Role of the Healthcare Professional
Managing the OPTIFAST VLCD Program
For optimal results we do recommend that the OPTIFAST VLCD Program be followed as outlined on our product information; however we recognise that some individuals may need some modifications to the program in order to achieve optimal results.
Below outlines some ways that you may tailor the program to suit the individual needs of your patient.
Can I extend the length of the program?
Yes, the program is designed to be flexible and to result in the maximum desired amount of weight loss for your patient.
Most of the research shows that an individual can safely follow a VLCD program and be in ketosis for up to 12 weeks. However if your patient still has further weight to lose at the end of the 12 weeks you can keep them on the Intensive level a little longer. It is very important however that this be done under medical supervision.
If there is still a significant amount of weight to be lost at the end of the 12 week Intensive level they can follow the Active 2 level for a period of 2 weeks before re-commencing the Intensive level again.
Alternatively, transition and continue on Active 2 level which may result in a slower weight loss compared to the Intensive level.
Can I reduce the length of time that my patient stays on the Intensive Level?
On the OPTIFAST VLCD Program, the Intensive level is generally up to 12 weeks, however, there might be times when you should transition your patient to the next level sooner.
You should only transition sooner if they have lost enough weight on the Intensive level that they are no longer considered overweight.
Don’t transition sooner if they are experiencing some minor side-effects such as headaches, diarrhoea or constipation. These are normal side effects, especially during the first 3 days of the program, are usually transient and can be easily managed.
Can I change the order of the levels or skip a level?
Yes, for example some people may choose to start on the Active 2 Level of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program.
The Active 2 Level is suitable for people who still require significant weight loss, but prefer to start with replacing two meals per day with an OPTIFAST VLCD product and slowly build up rather than a VLCD, whereby replacing all 3 meals with an OPTIFAST VLCD product.
Can I add in any extras to the OPTIFAST VLCD Program?
It is important that patients follow the OPTIFAST VLCD Program strictly to achieve optimum results; however some individuals may require extra protein.
Males and individuals requiring a higher protein intake than 0.75g/ kg adjusted IBW per day may require four OPTIFAST VLCD products per day, or three plus an extra serve of protein to meet protein requirements. One serve of protein is equivalent to 65-100g meat, 2 eggs or 130g fish and is usually added to the evening vegetables. It should be noted that for intakes greater than 3 sachets per day of OPTIFAST VLCD, calorie intake may increase higher than 800 calories.
In addition you can recommend that patients use extras from the Additional Allowance list to help with compliance.