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Diabetes Health Center

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Randy Jackson Tackles Weight Loss, Diet, and Diabetes

American Idol judge reveals how he lost 100 pounds and tamed his diabetes. Plus, a slimmed-down recipe and his iPod playlist!

Randy Jackson's Gastric Bypass Surgery continued...

Gastric bypass surgery also entails connecting the smaller stomach pouch further down the small intestine. This bypasses the upper part of the small intestine, leading to fewer calories and nutrients being absorbed by the body.

The weight loss from gastric bypass is very rapid, occurring in the first nine to 12 months, then tends to plateau after 18 months and a person’s appetite comes back. “For me, I gained back 15% of the weight I lost after surgery, and I said, ‘Now I have to get to work,'” Jackson recalls.

Sliding back is typical, says Christine Ren Fielding, MD, an associate professor of surgery at NYU School of Medicine and director of the NYU Program for Surgical Weight Loss. “Weight loss surgery is a tool and definitely gives you a jump-start, but the rest is up to you.”

Living With Gastric Bypass

People who undergo the gastric procedure have to change everything about how they ate before the surgery. “You have to eat smaller portions and chew each morsel thoroughly,” she says. They also must take supplements to compensate for certain nutrients that the body no longer absorbs as well. If they don’t abide by these new rules, decidedly unpleasant symptoms, such as abdominal cramps and nausea can happen.

And if they do gain the weight back, other consequences of obesity, such as diabetes, will also return. Not everyone’s diabetes goes away, but Jackson’s is at bay for now. His blood sugar is controlled by diet and exercise alone, and he no longer has to take medications. “I go to my doctor four times a year to see where my sugars are,” he says. “It’s a good thing to stay on top of, because health is the biggest wealth we can have in the world.”

And for exercise? While millions of Idol viewers likely tune in from the comfort of their couch, Jackson says he’s definitely found ways to incorporate simple exercises into his hectic lifestyle, even when he is on the road. The former high school football player keeps a big, bulky treadmill next to his bed, which may not do much for décor, but he has to pass it each morning when he rolls out of bed. “It’s right there staring at me, going, ‘Come here. You know you need this,’ [and] that makes the ugliness worth it,” he says. Jackson usually walks on the treadmill for 35 to 45 minutes a day.

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