We all know someone who never gains weight despite eating large amounts of processed foods. If you are reading this book, chances are that you are not one of them. Our physiology evolved in an environment in which food was scarce and our metabolic thermostat worked to ensure that we made the most of the calories we were able to consume. There is wide variation in the efficiency of our fat storage capabilities. Ten thousand years ago, an efficient fat storing physiology was an advantage and allowed some cavemen to make it through the winter with ease while others were on the brink of starvation. This “improved” physiology is now a disadvantage in our food abundant modern environment.
Obesity is not a fair and equitable disease. Yes, your diet absolutely impacts your body weight. However, the way your body manages these calories is even more important. For many, eating a small amount of processed food daily will result in weight gain, while others are able to eat a predominantly processed food diet and not gain weight. Your resistance to the weight gaining effects of processed food is the result of your genetics, your environment as a developing fetus, your childhood diet, and your life experiences. We are only beginning to understand the science behind these important differences between thin people and those who suffer from obesity. Our societal view of obesity has a long way to go before we, as a community, recognize obesity as an unfair disease and that those who suffer are victims- not weak minded individuals who are unable to control their appetite.
The wonderful thing about weight loss surgery is that it allows you to take another “throw of the dice” in the fat storage lottery. The results after surgery vary significantly from individual to individual. Some post-surgical patients become highly resistant to the weight gaining effects of processed foods despite decades of living with a powerful fat storing metabolism. While others are able to lose the weight initially but remain highly susceptible to weight regain from processed foods. This critical point will be discussed in much more detail in later chapters.