Bariatric surgery is the first step in the process of reclaiming a healthy life. After the surgery, patients need to stick to a diet plan and a fitness routine. Only then can they achieve further weight loss and also keep the lost pounds away. Therefore, intermittent fasting can be a vital part of the post-surgery journey. Here are the basics of intermittent fasting and how it helps in weight management after bariatric surgery.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
The term is self-explanatory – starting and stopping fasts over a period of time repeatedly. Diet plans are an essential element of post-operative care for weight loss surgery patients.
The most critical part of intermittent fasting is maintaining a routine. So, whether the patients are following a daily routine or a weekly one, they must follow the feeding and fasting times strictly. Intermittent fasting has many variants. It may entail alternate fasting and feeding days. Daily intermittent fasting requires patients to eat in a specific period of 8-10 hours, and then fast for 14 hours or more.
Why Intermittent Fasting is Beneficial
Intermittent fasting has become immensely popular among patients after undergoing weight loss surgery. Here’s why this form of fasting has proven to be effective.
Minimum Food Restrictions
Intermittent fasting is one of the very few diets that allow patients to eat whatever type of food they want. Weight loss surgery brings about a huge lifestyle change. Intermittent fasting helps patients ease into this new lifestyle. The patients are not required to change the way they eat entirely; they only need to work on the amount they eat and when they eat it. This helps them take the baby steps towards creating a more sustainable change in their life and hopefully prevents them from getting overwhelmed.
Helps to Discipline
Such a meal plan also allows patients to get a wholesome three meals a day within active hours. As they now have fixed time schedules to eat, they can design the rest of their day around the ‘fast’. This helps them bring the much-needed discipline into their life after the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery. So, they make time for their food consumption, their exercises, their sleep schedule, and everything else.
Research on the subject of intermittent fasting has shown that it helps in accelerating the rate of metabolism in the body. As a result of the fasting, the body switches its primary source of fuel too. It changes from carbohydrates to fats. So, the body is burning off the triglycerides when it is not being fed. As a result, it helps reduce cholesterol and increase muscle mass.
Helps Stay Healthy
This form of fasting helps patients stay hydrated and keep the sugar levels in their body in check. Patients can drink water at any time off the day, keeping in mind that bariatric surgery patients should not eat and drink at the same time (link https://www.wlsafterlife.com/health/hydration-health/why-wls-patients-shouldnt-drink-while-they-eat/) . It is only the calories they have to time. Therefore, the practice does not starve the patient either.
Intermittent Fasting Helps
Weight loss surgery is the starting point for some overweight individuals to get to a healthier weight. Techniques like intermittent fasting after weight loss surgery help in managing the weight better. It keeps food cravings in check without pushing the patients to starve themselves.