Friday, December 31, 2010

This is why WLS works and Diets don't

I was updating my VSG research links when I came across this study:

Medical and surgical treatments for obesity have opposite effects on peptide YY and appetite: a prospective study controlled for weight loss.

In the study, they had four groups with eight subjects in each group. One group lost weight through "medical treatment", 8 were "lean" (i.e., not obese), 8 had RnY (gastric bypass), and 8 had the sleeve. They then measured their appetite after losing weight and concluded:

RYGB [bypass] and SG [sleeve] increased PYY [a hormone that helps us feel full] and reduced appetite. MED [medical treatment] failed to produce changes. Different effects occur despite similar weight loss. This suggests that the weight-loss effects of these procedures are enhanced by an increase in PYY and satiety.

Translation: Bypass and sleeve have a positive effect on appetite and satiety. Just losing weight without those surgical interventions does not.

And that's the key. You can lose weight even if you are always hungry and never feel full as long as you are very disciplined and focused. But there is a limit to willpower and eventually you will give in and eat. In fact, only someone mentally ill could continue to not eat when their body is constantly sending them signals that it is starving and eating doesn't lead them to feel satisfied.

I've often said that I feel like my surgeon did operate on my brain and not just my stomach. I can feel the impact of the results in the study every day. Because my appetite is curbed from where it used to be and because I now feel satisfied after I eat, I can control my eating in a way I could never do long term before.

Which is good because I've been on a carb tear for the past two weeks and I've gained almost five pounds in that time and my clothes aren't fitting as well as they used to. But I know I just have to cut back a bit on my indulgences and get back to exercising more and the weight will fall off. I never had that confidence before because I never had this "tool" before.
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