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Bariatric Surgery, Hydration » Does a Water Fast Make Sense for a Bariatric Patient?

Does a Water Fast Make Sense for a Bariatric Patient?

Glasses of water keep you hydrated while doing a water only fast, but MASJax weighs in on if this is safe

You may have come across intermittent fasting in your diet research. Intermittent fasting is one of the few dietary programs that isn’t a fad and has a basis in research and history. Humans have fasted out of necessity, religiously or for weight loss purposes, for hundreds if not thousands of years. Fasting has proven to be relatively successful in helping patients lose weight.

What Exactly Is a Fast?

A fast is when we withhold food for a certain period. Intermittent fasting may require eight hours of eating each day, followed by 16 hours without eating. Some practice variations on this interval. Another fasting is more dramatic with 24 hours or even multi-day water fasting – no food but only water is consumed.

Which Is Best?

Both above examples of fasting are considered intermittent, but they serve different purposes. Interval fasting that requires eating only at certain times during the day is very helpful for weight loss. Longer-term water fasting can induce ketosis and macrophage in the body, which allows for the regeneration of cells and has a general rejuvenating effect.

Which Should I Use?

There is no correct answer for which kind of intermittent fasting you should pursue. For some, a structured limited-calorie diet may be best. For others, eating daily but only during certain hours is ideal. Some love the single or multi-day water diet. Exploring these options with your primary care physician, bariatric surgeon, or other knowledgeable medical professionals is important. For example, multi-day water-only diets can be dangerous during the re-alimentation stage. That is to say that if you go back to normal eating too quickly, you may induce a significant electrolyte balance imbalance in your body that can cause serious medical consequences. Further, if you have any medical conditions that preclude certain types of fasting, your medical team will be able to offer guidance to make sure you stay healthy and well-nourished.

As with any new exercise or diet program, your health and safety are of paramount importance, and we look forward to discussing these various options with you.

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