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Rosie O'Donnell on low carb diet after 50-pound weight loss surgery

Rosie O'Donnell is on low-carb sugar-free diet after 50-lb weight loss surgery
Kim, Lovekin/Getty Images

Rosie O'Donnell feels amazing after losing 50 pounds following her August 2013 bariatric surgery, but said she still has about 30 more pounds to lose.

O'Donnell, whose weight hovers at around 180 pounds, said her goal weight is 155 to 160 pounds. To achieve this, Rosie exercises daily and follows a sugar-free, low-carb diet.

"I'm eating as I'm supposed to," she told People. "I'm exercising. I lose now about a pound every other week, so we'll see. My weight loss is good."

Rosie said eliminating sugar and reducing carbs has made a huge difference in her health, but confesses she still gets tempted by sweets. "I read in a magazine article that sugar is eight times more addictive than heroin," she said.

Leading medical experts agree that eating sugar is more dangerous than consuming fat because it causes insulin spikes and promotes inflammation, which is what causes weight gain, diabetes, cancer, and aging (including wrinkles).

Dr. Mark Hyman, who helped former president Bill Clinton lose over 30 pounds on a sugar-free diet, said eating sugar fuels an even stronger craving for more sugar, wreaking havoc on your metabolism, hormones, skin and organs.

Dr. Hyman, author of the 10-Day Detox Diet and the Blood Sugar Solution, said you can torch belly fat and lose 10 pounds in 10 days on a sugar-free diet.

The 5-foot-7 O'Donnell, who previously tipped the scales at over 230 pounds, underwent vertical gastric-sleeve surgery a year after almost dying from a heart attack.

Before her bariatric surgery, Rosie was pre-diabetic, had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. In gastric-sleeve surgery, about 80% of the stomach is removed to create a small sleeve-shaped stomach, about the size of a banana.

As a result, you get full after three or four bites of food and can no longer eat huge portions. O'Donnell, who admits she used to overeat compulsively, said the surgery completely changed her relationship with food.

"They take out two thirds of your stomach – which holds the hunger hormones – and as a result of that, you're not hungry anymore," she said. "I'll go to dinner with my wife, who's 105 pounds soaking wet, and we'll order a petite filet. I'll have three bites and she'll finish it. It's a whole different way to have a relationship with food."

Rosie joins a growing list of celebrities getting bariatric surgery. Comedian Lisa Lampanelli got the gastric-sleeve procedure in April 2012 and lost 106 pounds in less than a year. Similarly, celebrity chef Graham Elliot has lost more than 150 pounds since getting gastric sleeve in July 2013. And "Today Show" star Al Roker lost 150 pounds after getting gastric bypass.

Bariatric surgery has skyrocketed in popularity, as more medical experts embrace the procedure for producing dramatic weight loss and for reversing diabetes and heart disease.

There are many emotional disruptions that accompany weight-loss surgery's stunning physical changes, according to Weight Loss Surgery For Dummies, which just underscores that losing weight is as much of an emotional transformation as a physical one.

Meanwhile, bariatric surgeons said they are still troubled by the negative stigma surrounding weight-loss surgery, insisting it's not the "easy way" out by any means. "People lose sight of the fact that the patients aren't just obese, they're sick," said bariatric surgeon Dr. Alan Wittgrove. "It's not as easy as just losing weight."

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