Tips for Fasting During Ramadan After Bariatric Surgery

Written by Ali Zarrouk on .

Fasting Ramadan After Bariatric SurgeryFasting during the holy month of Ramadan is a significant spiritual practice for Muslims around the world. Howerver, during Ramadan, patients who have had bariatric surgery are required to take special measures to avoid health risks. 

Patients are advised to not fast in the first 6 months after weight loss surgery to prevent malnutrition and dehydration.

After weight loss surgery such as the sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass it can be difficult to drink enough fluids to stay hydrated and meet your protein and energy requirements with foods. It is advised that you drink at least 1.5-2L fluids throughout the day to keep hydrated and prevent constipation. It is also advised that you avoid drinking too quickly or eating and drinking together. These restrictions together with fasting can increase your risk of dehydration.

Tips for fasting during Ramadan

Below are some tips to help you through this time of fasting while not putting your health at risk

  1. Consume 3 small, nutritious meals each day: Suhoor (just before dawn), Iftar (immediately after sunset) and dinner (2-3 hours after Iftar plus 1 snack)
  2. Break your fast by choosing a warm drink or soups to prepare your body for food.
  3. Eat slowly and chew foods well to avoid indigestion.
  4. Choose meals based on lean protein and vegetables. Try to eat the majority of the protein (meat or fish) before your vegetables or carbohydrates.
  5. The addition of low glycaemic index carbohydrates may be helpful in providing sustained energy over periods of fasting. These include wholegrain breads, pearl barley, quinoa, Doongara Rice, oats chickpeas, split peas, lentils.
  6. Avoid foods high in fats and sugar such as traditional desserts or deep fried meals to avoid symptoms of dumping syndrome
  7. Continue to take your multivitamin. If taking 2 multivitamins per day then take one at Suhoor and the second at Iftar
  8. If you are finding it difficult to drink enough fluids you may need to get up earlier in the morning and start sipping your water, tea, protein waters or milk based drinks.
  9. If you are unable to meet your protein requirements through foods alone you may need to use protein powders added to waters or cordials or use ready -made protein waters or protein drinks between your meals
  10. Constipation is common after sleeve gastrectomy and during fasting. We recommend you take Benefibre or Metamucil daily to combat that. Stronger laxatives may be needed such as Coloxyl and Senna, Lactulose or Movicol.
  11. Adjust your physical activity. While maintaining physical activity is important, consider adjusting the intensity and timing of your workouts during Ramadan.
  12. Embrace the Spiritual benefits. Focus on the non-food aspects of the month, such as prayer, charity, and family connections, to enrich your Ramadan experience.

Example of good snacks to consider

  • Mixed nuts and dried fruit (small handful)
  • Sliced apple or celery with tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • Two oat cakes or vita –weets topped with cottage cheese and black pepper
  • 150-200g low fat or natural yoghurt
  • Carrot sticks with two tablespoons hummus
  • One hard boiled egg
  •  Home-made fruit smoothie made with low fat milk 1 serve fruit (add skim milk powder or whey protein powder to boost protein content)
  • One small bowl salad with a matchbox size of feta cheese (olive oil and lemon dressing)

Ramdan Mubark everyone.

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