Weight Loss, a dreaded and not so easy topic.
If you ask anyone, "would you like to be fit?" the answer will 90% be a resounding YES!
Many people are always excited to start their weight loss journey. But, especially those with obesity, find these changes pretty overwhelming and difficult to stick to without planning and dedication.
Why? It can seem like you only need to work out for a few days, lose a few kilos, and you are good to go, but that's not all; there's a lot to consider. Apart from workouts, you should also be keen on your calorie count and record your progress towards achieving your weight loss goals.
In 1974, Novartis Medical Nutrition Corporation saw the need to create Optifast, a weight loss program that would help anyone to lose extra weight quickly, keep track of their progress, and maintain a perfect level of fitness. Is it worth it?
This review will comprehensively discuss everything you need to know about Optifast and its range of products. You will learn about the side effects, the cost, benefits, who should use Optifast, if it's a good program, and if it's worth your time among others.
Let's get started. You may also be interested in reading about taking super greens for improving health.
Our unbiased review is based on published success stories, weight-loss contests, real customer feedback, and a trials by the curavita Australia team.
Optifast is a liquid-based weight loss program that is medically-supervised, monitored and assessed to help achieve maximum results towards better health and emotional well-being.
The program includes the following services and perks:
A VLCD is any diet that has low carbohydrates, usually 1000 or fewer calories per day. The diet still consists of sufficient protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals for safe and fast weight loss. Also known as VLEDs or Very Low Energy Diets, they have proven to be very effective in assisting medically at-risk patients who are required to cut weight drastically.
Note: VLCDs are best for people with a BMI of 30+. Patients with a BMI between 27 and 30 or less are not advised to use low-calorie diets unless they have underlying medical conditions related to their weight, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
This mostly depends on your needs. If you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle or shed off a few lbs, we recommend that you try it. Get the Active 2 plan or Active 1 plan as both are not intensive to make you feel like you want to quit. Typically, you will lose more weight in the first week but don't get over-excited yet. If you want to gauge how much weight you will lose, use the second and or two consecutive weeks.
OPTIFAST® VLCD™ Programs have shown to consistently achieve a rapid weight loss of between 1-2.5kgs each week. Mark, one of our team members saw a variation in the weight loss: he lost more weight during the weeks he was more active in cycling compared to when he was at home. That means using Optifast products without exercising (for one hour as recommended) might not give you the best results.
The OPTIFAST VLCD Program is a science-based program composed of a very low-calorie diet but nutritionally complete. It consists of four categories: Intensive Level, Active 2 Level, Active 1 Level, and Maintenance Level.
Each Optifast product and the variety of meal replacements, including soups, snacks, desserts, shakes, and bars, contain specially formulated vitamins and minerals.
The Intensive Level is a Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD) designed for rapid, initial, and significant weight loss. For this stage, the Program runs for no longer than 12 weeks. The patients/users undergo a total diet replacement providing 600-800 calories per day.
Patients interested in getting started in this phase are encouraged to schedule meetings with their medical providers for effective assessment, monitoring, and counseling.
Daily Program Requirements.
The intensive level induces ketosis to help the body to drastically achieve a massive initial weight loss while preserving lean body mass.
"If, after 12 weeks, you still have significant weight to lose, follow the Transition Phase for a minimum of 2 weeks before repeating the Intensive phase. Alternatively, seek advice by a Healthcare Professional on how to stay longer."
Tips: To hit your goals, avoid eating high carbohydrate vegetables. View all the allowed foods on the Program here.
Unlike the intensive level, which works by inducing ketosis, this stage works purely by restricting calorie intake to approximately 800-1000 calories per day. It requires 4 to 6 weeks to transition to a healthier, long-term, and balanced food-based diet. However, the time spent on this level sometimes depends on your lifestyle needs and weight loss goals.
Daily Program Requirements.
If combined with regular exercise, you can expect to lose 1-2kgs per week gradually. If you would like to skip the intensive level or find it too restrictive, this is the perfect level to achieve significant weight loss.
Active 1 Stage of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program restricts dieters to 1000-1200 calories per day. Like Active 2, the time spent on this level also depends on your lifestyle needs and weight loss goals.
For this level, you replace one meal with an OPTIFAST VLCD product and include two healthy meals (approximately 350 calories each).
Daily Program Requirements:
In this level, the OPTIFAST VLCD products are eliminated, and other moderate-calorie meals are introduced. This level also requires moderate exercise to maintain your goal weight and prevent any shed kilos from creeping back.
The daily dietary intake of around 1500 calories per day consists of:
Note: It is not a must to start with the intensive level. Start at the phase that best suits your needs and weight loss goals.
Yes, you can. However, you are advised only to eat vegetables or greens powders, fruits, or foods with a pre-determined number of calories. Each Optifast VLCD stage has its requirements. You can read more on allowed vegetables and additional food allowances here.
The OPTIFAST® program's cost varies based on the city, clinic, and the specific plan that you are assigned to. The average price for Optifast products is about $150 every week, which translates to over $2500 per month, but this is not a definitive figure. It can be lower or higher, depending on your goals.
Optifast is specially designed to help:
Note: All patients are advised to go through a thorough health screening to see if the diet plan might harm their health.
Every coin - especially for medically at-risk patients who must lose excess weight to lower their risk of weight-related illnesses. There might be other options for others seeking to maintain a healthy weight, but Optifast experience and the record remain unbeaten.
At a glance, the Optifast program seems to be pretty safe, but here are some of the side effects that you should expect:
The transition to ketosis mostly causes these side effects. Most symptoms usually pass by days 4-6 days. If the symptoms persist, consult a healthcare professional for advice on how to overcome them before coming off the program.
The Optifast shakes are ready to drink formulas that are full of protein, fiber, and 25 essential vitamins plus minerals like potassium, protein, sodium, etc. The shake is formulated to keep you feeling fuller for a more extended period. All you need to prepare these beverages is to combine them with cold water or low-fat milk, shake and you are good to go!
Shakes are available in six delicious flavors: vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, banana, caramel, and coffee.
Can't stay away from regular chocolate & sweets? Try Optifast ready to eat nutritional bars that are high in fiber and protein. The bars are wholesome to provide you the energy you need for four hours. The bars can be consumed as snacks or used as a complete meal replacement.
They come in three different flavors: chocolate, berry crunch, and cappuccino.
Optifast instant cream-soups probably have the most mixed reactions from users. Some users claim that they are quite tasty, while others have complained about how badly these soups taste. Personally, I didn't like the taste of the soup at all, but I found that adding a few herbs made the soup tastier and healthier!
To make the soup, warm about half a bowl of water, add the ingredients, and stir. If your water boils, you can add your preferred herbs and let it cool down before adding the soup ingredients.
Optifast soups are available in three distinct styles: OPTIFAST VLCD Country Style Tomato Soup, OPTIFAST VLCD Chicken Flavour Soup, and OPTIFAST VLCD Vegetable Soup.
Tip: Don't let the soup to get cold. It does not taste good at all.
Desserts are definitely the best items in the Optifast product range. They are delicious and easy to make. Everybody loves them, especially kids making it an easy way to keep your family healthy! Whisk, chill and enjoy!
Optifast dessertsare available in two styles: OPTIFAST VLCD Chocolate Dessert and OPTIFAST VLCD Lemon Crème Dessert.
Committing to your Optifast VLCD has shown to be very useful in helping people shed weight fast. For instance, when in the Intensive Level of the OPTIFAST VLCD, it’s easy to lose a lot of weight within 12 weeks.
Although there have been skeptical concerns regarding the Optifast Formula diet, most people find the Program feasible and more manageable. Hunger, which is usually the primary concern, typically goes away after the first week or so. After a few days, many patients report feeling more energetic than they have for a long time. This can be attributed to the balanced diet, decreased weight, increased activity level, and stable blood sugar levels.
Some of the other key benefits to using Optifast diet plans include:
Meal replacement weight-loss products often get a bad rap. People think that they are bad for your health in the long-term.
While it might be right for some products, Optifast is medically-supervised, and it has proven to work for over four decades! If you do not want to fully commit to the program but want a quick fix after a workout session, some ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes and packaged bars are good options for immediate fuel.
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