by Helen Hayes, Diet Counselor
For overweight people who hope to lose weight once and for all, OPTIFAST meal replacement milkshakes, bars, soups and desserts can be a good weight loss system. Doctors recommend the Optifast program for patients who are more than 50 pounds above their ideal weight or have a BMI a (Body Mass Index) greater than 30.
The Optifast diet system can also be used by obese individuals to prepare for gastric bypass surgery. This weight loss program adheres to strict guidelines to protect the health and safety of its patients. There are three principal areas of focus: Nutrition, Behavior Modification and Medical Monitoring.
A full medical exam is required before being accepted into the Optifast diet program. Weight loss progress is tracked through the use of individual and group counseling on a weekly basis, all meant to encourage healthy diet and lifestyle changes.
Mike, age 39, Baltimore, USA
“I had struggled with my weight for many years, and I tried just about every diet out there. I had high blood pressure and my doctor was warning me that I had better lose the weight or I was facing an imminent heart attack or stroke. I started with the Optifast milkshakes (chocolate is my favorite) and also the Optifast bars. Slowly but surely, the weight came off. I lost about 40 lbs. the first month, and then averaged about 25 lbs. a month after that.
I eventually lost more than 100 lbs., and my life has truly been changed. I have suddenly become attractive to women, and I actually joined a gym and started bodybuilding! I am also spending a lot of time on the treadmill, because my knees and ankles no longer bother me.
After I lost a lot of the weight on Optifast, I then turned to more conventional fat burning exercises like walking on a treadmill and working out on an exercise bike. I am so happy with my new body and my new outlook on life!”
Karen, age 35, London, UK
“At a relatively young age I was already exhibiting signs of premature aging. I had arthritis and was on cholesterol medication. I was really unhappy with my life, but didn’t seem to be able to do anything to change it.
Once I started on the Optifast program, what helped me the most were the weekly counseling sessions. I felt like I had a lot of support and that the Optifast people were with me every step of the way. Doctors monitored my progress and made sure that I wasn’t losing weight too fast. The milkshakes, soups and desserts all taste great, so it didn’t really feel like I was on a diet!
Before too long I was able to come off the cholesterol medicine and not too long after that I was also out shopping for some new clothes. It was such a great feeling to look in the mirror and start to see the ‘new me!’ I also had the experience where people I hadn’t seen for several months didn’t recognize me when I walked up to them and said hello. Their jaws literally dropped when I said, ‘It’s me, Karen.’ I can’t recommend the Optifast program enough!”
Martha, age 51, Sydney, Australia
“During the years of raising my four kids, I put on a lot of weight due to all the stress I was under. It’s just so hard sometimes to keep your weight under control when you are cooking for a large group like I always was. When my kids finally grew up and moved out on their own, I took a look in the mirror and realized that I was 50 kilos heavier than on my wedding day. That was a big shock to me, and I felt I had to do something.
A friend of mine had achieved weight loss success on the Optifast program, so I decided to give it a try as well. Everyone associated with this diet program was so positive and supportive, I really felt like I couldn’t fail. All of the Optifast milkshakes, Optifast bars and the rest really taste great and it was a lot easier than I expected to stick with the program.
Now that I’ve lost most of the weight, I have started jogging and going to the local health club on a regular basis. It’s amazing how much more energy I have for daily living! I feel so much better with the slim and healthy body that I have now.”
The Optifast weight loss program is a holistic weight management system, where participants receive the necessary information, diet advice and psychological support they need in order to lose weight and improve their health.
The key point is that patients are educated on how to make lifestyle changes that will be sustainable for the long term in order to hopefully keep the weight off for good. That’s what makes Optifast different in many ways from other weight loss programs.
Optifast is appropriate for people who have a BMI over 30, or have a Body Mass Index greater than 27 and also suffer from high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and other weight-related illnesses. Individuals who may be considering weight loss surgery should try Optifast first.
Also, if your waist size is greater than 88 centimeters for women and greater than 102 centimeters for men, you have an increased risk of metabolic problems and are a candidate for the Optifast weight loss and diet program.
(published September 26, 2010)