The OPTIFAST® program is a medically-supervised weight loss program that closely monitors and assesses progress towards better health and emotional well-being
Depending on an individual, conventional weight loss diets contain more than twice the amount of energy daily. The Programme has shown to significantly reduce body weight by 1 - 2.5 kg per week. It consists of three scientifically formulated products (shakes, bars or vegetable soups) taken daily for 8 weeks as a meal replacement, with low-carb vegetables and salad as desired. After the initial 8-week period, a 4-week period of gradual food reintroduction follows.
Weight loss achieved with VLCDs has also been associated with improvements in:
- insulin sensitivity
- blood pressure
- sleep apnoea and
- blood sugar levels in adults
The OPTIFAST Programme is however, more than just shakes, it is a structured nutritional and behavioural change programme developed by leading experts and supported by medical professionals.
The Programme consists of 3 Phases to assist you in your weight loss journey:
- The Intensive Phase - On joining the OPTIFAST Programme, you may require a visit with a medical practitioner based on your risk-assessment (e.g. if you are diabetic or on certain medications) - laboratory tests may also be required. If you are on chronic medication, this may need adjustment, as OPTIFAST has shown to reduce the dose requirements of some medications. You will then also be referred to a OPTIFAST-trained dietitian for a baseline consultation. After the initial assessment, the dietitian will explain the dietary aspects of the Programme, and you will receive sufficient OPTIFAST Shakes for 2 weeks. Follow-up consultations for support and education will occur with the dietitian at 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 8 weeks.
- The Food Reintroduction phase – At the 8 week dietitian consultation, you will be taught how to reintroduce food into your diet. This phase consists of 2 shakes with 1 calorie controlled meal daily for 2 weeks or more and another 2 weeks of 1 shake with 2 calorie-controlled meals daily. This process has shown to assist in weight maintenance.
- Weight Maintenance – At the 8 Week dietitian consultation, the dietitian will also provide you with weight maintenance strategies. This can be in the form of either 1 shake a day long term or using the shake intermittently. Evidence has shown that using a meal replacement shake is a strategy for effective weight maintenance, even more so than exercise (although the positive effects of exercise for health and cardiovascular risk reduction should not be neglected). At 6 months, you will see your dietitian for support and education - your weight maintenance will also be assessed at this visit. At this time, you may see your doctor as part of your regular medical check-up, if your medication needs to be adjusted, e.g. in diabetes and hypertension.
Data shows that 87% of people who have had diabetes for less than 4 years can achieve diabetes remission after 8 weeks of the CDE OPTIFAST Programme (Only 50% of those with diabetes for more than 8 years achieved remission). Although not everyone achieves remission of diabetes, not all is lost! Studies show that patients still lost weight and that their blood glucose levels improved.
For further information about the programme, contact the practice.