When it comes to healthy weight loss, there isn’t a magic potion to deliver instant results. It requires smarter food choices, regular weigh-ins and getting your body to move more, as well as maintaining daily records of everything. There are, however, certain strategies that can make it easier to get on your path to a healthier lifestyle. One of them is using meal replacements like the Optfast shakes.
Often, the variety of options available to you at the grocery store or during mealtimes is what makes it difficult to eat healthier. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with portion sizes, recipes, and meal preparation. And you’re not likely to make the best decisions while you’re stressed. One of the reasons meal replacements work is because they eliminate “choice fatigue.” Furthermore, they’re generally easy to grab and go, making it even more convenient.
How Do Optifast Shakes Work?
Optifast meal replacement drinks are formulated to substitute a full meal. They contain the nutrients generally found on your plate and are usually fortified with protein, fatty acids and carbohydrates to help maintain lean body mass while you burn your fat stores. They also contain vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium and vitamin D to ensure that you are getting all the important nutrients your need for a safe and healthy weight loss.
Available in six delicious flavours, including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, banana, caramel and coffee, Optifast shakes are tasty and easy to prepare and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner on the Optfast VLCD (Very Low-Calorie Diet) program. As for how many Optifast shakes should you have a day, it will depend on which stage of the program you are following.
The Optifast VLCD is a program consisting of 4 stages that allow you to progressively build healthy eating habits while losing weight. The lowest-calorie part of the whole program is the so-called Intensive Level, which includes up to 800 calories as a total diet replacement. Food is then gradually reintroduced in the Active 2 and Active 1 levels and in the maintenance level, Optifast products are totally eliminated.
What Do You Eat When on the Optfast Program?
At the start of the program, you can only eat 800 calories per day. It’s recommended to do so no longer than 12 weeks. The goal of this is to lose more weight initially and keep the lean body mass. This is mainly achieved by putting your body through moderate ketosis during which instead of glucose, it burns fat and ketones.
The daily meal plan for this level is made up of:
- Three Optifast VLCD shakes (or other Optifast VLCD products)
- Low starch veggies – 2 cups
- Vegetable oil – one teaspoon
- Water – 2 litres
Since this is going to be quite a change from your normal diet, side effects are common. During the first few days, you may struggle with increased hunger, nausea, fatigue, lack of concentration, and headaches.
This is the second stage of the process and involves a total food intake of 1,000 calories with the replacement of two meals with an Optifast shake or other Optfast VLCD product. In this stage, you’re required to have one healthy, low-calorie meal containing around 350 calories. During this level, it’s possible to lose around 1 to 2 kilos per week when exercise is included. At this rate, this is considered healthy and sustainable weight loss.
During this level you should eat:
- Two Optifast VLCD shakes (or other Optifast VLCD products)
- Low starch vegetables – Two or more cups
- Fruit – one serve
- Dairy – one serve
- Water or other calorie-free fluid such as tea, black coffee, etc – two or more litres
If you have a BMI (Body Mass Index) between 25-30/m2 or find the intensive level too restrictive, you can opt to skip stage 1.
If you’re an individual with a BMI between 25-30/m2, then the 1 level is for you. During this level, you’re allowed to have 1,200 calories a day.
The daily meal plan for this level is made up of:
- One Optifast VLCD shakes (or other Optifast VLCD products)
- Two low-calorie meals
- Low starch vegetables – two or more cups
- Water or other calorie-free fluid – two or more litres
- Fruits – two serves
- Dairy – one serve
The length of time you should stick to this part of the program depends on your weight loss objectives and lifestyle.
This is the part of the program where you should keep track of your weight and food intake on a weekly basis. This level also necessitates modest exercise to maintain your ideal weight and avoid the yo-yo effect.
The meal plan during this level includes:
Three low-calorie meals allow you a total calorie intake of around 1,500 calories per day
Low-starch vegetables – two cups
Fruits – two serves
Dairy – one serve
Water or other calorie-free fluid – two litres
What Are the Benefits of Optifast Shake Products?
If you lead a busy lifestyle, preparing balanced, fresh meals may not always be possible. The convenience and simplicity that these shakes offer make them highly attractive to many. Here are the benefits you’ll enjoy by replacing your usual meals.
When you find yourself rushed and ravenous it is easy to decide to order takeout. The shakes by Optifast are meals that contain nutrients and are available in seconds, which helps to solve these typical diet-sabotaging dilemmas.
Many people find it difficult to keep track of calories when cooking at home. A drizzle of olive oil here, a sprinkling of cheese there, and you’ve got yourself a calorie-dense lunch.
You might believe that a liquid meal replacement will never satisfy you, but you’d be amazed at how filling they can be. Forget the obnoxious, sugary smoothies of the 1980s diet world; the Optifast VLCD shakes are designed with nutrition, not simply weight loss, in mind.
First and foremost, not all meal replacement shakes are created equal. You may undoubtedly come across some that are lacking in taste. But Optifast really understands the importance of great taste in your shakes, and they deliver! With six different shake flavours to choose from, it’s difficult to become bored.
Other Optifast Products to Try on Your Weight-Loss Journey
In addition to Optifast VLCD shakes, other Optifast VLCD products that you can use include:
Optifast VLCD Bars
High in protein and fibres, these ready-to-go bars can be used as meal replacements or snacks. Optifast VLCD bars are available in boxes that contain 6 bars in flavours including chocolate, cappuccino, berry, assorted and cereal bars.
Optifast VLCD Soups
These delicious soups are protein powerhouses and are available as chicken, vegetable and country style tomato soups. These soups are available in boxes that contain soup sachets of 53g. One sachet is equal to one meal.
Optifast VLCD Desserts
Thinking about those who have a sweet tooth, Optifast has created a small selection of dessert options. Boxes come with eight sachets of 53 g that can be prepared and set in the fridge before eating. Available flavours include chocolate and lemon creme dessert.
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