The ketogenic diet, also known as the “keto” diet, is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that has been gaining popularity in recent years.
This diet is based on the idea that by drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat intake, the body will enter a state of ketosis, in which it burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
The combination of a ketogenic diet and bariatric surgery may be an effective way to lose weight, as it contains a significant amount of proteins and healthy fats.
Both of them assist the body burn excess fat rather than muscle, which makes for a better journey toward weight loss.
Here is the complete guide on following keto after bariatric surgery.
What is bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a surgical procedure that is used to help individuals with obesity to lose weight.
The goal of bariatric surgery is to reduce the size of the stomach and/or the small intestine, which can help to reduce the amount of food that an individual eats, leading to weight loss.
There are several different types of bariatric surgery, Some of the most common types of bariatric surgery include:
- Gastric bypass surgery: This procedure involves creating a small stomach pouch and connecting it to the small intestine. This can help to reduce the amount of food that an individual eats, leading to weight loss.
- Gastric sleeve surgery: Also known as sleeve gastrectomy, this procedure involves removing a large portion of the stomach, leaving behind a small sleeve-shaped stomach. The smaller stomach can hold less food, which can help to reduce the amount of food that an individual eats, leading to weight loss.
- Adjustable gastric banding: This procedure involves placing a band around the stomach to create a small stomach pouch. The band can be adjusted to control the size of the stomach pouch and the amount of food that an individual eats, leading to weight loss.
- Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch: This procedure involves removing a large portion of the stomach and rerouting the small intestine to a new location. This can help to reduce the amount of food that an individual eats, leading to weight loss.
Bariatric surgery can be a safe and effective way to lose weight, but it is important to keep in mind that it is not a quick fix and requires a lifelong commitment to healthy eating and exercise habits.
Benefits of Keto After Bariatric Surgery
The benefits of a ketogenic diet after bariatric surgery may include:
- Weight loss: A ketogenic diet can promote weight loss by encouraging the body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
- Appetite control: The high-fat content of a ketogenic diet can help to reduce appetite, which can make it easier to stick to a reduced-calorie diet after bariatric surgery.
- Blood sugar control: A ketogenic diet can improve blood sugar control, which can be beneficial for individuals who have had bariatric surgery and are at risk of developing diabetes.
- Improved energy levels: A ketogenic diet can increase energy levels and reduce fatigue, which can be helpful for individuals who are recovering from surgery.
- Reduced inflammation: A ketogenic diet may help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can be beneficial for overall health.
Potential Downsides of Keto After Bariatric Surgery
There are several potential downsides to following a ketogenic diet after bariatric surgery, including:
- Nutrient deficiencies: The ketogenic diet can lead to deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals, especially those found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This can be particularly concerning after bariatric surgery, as nutrient deficiencies can slow healing and recovery.
- Digestive issues: Following a high-fat diet after weight loss surgery can lead to diarrhea, nausea, and other digestive issues. This can be particularly concerning for those who have had gastric bypass surgery, as the small intestine is bypassed, which can make it difficult for the body to absorb fat.
- Difficulty meeting protein requirements: The ketogenic diet is typically low in protein, which can be problematic for those who have had weight loss surgery. Getting enough protein is essential for healing and recovery after surgery, as well as maintaining muscle mass and preventing muscle loss.
Can You Do Keto After Bariatric Surgery
It’s not a one size fits all answer, whether the ketogenic diet is appropriate for you after weight loss surgery will depend on various factors such as your current health condition, your type of weight loss surgery and your individual nutritional needs.
It’s important to understand that after weight loss surgery, you may have to follow a specific diet plan tailored to your needs and that would help you to recover and adapt to your new anatomy.
Your diet will generally be low in calories, high in protein and low in carbohydrate, but not necessarily ketogenic.
The post-operative diet recommended by surgeons must be followed by bariatric patients. This is particularly crucial in the initial phases of recovery.
While the body is rapidly shedding weight, a high protein diet is crucial for repairing the body and maintaining lean muscle.
Patients who have had bariatric surgery and have been out of the hospital for at least 30 days are able to start following a slightly modified ketogenic diet that is rich in protein and low in fat in order to assist sustained fat reduction.
If you decide to follow keto after bariatric surgery, I recommend you choose healthy fat options that are also high in protein like salmon, eggs, avocado, nuts, and olive oil and include lots of dark leafy greens.
Instead of eating fats like bacon and cheeseburger, go for healthy foods that contain moderate amounts of fat and are high in protein.
The American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery recommends that bariatric patients consume 60 to 80 grams of protein per day.
However, on a traditional ketogenic diet, protein intake is typically limited to 20% of total caloric intake.
To make the ketogenic diet more suitable for bariatric patients, more targerted protein intake is needed.
This would mean, if you were consuming 1,000 calories per day, you should aim to consume 75 grams of protein (30% of total calories), 13 grams of carbohydrates (5% of total calories), and 72 grams of fats (65% of total calories).
Be sure to prioritize your nutrient needs to support your long-term health. This includes ensuring that you are getting the necessary vitamins and minerals through supplements and nutrient-dense foods.
keto diet tips for Bariatric Patients
Here are some tips for following the ketogenic diet as a bariatric patient:
- Gradually increase your fat intake, as consuming too much fat too quickly can lead to diarrhea, nausea, and other digestive issues.
- Monitor your protein intake to ensure you are getting enough to support your healing and recovery from surgery. The goal is to consume 60-80g of protein per day, and it is recommended to consume a source of protein with every bite.
- Get enough vitamins and minerals through nutrient-dense foods and supplements, as the ketogenic diet can lead to deficiencies. Incorporate more nutrient-dense foods such as leafy greens, berries, and sweet potatoes.
- Be mindful of portion sizes, as weight loss surgery limits the amount of food you can eat at one time.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, as the ketogenic diet can lead to dehydration.
- Make sure to include high-fiber foods in your diet, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, to avoid constipation and other digestive issues.
- Gradually introduce new foods and listen to your body, if you feel any discomfort, it’s best to stop eating and consult your doctor or dietitian.
- Plan your meals ahead and have healthy options available to you, making sure to stick to your diet can be challenging, but having a plan can make it easier.
The short answer to this question is “Yes, you can start a keto diet after bariatric surgery.” However, adjustments to the diet plan will be necessary.
For example, incorporating high protein and healthy sources of fat into your diet will be important to support your new bariatric lifestyle.
It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or a registered dietitian who specializes in bariatric nutrition, before starting any new diet, especially after weight loss surgery, to ensure it is safe and appropriate for you.