If you are thinking about going on the Optifast diet, there are a few things you will need to know before you start. The Optifast diet is a eating plan that severely restricts your calorie intake for the day. The diet also asks that you give up many foods that you are accustomed to eating on a regular basis. This means that if you go on the Optifast program, you will need to be prepared to drastically change your eating habits.
What is the Optifast Diet?
The Optifast eating program is a diet plan that has been around since 1974. It is targeted to those who are considered obese. While most diets ask that you eat about 1500 calories a day, the Optifast diet asks that you consume no more than 800 calories on a daily basis.
This means that there is not a lot of room for eating items that are not Optifast products. If you are on this diet you will be eating Optifast protein bars and drinking their meal replacement shakes.
Recommended Foods for the Optifast Diet
There are a few foods that are allowed on this diet. Listed below are a few acceptable foods on the Optifast diet.
- Soup. Soup is a great low fat food that is a good alternative to meal replacements. Ideally the soup used in conjunction with this diet will be a vegetable soup. Optifast also has its own range of soups on the market. This may be a good option if you are not concerned about the cost of the Optifast soups.
- Vegetables. Vegetables are low in calories and if cooked appropriately they can be used while you are on this diet. Approximately two cups of green vegetables a day are allowed.
- Fruits. Certain fruits are allowed to be eaten on this diet. Some of these are prunes and mandarins. It is important that you do not go overboard on eating fruits and make sure that you are controlling your portions. Some fruits are not allowed due to their high carbohydrate content.
- One serving of dairy a day is permitted on the diet. This may be a low calorie yogurt or something similar.
- Sauces and condiments are allowed on this program. This will be very useful as they will allow you to flavor your foods.
- Spices are allowed and again this will make your cup of green vegetables easier to consume every day.
- Artificial sweeteners are allowed to be added to food and drink.
- Two liters of calorie free fluids should be consumed per day. This means that you are allowed sugar free soft drinks, water and herbal teas.
Short Term Plan
The Optifast diet is a meal plan designed for short term weight loss. It is often used to prepare patients for gastric bypass surgery and also to combat obesity. It should not be looked at as a long term diet plan. Instead it will help you shed a few pounds before you get started on a diet that consists of healthy eating and regular exercise.