Weight gain is a common complaint in general practice, particularly in women who tend to be more weight and health conscious than their male counterparts. Women tend to gain weight more in the hip and thigh regions and around their breasts. This is different from males who accumulate fat around the waist. Weight gain is a complex life style problem that involves attitudes, lack of exercise and eating the wrong food groups, coupled often with hidden denial. I have shown in a separate chapter regarding this topic that weight loss and lifelong control of it through dietary changes is only one of the treatment modalities to counteract weight gain. Other parts are regular exercise and the internal hormonal adaptation that takes place when you commit yourself to a zone diet meal plan. This treats the insulin resistance, which from a medical point of view is the silent underlying cause of the weight problem as the hypoglycemic reactions are what makes people crave starch and sugar containing food. Ultimately you prevent the development of diabetes.
The reward of this change in diet and starting to exercise are improved emotional feelings, fitness and the internal satisfaction to know that you have achieved something that is easier than many people believe. This will pay dividends as you will be staying younger looking for years to come and you will stay energetic until a ripe old age (the longevity bonus of a diet/exercise program).
Some people find it impossible to lose weight with diets and exercise. In some of these cases (when men weigh 100 lb.. more or women 80 lb.. more than their normal weight should be) the patient and physician may decide that a gastric bypass surgery would be the best solution. This is a complex topic and has its pluses and minuses. For one thing, it is a permanent procedure where a longitudinal incision is made and 85% of the stomach tissue is removed. The remainder of a hollow tube is stitched together and this is the new, much smaller stomach. There is less food absorption, more weight loss, but there can be side-effects such as the dumping syndrome when sugary food is taken in.
This is the vertical sleeve gastrectomy that I described and that is depicted here. Another surgery is a laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, which restricts the amount of food that can get into the stomach.
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