Is Fasting An Option For Bariatric Patients?

Bariatric patients can do various types of fasting after their surgery but are usually not recommended since it has various downsides on the patient. Bariatric surgery is used to help obese patients lose some extra pounds of weight. After the weight loss surgery, some patients may decide to start a fast after the procedure. The period after the surgery is accompanied by the body going on a nutritional deficit while fasting on the other hand creates more deficit.

Fasting in bariatric patients makes it hard for them to change their diet since they tend to be attached to the old diet mentality.

 During fasting, the body gets old memories of starving, feeling hungry and may recreate earlier issues that one has had with food. Additionally, individuals who have a history of emotional issues with food may have a hard time maintaining consistency, therefore, triggering their issues. Some people may get depressed, lose their self-esteem and feel like failures when they are challenged on controlling themselves and maintaining the fast without breaking or cheating.

After bariatric surgery, the patient is usually told to have a normal dieting eating plan for at least 12 months post-surgery. Various medical complications may result after the procedure as well as malnutrition. Patients who have undergone the surgery face the following challenges on fasting.

  • Post the surgery patients are recommended to take bariatric vitamins and minerals at different times of the day. The vitamins for immunity support are usually limited in the body during fasting since the size of the stomach is usually shrunken. The supplements for vitamins and minerals are usually taken frequently. Patients who need to keep track of their nutrition set alarms for reminders, and maintain consistency can use the Bariatric app that helps a patient to ensure they never miss a single step in their journey to a healthier lifestyle and body.
  • A change in eating habits and a poorer nutritional intake. After the surgery, patients are needed to consume small portions of food regularly while chewing slowly and thoroughly. During fasting, one gets an urge to take larger quantities of food when taking a break.
  • Dumping Syndrome and diarrhea may result since, during the fast, the patient restricts their meal pattern, and any meal that is sugary or deep-fried products are avoided.
  • After the surgery, one is expected to take at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water to help prevent any constipation after the procedure. The restrictions that are included during fasting pose a risk of extreme dehydration.
  • During a fast, an individual’s low blood glucose levels are normally increased. This increases the chances of hypoglycemia in bariatric surgery patients.


Post-bariatric surgery patients should understand that their digestive tract adjusts physically such that it can only hold small amounts of food. Adequate fluids and nutrients are also essential since the procedure leads to deficiencies in the body. Immediate fasts after the surgery lead to various complications and negative effects while prolonged fasting periods cause side effects such as vomiting, poor nutritional intake, and dehydration. Post-bariatric patients should therefore conduct research and consult a doctor before deciding to take part in any type of fasting. The weight loss surgery alters an individual’s system and should be gentle with it for the first few 12 months or more.