You may have heard of intermittent fasting: 5: 2 diet, eat-stop-eat, 16/8 method. There are many different names for intermittent fasting, but mostly they all follow the same theory of having intermittent fasting periods during which it is possible to eat “normally” and “fast” periods. By reducing your calorie intake, regardless of which method you choose, you will to lose weight or maintain weight.
After bariatric surgery, a specific diet must be followed. The post-bariatric diet is designed to allow the stomach to heal properly after surgery (as well as avoid side effects and complications). It helps you adapt to eating small amounts of food that you can digest comfortably and safely and, of course, help to lose weight.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting or intermittent energy restriction is a general term for various meal times that alternate between a voluntary and non-fasting period during a defined period.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a dietary pattern that alternates between fasting and feeding periods. It does not specify which foods you should eat, but when you should eat them. In this regard, it is not a diet in the conventional sense, but it is more accurately described as a dietary scheme.
Weight loss is one of the most common reasons why people may try intermittent fasting. Fasting involves a time when you eat little or nothing. Our ancient ancestors did not have the abundance of food that we have today, so they have often suffered fasting periods between meals, which means that the human body is very used to enduring periods without food (despite what we can be getting used to this modern world). By eating fewer meals due to fasting, you are reducing your calorie intake. Also, intermittent fasting changes hormone levels to facilitate weight loss. That is why this method can aid in weight loss or long-term weight maintenance.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
In addition to weight loss, which is often the desired result, there are many other benefits to intermittent fasting. Although intermittent fasting benefits are still in the research stages, the indications have been nothing but positive.
Insulin resistance: When fasting improves insulin sensitivity, and insulin levels can drop dramatically, low insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible. Intermittent fasting can decrease insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar levels, and fasting insulin levels.
Cell repair: During fasting periods, cells initiate cell repair, for example, a process called autophagy, in which cells digest and eliminate old, dysfunctional proteins that can accumulate within cells.
Increased human growth hormone (HGH) levels: HGH levels have been shown to increase significantly due to fasting, the benefits are fat loss and muscle mass gain, to name a few.
Brain Health: Intermittent fasting increases the BNDF brain hormone and can aid in new nerve cells’ growth.
Cancer studies: Animal studies have suggested that intermittent fasting can prevent cancer. Rat studies have shown that fasting rats have shown a longer lifespan.
Different types of intermittent fasting
The most popular forms of intermittent fasting diets are below. These are the most popular as they are the easiest to follow and, most importantly, great for the long-term. Diets often don’t work, as they are short-term solutions, but you are much more likely to lose weight and maintain it if you can introduce long-term lifestyle changes.
Diet 5: 2: this method requires to consume only 500-600 calories (500 for women, 600 for men) for two days of the week, therefore to consume a generally normal amount of calories for the remaining five days.
Method 8/16: this is a flexible approach that you can adapt to your schedule. It implies limiting the feeding period to 8 hours in a day and then fasting for 16 hours. For example, skip breakfast and eat between 12pm and 8pm or eat between 9am and 5pm.
Eat-Stop-Eat: this type involves the individual fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week; for example, do not eat from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
Whichever fasting method you choose to follow, they all have the same benefits and will result in weight loss, as they all create a calorie restriction during the fasting period every week.
How Intermittent Fasting Helps You After Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery helps in losing excess body weight, but it also reduces the risk of having heart disease and can eliminate sleep apnea, hypertension, and diabetes.
However, the positive results of bariatric surgery may be compromised by practicing intermittent fasting if not done correctly. Your body must remain nourished with vitamins, minerals, fluids, and nutrients during your post-operative life.
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Unfortunately, many patients who have experienced significant weight loss after bariatric surgery find that they may eventually regain weight or struggle to maintain long-term weight loss. This is where intermittent fasting can prove to be a useful technique, particularly for patients undergoing post-bariatric surgery who are still learning how to cope with significant lifestyle changes.
Eliminate the “what to eat” factor: Making healthy decisions can be difficult. Deciding what to eat at home, dining out at a restaurant, or shopping at the supermarket can be daunting. By introducing fasting periods, several weekly meals are eliminated, helping to simplify the thought process.
Water Consumption: During fasting periods, it is generally not allowed to consume anything other than water or non-calorie / low-calorie drinks (such as diet drinks, herbal teas, etc.). Followers of intermittent fasting often find that they consume more fluids, which means that they are finally reaching their required daily water intake.
Smaller portions: It is easy to think that you can reduce during normal feeding periods, while what tends to happen is that your tolerance to the more substantial portions decreases due to periods of fasting, which helps the body and mind return to that mental state and post-bariatric surgery.
Sustainable: unlike other “fashion diets,” intermittent fasting seems to be sustainable. During non-fasting periods, you don’t have to eat a specific diet or product (although it’s always advisable to eat a healthy combination of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates). There are no restrictions, which means you won’t give up. “and eat all those delicious sweets that you have not been allowed to eat on a standard “diet. “
Intermittent fasting helps control portions and facilitates the post-operative lifestyle transition. Also, since fasting attacks Stored fat, it has no adverse effect on the proteins the body needs to recover.
However, some specialists believe that intermittent fasting may discourage recovery from weight loss surgery, as patients must have a regular intake of vital nutrients. The best way to know if intermittent fasting is safe for you depends on your specific body type and the weight loss intervention’s nature. There is still much research on intermittent fasting’s long-term benefits, but the results seem positive and a flexible and sustainable lifestyle choice. However, it is important to follow the dietary advice provided by your nutritionist or health care professional after surgery to make sure that you are eating an adequate diet that not only helps you lose weight but also rich in necessary nutrients.