Obesity and its related comorbidities can be detrimental for the affected individual and challenge public health systems worldwide. Currently, the only available treatment options leading to clinically significant and maintained body weight loss and reduction in obesity-related morbidity and mortality are based on surgical interventions. This review will focus on two main clinical effects of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), namely body weight loss and change in eating behavior. Animal experiments designed to understand the underlying physiological mechanisms of these post-gastric bypass effects will be discussed. Where appropriate, reference will also be made to vertical sleeve gastrectomy. While caloric malabsorption and mechanical restriction seem not to be major factors in this respect, alterations in gut hormone levels are invariably found after RYGB. However, their causal role in RYGB effects on eating and body weight has recently been challenged. Other potential factors contributing to the RYGB effects include increased bile acid concentrations and an altered composition of gut microbiota. RYGB is further associated with remarkable changes in preference for different dietary components, such as a decrease in the preference for high fat or sugar. It needs to be noted, however, that in many cases, the question about the necessity of these alterations for the success of bariatric surgery procedures remains unanswered.