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The OPTIFAST® Programme product range includes meal replacement shakes in a variety of flavours to be
followed as part of a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) for weight management and is advised to be monitored by a
healthcare professional. VLCD stands for "Very Low Calorie Diet".

Anel Kirsten is an OPTIFAST VLCD-Accredited Dietitian.

A VLCD is a low carbohydrate, total food replacement for the dietary management of obesity. It provides 800
calories or less per day, whilst consisting of sufficient protein, fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals
for safe and rapid weight loss.

Very low calorie diets have been shown to be very effective in the management of obesity, with weekly weight
losses averaging approximately 1-2.5kg per week, providing greater initial weight loss than other forms of
calorie restriction. Reducing energy (calorie) intake to less than 800 calories as well as reducing carbohydrate
intake leads to a whole body shift towards fat stores being utilised as the major source of energy through a
process called ketosis. This results in consistent and successful weight loss.

Weight loss achieved with VLCDs has also been associated with improvements in:

• insulin sensitivity
• blood pressure
• triglycerides
• sleep apnoea and
• blood sugar levels in adults

What is the OPTIFAST® VLCD Program?

The OPTIFAST® VLCD Program is a very low calorie diet program, which consists of 4 levels. The Intensive Level
is the very low calorie diet part of the program, which is a total diet replacement providing up to 800 calories.
Following this is the Active 2 Level, Active 1 Level, and Maintenance Level, where food is gradually re
introduced and OPTIFAST® VLCD products are reduced and then eliminated.

It is recommended to start the OPTIFAST VLCD Program at the Intensive Level for a period of up to 12 weeks,
then gradually move through the next three levels of the program.

However, the OPTIFAST® VLCD Program is designed to be flexible and to fit within individual needs. If you find
that the Intensive Level is not suitable, you can consider starting the program on either the Active 2 or Active 1
Level, after consultation with your healthcare professional. On the Active 2 or Active 1 Levels of the program,
your rate of weight loss will be slower than the Intensive Level. Please consult your healthcare professional to
determine your suitability for the OPTIFAST® VLCD Program.

Why should I follow the different Levels of the OPTIFAST® VLCD Program?

The OPTIFAST® VLCD Program Levels are intended to assist you to lose weight quickly. The goal of the
remainder of the levels following completion of the Intensive Level is to assist you to continue to lose weight
but also to develop healthy eating habits for the long term. By slowly re-introducing food back into your diet
you are setting healthy new patterns that are sustainable for the rest of your life.

OPTIFAST® VLCD Program should always be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional. They
may sometimes advise a different regimen based on your health needs.

For information click here.


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