital and the recovery period shorter and quicker.

There are still open gastric bypass performed, however, there could be wound-related problems with this kind of procedure. The laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. The procedure lasts for about four hours. Patients who have undergone the procedure stay in the hospital for about two to six days to be monitored for any complications.

After the Surgery

Having a smaller stomach has effects on how much food the patient can eat. There are special diets that a patient recovering from gastric bypass surgery follows. Every food that the patient would eat will be important for his nutrition. There are times that they are also recommended nutritional supplements to avoid deficiencies like anemia or vitamin deficiency.

There are patients reporting weight loss of as much as 50 to 60 percent a year after the surgery. There are even some who would report an astounding 80% weight loss. However, it is still possible for patients to stretch their stomachs and have that large size again. There is still a possibility of getting back those lost pounds. That is why doctors would recommend dietary restrictions and exercise plant that would keep the pounds away.

There are also tendencies that gastric bypass patients would develop gallstones, stomach ulcers, hernia or nutritional deficiencies. The part of the stomach which was bypassed can get enlarged, it could cause bloating and hiccups. There is also the Dumping syndrome which happens when the food moves quickly to the small intestine. This can happen after eating foods high in sugar or fat.


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Healthy eating for vegetarians and vegans

Healthy eating for vegetarians and vegans
Zaak OConan

Study after study has revealed the importance of a balanced diet to good health. Eating a balanced diet, one that is rich in all the various minerals and vitamins needed for a healthy body, can present quite a challenge for vegetarians and vegans.

That is because maintaining a good balanced diet in the absence of one entire food group, such as meat and poultry, can be difficult. Meat and other animal products contain significant amounts of important nutrients, such as protein, calcium and B vitamins.

Vegan diets present an even larger problem, since vegans go a step farther and eliminate dairy products and eggs as well as meat. Vegans in particular often have trouble getting the vitamin B12 they need and often must rely on vitamin supplements for this important nutrient.

Of course that does not mean that vegetarians and vegans cannot enjoy good health. Many vegetarians and vegans can and do enjoy levels of health much better than their carnivorous peers. It simply means that vegetarians need to pay somewhat closer attention to their dietary needs, and to be on the lookout for signs of dietary deficiencies. The key to a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet, as with all types of diets, is practicing moderation, eating a variety of foods, and keeping nutritional needs in balance.

One of the most frequently cited concerns by family members and friends of vegetarians and vegans is how they will get the protein they need from a diet devoid of animal flesh. However, getting sufficient protein is usually not a concern for vegetarians, since most American diets tend to contain more protein than they need.

Vegetarians who eat dairy products can get all the protein they need from dairy products, from soy based products and from beans, nuts, lentils and seeds. There are many non animal sources of protein, so most vegetarians should not have a problem getting sufficient protein.

Even vegans, who eschew all animal based products, even milk and dairy products, typically do not have a problem with protein deficiency. That is because nuts, seeds, lentils, pinto beans, split peas, soybeans, garbanzo beans, black beans, white beans, kidney beans, navy beans and many more all have lots of protein.

Vegan meals are often rich in tofu and other soy based products, and these products contain sufficient protein to meet the needs of most vegans. In addition, the many bean based vegan recipes are excellent sources of protein. For instance, a cup of cooked beans contains the same amount of protein as a two ounce serving of meat.

As with protein, nutritional deficiencies are generally of no more concern to vegetarians than they are to the general population. Vegetarians who follow a balanced, nutritious diet should have no problem meeting their daily nutritional needs.

Vegans on the other hand, are more susceptible than vegetarians to nutritional deficiencies, particularly vitamin B12, calcium and vitamin D. That is because the most common sources of these important nutrients are all animal based, either meat or dairy products.

Of these three nutrients, the hardest to replace on a vegan diet is vitamin B12. The primary sources of vitamin B12 in the diet are all animal based. For this reason, vegans are generally advised to take vitamin B12 supplement, or to eat foods that have been fortified with vitamin B12. There are a number of such foods on the market, including nutritional yeast and soy milk.

Calcium is also a concern for vegans, since the primary sources of dietary calcium are milk and other dairy products. Again, calcium fortified foods such as some soy milk and certain cereals are important to maintaining a healthy vegan diet. The same is true of vitamin D, another primarily animal based nutrient.

The bottom line is that it is possible to maintain excellent health while avoiding meat and dairy products. The key is to follow a well balanced diet, get plenty of exercise, and make smart food choices.
About the Author

Zaak O’Conan discovers and presents useful information on how to enhance and/or repair your life, body and relationships. You’ll find his other articles on eating better and other ways how to improve your life at http://your-health-center.com


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