100 lb. Club - I started Optifast

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06-12-2006, 02:52 PM
Its been awhile since I have had time to post, and even to lurk here. I hope everything is going well for everybody! :wave:
May 25, my husband had arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn meniscus and a large plaque behind his kneecap - he is pretty much fully recovered and is back to working overtime already. That was stressful and hectic, but we both made it through it. We also went to Kansas City to visit one of my friends and have some fun before I started Optifast. That was a blast. I do have to say, that if any of you live near a Dave and Buster's, you must go, it is awesome! :dizzy:
I started Optifast Wednesday, June 7th. Today is day 6. The first 2 days, I had horrible headaches :headache: and couldn't even move from my chair because I felt like crap. Friday was better, I was able to do my normal Friday errands. Saturday, I had a tough challenge, as we spent the day with friends going to some of the local carnivals, and everyone else got eat at Arby's and I got sip on a diet Dr. Pepper. That was hard - it was probably too soon for me to be around people eating, but I SURVIVED!
Sunday was good (for me anyway) and my husband and I ended up going for a short leisurely walk - something we haven't gotten to enjoy together in a long time because of his knee! I felt normal!
Today, I went to the gym to do strength training... I haven't lifted for over a month, so I thought I would just do my lower body. Well, I felt so good, that I decided to do my upper body as well. And I still have energy to spare. I also weighed myself, as I don't go back to Wichita until this Thursday. I needed some motivation/justification that it was working. The scale showed an 8lb loss... WOW :carrot: :goodscale:

So my dad and I are going down to Wichita every week for checkups (that is a 3 hour drive). We are both doing 600cal/day. The variety of shakes was surprising... we were able to sample the ready to drink shakes and decide what we could tolerate, and I found one that doesn't taste or smell like protein and it doesn't make me gag! I also really like the chicken noodle soup, it tastes like normal soup - just the noodles are kinda weird. I think I might try the tomato soup this go around.
It isn't hard... I thought it would be because food is everywhere. But because you know this is all you can have, you don't have to make a choice. So it really has been easy. However, I truly cannot comprehend doing this for 3 months or longer... so I just think of it day by day. I don't think about the fact that I can't sit down to a meal tomorrow, or that will make me depressed. I just think about making it through today.
I am seeing my personal counselor once a week now to help with my emotional issues tied to food.
I guess, so far so good. I feel great! Ketosis is GREAT! But, oh, what I wouldn't give for a piece of chicken! :o LOL That will come in time. Another motivator is all the money we are saving on food, wow... my husband is so easy to please as far as meals go; so we lowered the grocery bill and we aren't going to be going out to eat.
I don't ever want to eat like I used to. NEVER again. I hope that with this program I can get the weight off and relearn food.

06-12-2006, 03:36 PM
Yeah Amanda:carrot:
WTG on the 8lbs lost.
It's good to hear that you're doing well.

You can do this! Keep up the good work!

06-12-2006, 05:17 PM
Hey Amanda, I'm so glad you posted, I was wondering if you had started it. I'm going to try a very low calorie diet as well, not 600 cals, I'm aiming for 900 cals. Please keep us updated on how it is going! Congrats on your success so far.

06-12-2006, 08:24 PM
I'm going to try a very low calorie diet as well, not 600 cals, I'm aiming for 900 cals.
When we were at the clinic, they basically had us both start at 600cal/day and told us that it could be adjusted up or down depending on results and on how we felt with it.
I think my dad might want to go down to 450, because that is what he did when he was Optifast during the early 90s. However, I am doing fine with this and I feel great. I see no need to change it.

06-13-2006, 11:59 AM
What is Optifast?

I understanding restricting your calories to lose weight, but isn't 600cal/day a little excessive? I'd be concerned with loose-hanging skin after a diet like that at my weight...even with working out.

06-13-2006, 12:25 PM
Optifast is a medically supervised, very low calorie, rapid weight loss system. It is only recommended for people who have a BMI over 40 or for those with a BMI under 40 with comorbidities such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Basically, you quit food. You are supplied with a given amount of shakes per day (depending on your calorie level), and with multivitamin packs and fish oil pills (essential fatty acids). Actually, now they have a large variety of shakes, soups, and bars. It is a high protein, low carb, low fat diet. It is designed to put a person into ketosis/lipolysis (basically, fat breakdown) - *which should NOT be confused with ketoacidosis, which is life-threatening and occurs in Type 1 diabetics.*
The idea is similar to Atkins, however this is more calorie restricted.
Ideally, after 3 months of the fast, they begin the next phase of the program by re-introducing food in small increments - perhaps starting with veggies, then adding lean meat, etc.
However, the clinic that I am going to will allow us to stay on the fast for up to 6 months, depending on how much weight one needs to lose.
The average weight loss for women is 52lbs in 3 months.
The clinic I am going to provides some counseling, but I am also seeing my personal counselor to use this time during the fast to deal with my emotional issues with food and to help with behavior changes.
This obsurdly expensive....thank god I don't have to pay for it LOL My dad just spent $860 for each of us for the first month alone. I couldn't have bothered with this without him, as my husband only makes about $1600/month.
MrsJim is an Optifast success story, and through messages with her, the biggest thing that she has cautioned is that you have to be highly motivated, and stick to the plan - and even then, many people do not succeed through maintenance.

Everything else I have done, every other diet, what have you, has not helped - EXCEPT for exercise. But for whatever stubborn reason, I could not get the pounds to budge. This is working, and I'll do it...I am going to make it work for me because my last option; after this would be gastric bypass, and I really don't want to go there.

06-13-2006, 12:40 PM
In some respects doing a very low calorie diet is not much different from having surgery. A woman I know who had the surgery in March has already lost around 90 lbs. She is eating about 600-800 calories a day and she is getting adequate amounts of protein. Also she is taking supplements and sees a nutritionist regularly. The only difference is that if she decided to go off her plan and eat more than she should she'd barf it all back because her stomach is the size of an apple. Of course you can gain weight with surgery, it happens all the time but I think she's going to do well with it once she reaches her goal weight. I think that you will do great with this, it is so important I think to be seeing a counsellor so that when you go into the maintenance phase that you don't gain the weight back. I really don't see anything wrong with such a restrictive diet as long as it is supervised and you are getting all the nutrients you need. Are you feeling hungry all the time and what do you do to combat those feelings?

06-13-2006, 12:53 PM
I also don't see an issue with a medically supervised very low calorie diet as long as they do implement the right nutrients into the program. It does seem very similar to gastric bypass surgery but without the negative feedback (getting sick if you eat too much). I wouldn't be surprised if you lost 90 to 100 lbs in 3 months if you do the plan perfectly. Some of that will be muscle loss but a large percentage will be fat. I would highly recommend maintaining an exercise regimen throughout the entire process. By doing weights, you may be able to slow down the muscle loss and when you start adding more foods into your diet, you can start building muscle and thus increase your metabolism.

Of course the most important aspect of any weight loss program is the maintenance portion. I've read many times over that maintenance is harder than actually losing weight and I can't imagine anything harder than losing weight :) Although I was able to maintain my loss so far, I know it will get harder as I lose more weight.

06-13-2006, 01:18 PM
Good Luck! I hope that this is the tool that will lead you to permanent weight loss! :) Sounds like you are off to a great start!

06-13-2006, 01:41 PM
Are you feeling hungry all the time and what do you do to combat those feelings?

Actually, (amazingly) the only time I felt really physically hungry was in with first 2 days or so and then it went away... After that, it has become about beating cravings. I haven't felt hungry since.
When the actual hunger hit me, I checked my time... as I was playing video games and lost track of time - I'm trying to spread each "meal" about 2-3 hours apart. And indeed, it was time for a shake. I had my shake, and drank some water... however, this was about the time my husband got off work, and had he not come home shortly after this, I really don't know what I would have done; but simply having him here with me really helped me to not give in.
Before I started, I setup a major support network. Whether I'm hungry or just having a craving, I have a list of people to call and a list of things to do to distract me. So far, I haven't needed to use either list very much.
Definitely after getting past the headaches and fatigue, it gets very easy.

Thank you everyone for your words of encouragement! :D

Jen, if you need to pm me, feel free to. I see that you start your VLC diet today, so if you need support certainly we can help each other. :)

06-13-2006, 01:45 PM
The average weight loss for women is 52lbs in 3 months.

What's the average weight loss for a woman after 5 years?

06-13-2006, 02:21 PM
What's the average weight loss for a woman after 5 years?

You would be hard pressed to find 5 year statistics for most weight loss programs, no matter what it is - Optifast, Weight Watchers, etc.

My best guess would be that 5 years after starting this or any program, a majority of people would have weight creeping back up on them.
The closest evidence I can find is an article which criticizes all commercial diets and gave a little blurb about Optifast:
To date, researchers say that the only diet program of any type that has good scientific data about its one- and two-year results is Optifast, a very low calorie liquid diet. Although Sandoz Nutrition was one of the three companies whose advertising practices were criticized by the commission, diet experts commend its Optifast program for at least opening itself to outside scientific scrutiny.

In a study by Dr. Wadden, which appeared in The Archives of Internal Medicine this May, 517 Optifast patients were followed for more than a year. About 60 percent finished the six-month weight-loss program. Among those who finished the program and returned for a one-year follow-up visit, the average client had kept off 60 percent of the lost weight. Twenty percent kept off all weight and 11 percent had gained it all back.
This is from http://www.naafa.org/press_room/rush.html and I can't find a date for the article.

I would say that outcomes are highly individual...it just depends how much a person wants to succeed and when they find a program that works for them, if they are able to apply the principles of a lifestyle change to their life instead of just being on a diet.

06-13-2006, 03:05 PM
Amanda, congrats on your weight loss progress! That's awesome.

Almost sounds similar to what I'm doing, but I'm using a cleansing system with shakes, one meal, and it's not a drastic cut in calories to lose weight. It's based on nutrition and full body cleansing to remove toxins from the body and for many people that means weight loss as well. It's not nearly as expensive either, and altho we aren't under a doctor's care we do have access to a medical advisory board. Many people have gone on to lose weight and keep it off ... Kim Olsen lost 152 lbs and has kept it off 3 years so far, and Larry Fuchs has lost 200 lbs in 300 days, and had kept it off for about 2.5 years now. I lost 8 lbs my first 7 days, and I've gone on to lose 36 lbs in 9 weeks, and I'm still losing.

It just boils down to whatever works for you that is healthy. I liked this program because it was cleansing, and was very competitively priced based on other programs on the market. It takes the guesswork out of what I'm doing. I only have to concern myself with one meal a day, but I still get to eat!

Honestly, I encourage people who are having issues with losing weight to take a look at this because it has helped many people who have had a hard time losing weight with other things. It's not a sales pitch or anything. Yes, I am a rep for it, but I am a customer first ... I fell in love with the products and my results, so I decided to share this in hopes to help other people, and I have been able to do that with some, and it's very rewarding. I've always wanted to get into the helping profession, and well this is pretty close. I can do this around taking care of my kids.

Anyway, I just wanted to see how it compared. Not trying to steal anyone's thunder or anything, and I hope I haven't offended anyone, especially you Amanda ... this is your celebration thread, and you found something that works for you, and that's great! You are doing so well.

Right now I'm tired due to lack of sleep so I'm not quite all there right now. Congrats again, and regardless of what people think of what you're doing ... you know what's best for you, and that's what matters. As long as it's safe, I for one, support what you're doing!

06-13-2006, 11:50 PM
Thanks for all the information. I had never heard of it before!

I think I'm going to do a little research into these type of programs now and see if it might work for me.

Thanks, again!

06-14-2006, 04:51 PM
I think those stats on the people that did Optifast a year later are pretty good. I'd be happy with keeping off 60% of the weight. Figure that you are completely changing the way you eat and the way you think about food...I think that is a decent percentage.

I'm glad you told me that the hunger pains would not last too long. I am super hungry right now. I've had probably about 700 cals today which really isn't that low cal but it is for sure a lot less than what I am used to eating. I'm snacking on some carrot sticks and drinking tons of water!

06-15-2006, 08:36 AM
Jen, I know that my adjustment to the low calorie level went faster than it will for some... however, yes, it will go away in a fairly short time and every day you will get to feeling better. After the initial hunger and headaches pass, I feel that it is downhill after that - for the diet aspect anyway.
It isn't difficult to continue doing what you're doing... and because you feel good (or better than before), you want to keep doing it.
Just remember to distract yourself from hunger... call a friend, write a post for 3fc, play video games, go for walk - whatever you can do that will take your mind away from the hunger.
I hope that you are doing well so far!

06-15-2006, 08:41 PM
Glad to hear it's going well, Amanda! I was hoping you'd post about it too. Please do keep us updated!