An innovative and curious weight loss plan, the Nasogastric Tube Diet, created by Spanish doctors Dr. Jorge Planas and Dr. Manuel Sánchez, also has its shocking side, since both health professionals assure that it can be lost weight in just ten days, no rebound effect and patients learn a new way of eating so as not to gain the lost kilos.
With two phases or stages for its realization, the Nasogastric Tube Diet is fundamentally based on providing the body with only the necessary fats and proteins, eliminating carbohydrates. Hence, it is an unhealthy weight loss plan for many health specialists.
The current trend indicates that diet and immediacy go hand in hand but also leave health aside. For this reason, experts repeat incessantly that losing weight takes time, especially if you ultimately want to stay at your ideal weight.
Some European clinics offer the Tube Diet method to lose weight quickly.
The plan, with a duration of 24 days, costs about 4000 euros, being that the diet begins in the clinic for a maximum of 10 days and continues in its second phase at the patient’s home through food reeducation.
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What is the Nasogastric Tube Diet?
A dissociated diet, the Nasogastric Tube Diet is a very aggressive weight loss plan as it forces the body into ketosis; that is, the body burns fat deposits.
This innovative and controversial weight loss method was born in the United States; because it promises you can lose about 10 kilos in less than a month, many people consider following this plan and looking for information about it.
As it is a weight loss plan that leaves the known parameters, it is necessary to place a nasogastric tube, it requires constant medical supervision, and it is generally recommended that all treatment be carried out in a clinic.
A diet that is gaining more adherents every day and that some specialists qualify as “extreme but not harmful” can be a simple method to lose weight; there are organizations such as the Spanish Association of Nutritionist Dietitians (AEDN) that advise against it because it is a miracle diet that it can cause harmful effects to health.
How to do the Nasogastric Tube Diet
So that the patient can feed himself but also lose weight, a nasogastric tube connected to a backpack is placed. The box is placed through the nose and reaches the stomach; the body receives daily nutrients through a pump.
During the first stage of the Nasogastric Tube Diet, the patient does not eat any food, but to compensate, he receives supplements equivalent to 800 calories a day.
The Nasogastric Tube Diet has a total duration of 24 days divided into two stages, although the second phase is not mandatory, and the most important thing is that no solid food can be consumed.
According to health experts, the placement of the tube is painless and does not cause discomfort. The catheter can be detached from the backpack for about 15 minutes daily to allow basic activities such as showering.
As for the two phases of the Nasogastric Tube Diet, it should be noted that the first stage lasts ten days, and the tube is attached to a backpack that the patient always carries with him.
Those who want to lose weight and make sure they do not suffer the dreaded “rebound effect” or regain fat should do the second phase.
In it, the chest tube is withdrawn, and they are gradually resumed to a standard or solid diet, and the patient is instructed with unique information on the concepts of healthy eating.
The patient eats solid foods and nutritional supplements during the second rehabilitation phase.
This plan aims for the person to create new eating habits, such as learning to chew, that is, how and what to eat, so as not to suffer the dreaded “rebound effect.”
To understand how the Nasogastric Tube Diet works, it is necessary to be clear about ketosis.
It is a side effect of all low carbohydrate Nasogastric Tube Diets that causes the body to mobilize stored fat, producing ketone.
What to eat on the Nasogastric Tube Diet
Those who follow the Nasogastric Tube Diet do not ingest solid food during the treatment, so most doctors speak of an extreme diet.
This feeding system is usually used to feed comatose patients,
in some cases of anorexia, or cancer patients who receive chemotherapy and have difficulty eating.
Based on this type of diet and this way of ingesting nutrients, the Nasogastric Tube Diet, known by the acronym KE (Ketogenic Enteral), became famous thanks to Oliver di Pietro from his Miami clinic, who defends the principle that his patients do not go hungry because the food supply is constant.
The backpack connecting to the patient’s bag is loaded with all the nutritional elements the body needs daily.
This mixture comprises carbohydrates, fats and proteins, all mixed with vitamins, water, electrolytes and trace elements.
After completing the two-phase plan of the Nasogastric Tube Diet, the patient who has followed it will return to a regular diet but with a balanced menu that should always be followed, avoiding eating foods and high-calorie products.
Variants Artisanal Diet and Industrialized Diet
Two variants in the Nasogastric Tube Diet are related to the preparation of food to be consumed daily.
There is the artisan or prepared with natural foods, processed or shaken in the blender until it acquires a consistency that can pass through the tube or the industrialized with powders diluted in water or liquids.
Depending on whether you opt for artisanal preparation or industrialized products, other factors can influence the decision since both options have their differences and benefits.
Thus, artisanal prepared with natural and fresh food can be stored for over a day. At the same time, industrialized products only begin to lose their validity after opening the packaging.
Daily, you must prepare new artisan meals if you prepare food for the tube at home.
Therefore, consuming prepackaged preparations for tube feeding becomes more practical for those who do not have enough time or have someone specialized for this task.
The cost of a Nasogastric Tube Diet preparing meals at home is higher than industrialized ones, which also has the advantage of not having the risk of contamination as could happen with homemade preparations.
Contraindications of the Nasogastric Tube Diet
A controversial diet of the tube proposes that a person eats through a tube inserted into the nose that reaches the stomach; for ten days, his body only receives 800 calories daily.
Although until today, there are no studies on the contraindications that this method can cause, however, its detractors warn that there are risks such as:
- Risk of dehydration.
- Risk of generating kidney stones.
- Frequent headaches
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Nasogastric Tube Diet
Remember that in the first days of the Nasogastric Tube Diet, as with all short-term weight loss plans, the body loses fat, water, and vital proteins.
Consequently, once the Nasogastric Tube Diet is finished, the weight can recover quickly unless a good diet reeducation plan is carried out.
The consequence is that there may be a more significant weight gain than when starting the diet, and in general, the weight regain is usually as fast as the loss.
But let’s look at the pros and cons of the tube Diet:
Advantages of the Nasogastric Tube Diet
- Weight loss occurs in a short time.
Disadvantages of the Nasogastric Tube Diet
- Necessary nutrients such as vitamins or minerals are suppressed.
- It is a so-called dissociated diet but so aggressive that it forces the body into ketosis, which means that the body burns fat deposits.
- It has risks from carrying a nasogastric tube and can cause post-implantation trauma and narrowing of the esophagus due to scarring.
Conclusions on the Nasogastric Tube Diet
The best diet nutrition and dietetic specialists recommend is a personalized, effective and risk-free plan. Only then can you guarantee the recovery of the appropriate weight in the medium and long term.
The idea is to follow a varied and balanced diet adapted to the individual characteristics of each person within a healthy lifestyle in which correct physical activity is essential.
According to Albert Goday, vice president of the Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity and head of the Endocrinology Section of the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, the advertising on the Sonda Diet is inconsistent with previous studies proving its effectiveness and security.
Also, nutrition specialists warn about this diet of the tube as a miracle diet because it promises effortless weight loss without effort and that those who do it can lose many kilos in a short time.
But if we add to the above that the use of the nasogastric tube should only be limited to people who cannot be nourished in any other way or to those who have undergone a surgical intervention and require this system as part of their recovery, it would not be suitable to recommend it to people who do not suffer from these problems.
Healthily losing weight requires effort, perseverance and substantial changes in eating habits in the medium and long term, also increasing physical activity by reducing foods that provide many calories.
A balanced eating plan, putting into practice some tricks to learn to buy and cook food, re-educate the patient who suffers from obesity and teaching him to eat well, in addition to walking at least one hour a day, are more reasonable alternatives than undergoing a diet that until now has no scientific rigour.
Sources and References:
- Valley University
The Cetogénica diet
- University of Santiago de Compostela
Metabolic and hormonal changes associated with moderate ketosis induced by a hypocaloric ketogenic diet
- Digital Repository of the University of Barcelona
- Therapeutic diets, concepts, controversies and errors
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.