FAQ OPTIFAST

Which Optifast meal replacements can I have?

Any of the Optifast meal replacements such as the:

  • Shakes
  • Bars
  • Dessert
  • Soups
  • Bar

would all equal one meal replacement.  That is a breakfast, lunch or dinner would be replaced with one of the above meal replacements of your choice.

The full range of Optfast products can be seen at OPTIFAST VLCD Product Range | OPTIFAST VLCD Australia

What combination of the Optifast meal replacements can I have?

As each of the Optifast shakes, bars, soups, or desserts all equal one meal replacement, you can have any combination that you like of these choices.  For example, you could have:

  • 2 shakes and one bar
  • 3 shakes per day
  • 2 shake, 1 bar and one dessert
  • 1 Shake and 2 bars
Can I mix the shake and dessert with more or less water than what is recommended on the packet?

Absolutely yes.  You can make the shakes thicker by using less water or thinner using more water.  It really is up to your taste preference.  The best thing to do is trial and error to determine what you enjoy.

How can I make the Optifast shakes taste better?

It is highly recommended that you use ice cold water and lots of ice cubes mixed with a blender to ensure  smooth frothy consistency is achieved.

I have experienced a headache since I have started the program, what can I do?

Often inadequate hydration leads to headaches. Aim to consume atleast 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day. If the colour of your urine is clear in colour by 2 hours after waking in the morning you are well hydrated.  Headaches can also be caused your body readjusting to the sudden drop of calories.  You should feel more comfortable by day 4.  if you have any concerns, please contact your doctor.

I have become constipated since started the Optifast program, what can I do?

The easiest and fastest way to increase your fibre is to add a fibre supplement such a Benefibre, whcih can be added to any liquid you consume.  Benefibre ha no taste or texture, so you could be drinking a high fibre water and not even realise this.

I feel so hungry, can I eat more food?

It can take up to 4 days before your body is in ketosis.   If you are still hungry, then additional food can be added, based on your individual needs.  Please discuss this with your medical team.  Prior to adding more food, please ensure you are eating your full permitted quota of food, detailed in the Optifast handout.

Ketosis is a metabolic reaction that occurs in the body

This means the body shifts from using primarily carbohydrates to using fats as an energy source resulting in a reduction of body fat stores.

Ketones are by-products that are created when the body has to switch to fats as an energy source. It means stores of glycogen or carbohydrates have been depleted.

One of the consequences of ketosis is a decrease in appetite, which helps make following the OPTIFAST VLCD Program Intensive level much easier. As the Intensive level causes only a mild ketosis; it is a very safe approach to weight loss.

Prior to the transition into ketosis, your patients will most likely feel hungry and may experience some side-effects such as:

  • fatigue
  • lack of concentration
  • nausea
  • headaches

These side-effects should only last about 3 days and most symptoms usually pass by days 4-6.  If you are still hungry, then additional food can be added, based on your individual needs.  Please discuss this with your medical team.  Prior to adding more food, please ensure you are eating your full permitted quota of food, detailed in the Optifast handout.

This is why it is very important to keep strictly on the program to get into ketosis as quickly s possible and to remain in this state.  If the wrong food is eaten, then the hunger can return as you get out of ketosis.

Since starting the program, I have diarrhea, what can I do to fix this?

Diarrhea can be caused by a number of things as indicated below:

  • LACTOSE INTOLERANCE:  All the Optifast shakes have a high level of lactose, so these can be replaced with the Optifast bars, chicken soup or desserts, to help lower the lactose content.  You can also add lacteeze tablets into the Optifast shakes to help break down the lactose.  Lacteeze tablets can be bought from your pharmacy.

 

  • IBS: If you do experience some irritable bowel disease symptoms caused by known trigger foods, please avoid these from the choice of whole food from the fruit and vegetables.
What time of the day should I eat my food ?

You can eat any food on the permitted list ay time of the day that suits you of any combination.

Which are the permitted vegetables on the VLCD program?
Alfalfa sprouts
Asparagus
Bean Sprouts
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Capsicum
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Cucumber
Eggplant
Green Beans
Konjac Noodles
(Slendier/Slim Pasta range)
Lettuce (all types)
Leeks
Mushrooms
Onions
Radish
Shallots
Silver Beet
Snow Peas
Spinach
Squash
Tomatoes
Watercress
Zucchini
I have diabetes what should be mindful of ?

If you have diabetes and are on medication or insulin, then the sudden drop on the volume of food can cause low blood sugar levels.  In order to manage this, the following would be suggested:

  • Test your blood sugar readings multi times a day to monitor where the levels
  • Stay in close contact with your GP, Specialist or Diabetes Educator to drop your dose of tablets or insulin injections to avoid hypos
  • If you experience a hypo, please treat as per normal with the quick followed by long lasting sources of sugar/carbohydrate rich food.
I have diabetes what should be mindful of ?

If you have diabetes and are on medication or insulin, then the sudden drop on the volume of food can cause low blood sugar levels.  In order to manage this, the following would be suggested:

  • Test your blood sugar readings multi times a day to monitor where the levels
  • Stay in close contact with your GP, Specialist or Diabetes Educator to drop your dose of tablets or insulin injections to avoid hypos
  • If you experience a hypo, please treat as per normal with the quick followed by long lasting sources of sugar/carbohydrate rich food.
Can I exercise while on the strict VLCD pre surgery?

Please be mindful that you may not have enough energy to exercise at a high intensity. A gentle walk will be fine.  However if you desire to continue exercising and the VLCD program does provide sufficient energy, please speak to the medical team to help meet your individual needs.

How long do I need to be on the VLCD prior to surgery?

The time frame varies between 2 to 3 weeks.  Please be guided by your surgeon, as there could be medical reasons to extend the item from seeking additional weight loss to improve one’s health prior to surgery.