Role of the Healthcare Professional

Exercise recommendations

Exercise is beneficial for weight loss and should be recommended as part of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program.

The goal of physical activity in weight management is to increase an individual’s energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate. Therefore exercise should include both planned physical activity (i.e. walking for a set time each day, training at a gym or with a personal trainer) as well as increases in daily activity (e.g. reducing sitting time and sedentary activities, walking to and from transport, using stairs rather than lifts, parking car further away from desired destination, getting up from computer or desk regularly).

VLCDs have been shown not to impair moderate submaximal aerobic and weight training exercise and therefore 30-60 minutes of exercise on most days should be recommended as part of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program as well as strategies to help increase daily activity levels. The combined effects of exercise plus a VLCD have been shown to increase the retention of lean muscle mass and reduce fat mass.

For most patients that haven’t exercised for a long period of time, starting small and building up from there is a good place to begin. Repeated bouts of 10 minutes of activity can equal that of one 30 or 40 minute block of exercise. The aim is to encourage the individual to regularly include exercise into their routine rather than feel that it is unachievable.