Optifast very low calorie diet review

A weight loss journey can feel pretty overwhelming, especially when you’re first starting out. It can seem like there’s so much to remember, from calorie counting to workouts, to knowing if you’re on track towards achieving your goal. The team at Optifast has put together a range of specially formulated products that are designed to help those with serious weight loss needs. So if you’re looking for results and a helping hand along the way, perhaps Optifast is the answer you’ve been looking for.

ready to drink shakesWhat is Optifast? 

Optifast is a ‘total weight loss program’ divided into four levels. Each level incorporates a variety of Optifast products, including shakes, snacks, soups and meal replacement bars. The program is designed to assist medically at-risk patients who are required to lose weight in order to lower their risk of weight-related illness.

As a very low calorie diet (VLCD) all of the products in the Optifast product range have been specially formulated to provide patients with their daily requirements of vitamins and minerals. According to the Optifast website, all products contain the recommended daily requirements for vitamins, minerals, trace elements, fatty acids and protein, and conform to the Codex Alimentarius International Standards for VLCD/VLED. Because this is a VLCD program, it is always recommended to speak with your doctor before commencing this program, or any other VLCD weight loss program.

What are the benefits of Optifast?

The Optifast ethos is all about support, so the team at Optifast has put together a comprehensive online support program, specifically designed to provide patients with a personal experience while on their weight loss journey. The online program assists patients to plan and track their progress from their food to their training and of course – results!

Tracking results is a key factor in any successful weight loss experience, as it not only provides encouragement to keep going, but it can be empowering as you witness your hard work paying off! The online Optifast program also enables you to connect with an accredited Optifast VLCD Healthcare Professional, not to mention the support from other Optifast members who are on the journey with you!

The healthiest snacks you can buy

How much does Optifast cost?

The Optifast meal replacement products and snacks come out at around $3.75 – $5.50 RRP per serve. This means that when it comes to groceries, the only other foods you will need to buy while on this program are fresh vegetables and some fruit. The Optifast program recommends low starchy vegetables – these can include broccoli, mushrooms, leafy greens like spinach and kale, eggplant and zucchini. Optifast is available in pharmacies, hospitals or online at optifast.com.

The Four Levels of Optifast

Intensive Level: The intensive level of Optifast is the first stage of the program and is only suited for patients with a Body Mass Index or BMI > 30. It can also be used for patients with a BMI > 27 who are showing signs of symptoms of early weight-related health complications. Other patients who would start at this level include anyone suffering from poor mobility or those who are seeking to lose weight in order to have surgery. According to Optifast, potential risk factors for anyone on this phase include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol or triglycerides
  • High blood sugar
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Over 45 years of age with a BMI of >27

Active 2: The Active 2 level on the Optifast program is a six-week phase and is suited for individuals with a BMI of 25-30, or for anyone who may find the intensive level too restrictive. Just like the Optifast Intensive phase, the Active 2 phase is a calorie restrictive program and requires patients to replace two meals a day with an VLCD product. When combined with exercise, this phase can support patients in losing approximately 1-2 kilos per week, which is a healthy level for losing weight.

Active 1: The Active 1 Level is a four-week phase for patients with a BMI of 25-30kg but do not need the intensity of the first level. On the Active 1 level, patients replace just one meal per day with an Optifast product. Patients can pick any product they like, from shakes, soups, bars or meal replacements in addition to these requirements as outlined by Optifast:

  • 2 low calorie meals of approximately 400 calories each
  • 2 cups of low starch vegetables
  • 2 litres of water
  • 2 serves of fruit (around 70 calories each)
  • 1 serve of dairy (around 100 calories)

Maintenance: The Maintenance level of the Optifast program is an ongoing level where patients are encouraged to continue tracking their weight on a weekly basis and their food intake. This level requires moderate exercise to maintain a patient’s goal weight and to prevent any kilos lost creeping back!

weightloss shakesOptifast Weight Loss Shakes 

The Optifast weight loss shakes are high in protein and fibre to help you stay fuller for longer. These shakes need to be mixed with water only if on the Intensive level. The shakes come in six yummy flavours, including:

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry
  • Banana
  • Coffee
  • Caramel

Optifast Bars  

Optifast Bars are ready to eat, high in protein and a great source of fibre. These bars can be used as snacks or meal replacements and come in three flavours:

  • Chocolate
  • Cappuccino
  • Berry Crunch

weightloss soupsOptifast Soups

The Optifast Soups are available in packs of eight, and one sachet replaces one meal. These soups are full of protein and come in three basic flavours:

  • Vegetable
  • Chicken
  • Tomato

Optifast Desserts

For anyone with a sweet tooth, the Optifast Dessert range is sure to delight! These scrumptious treats need to be prepared in advance and set in the fridge so you can create your very own mousse. These desserts come in two flavours:

  • Chocolate
  • Lemon Crème

Optifast Success Stories

There are some pretty incredible success stories on the Optifast website, including this inspiring video of Sabine who is a plus size model! Sabine won a competition with Optifast to take part in the four levels of the Optifast program. Even working as a plus size model, Sabine knew her health needed to become her priority. You can track Sabine’s journey in the Optifast Video Library as well as other success stories like Rob and Jamie, who have rebuilt their lives thanks to the changes in their health from the Optifast program.

If you’re interested in joining the Optifast community of success stories, you can register for a 14 day free trial here.

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