Losing weight with a little Help: How Octavia Spencer had 'secret gastric bypass surgery'
19:28 GMT, 21 March 2012
As a Hollywood star who is not a sample size, Octavia Spencer has had to become used to fielding questions about body image.
But though her fame may be new, her battle with her weight is not.
A new report has claimed that the Oscar-winning actress, now 39, had gastric bypass surgery in 2005.
Weight-loss: Octavia Spencer (pictured in the 2003 film Bad Santa, left), is said to have lost 50lbs after a gastric bypass in 2005. Now (seen at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January, right) she is a more svelte 165lbs
The procedure dramatically reduces the size of the stomach so that the quantities of food a patient can eat are severely limited.
Miss Spencer lost 50lbs from her 5ft 2in frame following the surgery, the National Enquirer reported, taking her weight down to 165lbs.
But, it claimed, she has been unable to lose any further weight because she is not prepared to cut back on the high-calorie foods she loves.
Restricted diet Miss Spencer pictured in 2005 when she is reported to have had the weight-loss procedure
A source close to the star's family told the magazine that though she had maintained a liquid diet after the surgery, bad eating habits slowly started creeping back.
'The problem is Octavia is always hungry, and she doesn't want to eat a salad or fish for dinner,' they revealed.
'Octavia likes her favorites – fried chicken, mashed potatoes and hot rolls with plenty of butter. Once you have that surgery, you can't eat like that.'
The source went on to describe how the actress's craving for fried chicken was once so extreme, she blended the meat so that she could enjoy it on her liquid diet.
'Soon she was doing that with everything she liked,' they said. 'Before long, she was back on solid food and her stomach stretched out.'
According to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, gastric bypass patients must consume nothing but clear liquids for the first week after surgery.
In the second to third week, they may start introducing thicker liquids to their diet, and then solid food.
The medical facility's advice reads: 'Take only two to three bites at a time of any new food and then wait 10 minutes before consuming more… This is important because your stomach is very small, with a capacity of less than a 1/4 cup or 60 cubic centimeters, and the opening that allows passage of food out of your stomach is very narrow.'
A representative for Miss Spencer did not respond to a request for comment on the article.