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The amount of carbohydrate required to induce ketosis depends on a number of factors and can actually vary from day to day depending on activity levels and fluid intake. Most health care professionals agree, however, that you shouldn't eat fewer than 1, calories a day to lose weight. A VLCD is a low carbohydrate, total diet replacement for the dietary management of obesity. Using Body Mass Index: The Benefits of Ketosis. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials".


Low-carbohydrate diet

The replacement foods are designed to contain all the nutrients the body needs, while providing calories a day or fewer. VLCDs are the most restrictive form of dieting, severely reducing calorie intake, so medical supervision is important. VLCDs are not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Find out more about healthy eating in pregnancy. VLCDs are not suitable for children and people with certain health conditions, such as eating disorders.

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Most people who want to lose weight do not need to follow a very low calorie diet. Apart from feeling hungry and low on energy, other side effects can include: By slowly re-introducing food back into your diet you are setting healthy new patterns that are sustainable for the rest of your life. They may sometimes advise a different regimen based on your health needs. This total calorie intake per day represents the products as well as additional foods consumed.

If you are concerned about transitioning through the other levels of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program, consult an Accredited Practising Dietitian who will be able to help you with this transition as well as educate you regarding appropriate foods to include, portion sizes and how to manage your daily calorie intake, as this can be individual. These levels restrict calorie intake but not as much as the Intensive Level and will still assist you in achieving your weight loss goals.

Recent research has shown that VLCD programs do not lead to worse long-term results and are not associated with higher rates of weight re-gain than other dietary approaches that have a slower weight loss progress. Furthermore, research has shown that metabolic rate and body composition do not differ with fast weight loss versus a slower rate of weight loss.

By maintaining lean body mass, your metabolic rate will only change as a result of reduction in total body weight as a result of body fat loss, but not due to a loss of lean body muscle. If you choose to have more than 1 bar a day, ensure that you consume extra water as you will not be getting the fluids that you would with the sachet products. The program is designed so that you can choose which meals you would prefer to replace based on your likes and lifestyle.

The evening meal is generally replaced with a healthy meal in the Active 2 Level, purely for social reasons, however you can tailor the program to suit yourself and substitute the morning meal or lunch instead. These include dietary preparations such as Shakes, Bars, Soups and Desserts. In comparison, a formulated meal replacement FMR means a single food or dietary preparation that replaces only 1 or 2 of the daily meals but not the total diet.

A meal replacement program will involve incorporating some low calorie meals in addition to Shakes or Bars. A formulated meal replacement does not work by inducing ketosis to assist with weight loss. It works purely by restricting overall calorie intake. If your BMI is within the healthy weight range, then a Very Low Calorie Diet is not recommended for you, as it could result in large losses of lean muscle mass and therefore serious medical consequences.

We strongly recommend that you seek the professional advice of an Accredited Practising Dietitian who can provide you with appropriate nutrition advice. To find a local dietitian in your area visit the Dietitians Association of Australia website: You can also have sugar free sweets and diet jelly if you are craving something sweet. Once you have completed the Intensive Level, it is recommended that you then progress onto the Active 2 and Active 1 Levels. You will also need to have 2 cups of low starch vegetables and to drink 2 litres of low calorie fluids.

Your third meal should be a low calorie meal of around calories. You can also have 1 serve of fruit approximately 70 calories and 1 serve of dairy approximately calories bringing your total food intake, including your OPTIFAST VLCD products , to approximately calories a day. Two cups of low starch vegetables and 2 litres of water should also be consumed as well as, 2 serves of fruit around 70 calories each and 1 serve of dairy around calories.

This level restricts calorie intake to approximately calories per day. Dietary intake consists of three low calorie meals approximately calories each , two serves of fruit and one serve of dairy, plus low-starch vegetables and water. The nutrition component of the Maintenance Level requires ongoing monitoring for meal plan adjustments and education to ensure long term weight management.

The calorie intake on Maintenance Level is approximately Remember that the more food and calories you take in, the less the weight loss.

If you do eat something you shouldn't, don't give up as one slip up is not going to make a big dent on your overall weight loss goals. Get straight back on track and prevent it from happening again. One serve of protein is equivalent to g meat, 2 eggs or g fish.

It should be noted that with intakes greater than 3 sachets per day, or the addition of 1 serve of protein, calorie intake may be greater than calories per day. Speak to your healthcare professional about whether you require extra protein. If you are not consuming all 3 products you may be missing out on some important nutrients in particular protein. It is a total diet replacement providing less than calories per day. This level is designed to achieve a large initial weight loss whilst helping to preserve lean body mass.

The recommended time frame for this level is anywhere up to 12 weeks. Two litres of water should also be consumed each day. On the OPTIFAST VLCD Program, the Intensive Level is recommended for up to 12 weeks, however if you still have more weight to lose after the initial 12 weeks and would like to stay on the Intensive Level a little longer, then it is very important that you consult your healthcare professional to see if this is suitable for you.

It is also important to do this under their supervision. Alternatively, if there is still a significant amount of weight to be lost at the end of the initial 12 weeks, we recommend you follow the Active 2 Level for a minimum of two weeks before repeating the Intensive Level again. It is recommended to see an Accredited Practising Dietitian to help you transition and support you through the program. These symptoms are common and can be easily managed.

Speak to your healthcare professional first so as they can advise how to overcome or correct these before coming off the program. This should consist of a balanced meal of protein eg. Your two cups of low starch vegetable allowance can be incorporated into your low-calorie meal or if your calorie allowance allows, you can add it as extras to your meal plan.

One tablespoon 20ml of dressing or sauce can also be added to help flavour the meal. During the Active 2 Level you can also introduce a serve of fruit 70 calories and a serve of dairy calories. Although ketosis is a little uncomfortable to start with, it will eventually reduce your appetite and help manage your intake through the Intensive Level.

As the body transitions into ketosis, you may experience some transient side effects such as; fatigue, hunger, lack of concentration, nausea, headaches. These side effects are generally only short-lived while your body adjusts to the change and most symptoms will pass by days If you are concerned about any side affects you are experiencing, please see your healthcare professional. They are great for hydration, extra fibre, vitamins and adding bulk to your diet.

If you are craving sweet foods, you may also have a couple of sugar free lollies or some diet jelly throughout the day. The Active 2 Level restricts calorie intake but not as much as the Intensive Level and if combined with regular exercise more gradual levels of weight loss can be achieved.

Unlike the Intensive Level, the Active 2 Level doesn't work by inducing ketosis. It works purely by restricting calorie intake to approximately calories per day.

You will also need to have: The length of time that you are on this level will depend on your lifestyle needs and weight loss goals.

The Active 2 Level is suitable for people who require significant weight loss. This level restricts calorie intake but not as much as the Intensive level. Alternatively, if it is easier to start with one meal replacement and slowly build up then you may choose to start on the Active 1 Level. Dietary intake now consists of: The total calorie intake is approximately calories.

The nutrition component of this level requires ongoing monitoring for meal plan adjustments and education. See your healthcare professional for ongoing support and guidance to ensure that the calorie content of this level is right for you.

Your calorie-controlled or low-calorie meal should be around calories. You can also include 1 tbsp of a sauce or dressing. This plate concept will help to keep your meal under calories. Alternatively, check out the calorie- controlled recipes in the recipe section of the website.

Each recipe indicates how many calories per serve. Any use of the program for children under 18 years must be done at the discretion of the healthcare professional, and include medical supervision and monitoring. Any use of the program for adults over 65 years must be done at the discretion of the healthcare professional, and include medical supervision and monitoring.

Care must be taken to ensure nutritional requirements are met, in particular protein. Risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, family history of heart disease, sleep apnoea. You are considered to be at high risk and therefore eligible for the Program if, as a male your waist circumference is above cm or as a woman, if your waist circumference is above 88cm.

Medical supervision is always advised especially if there are risk factors or other co-morbidities. The Maintenance Level is designed to help you maintain a consistent body weight via a controlled calorie intake and energy output. This level requires ongoing monitoring for meal plan adjustments and education in order to ensure long term weight management. Speak to your dietitian or healthcare professional about management strategies for weight maintenance and to ensure the calorie component of your Maintenance Level plan is right for you.

Therefore, your goal weight is calculated using an equation called Adjusted Ideal Body Weight. It is important to note that the Healthy Weight Range is a guide and doesn't take into account additional lean muscle mass for individuals with a higher BMI.

Please note that you can adjust your goal weight using the sliding bar if you feel an alternative goal weight would be more suited to you. This process is called ketosis. It is this process which enables you to achieve such great weight loss; however, it does have the potential to induce a few undesired symptoms during the first few days of starting the program whilst your body adjusts to metabolising fats for energy instead of carbohydrates.

These symptoms may include: These are only transient and most will pass by days Whilst these side effects may seem concerning, some people will experience none of these and others will only experience a few. They are not significant enough to warrant stopping the program, and a few modifications to the diet can reduce their severity or occurrence all together.

If you are concerned at all about any side-effects please consult your healthcare professional for further advice and management. If diarrhoea continues for more than a week consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

This is caused by the process called ketosis where your body switches over to burning fat stores and will only last whilst you are following the Intensive Level. Acetone is a ketone by product that is produced in the body when you are in ketosis and can result in a nail polish like smell on your breath. Not everyone will experience this and if you do it will only last whilst you are following the Intensive Level.

Chewing on low-calorie mints, sugar free chewing gum or even some parsley can be very effective in managing this.

If there is more fibre in your new regimen due to increased intake of vegetables, this may result in some bloating. Some people find that they feel bloated because they are drinking a lot more fluid than usual. If you believe this is the case please consult your healthcare professional for further advice and management. A complete meal replacement program is usually a dramatic change of intake for most people, and this can cause changes in bowel habits.

In addition, if the recommended fluid and low starch vegetables are not consumed, a lack of fibre dietary bulk and fluid can cause a dramatic change. It is normal to go less frequently when consuming less food, whereas true constipation is when the consistency is also affected.

If you are experiencing constipation, try to consume more than the recommended 2 cups of low starch vegetables per day, drink litres of fluid, as well exercise daily to help keep your bowels healthy and regular. Additionally, adding cups of stock or bouillon to the daily meal plan may also help rectify symptoms of constipation.

However if the problem persists please consult with your healthcare professional. Low starch vegetables are vegetables with a low carbohydrate content. These are usually green vegetables and include: High starch vegetables are generally root vegetables and potatoes. Either is fine - as long as you consume at least 2 cups! The vegetables listed in the Allowed Foods List are very low calorie and it does not matter if you measure them raw or after you have cooked them.

They are great for hydration, extra fibre, vitamins and adding bulk to your diet - crunch away! The allowed vegetables not only provide additional vitamins and minerals they also provide fibre. Having something to eat each day also makes handling social situations a lot easier and increases compliance.

You can have them raw as a salad or stir-fried with 1 tsp. You can also add some condiments, herbs and spices to make them more interesting as well. Blending your allowed vegetables with some stock also makes a great option for winter. The website also has lots of vegetable recipes to help make things a little more interesting for you. We do recommend eating the vegetables rather than a vegetable juice, as the allowed vegetables not only provide additional vitamins and minerals, they also provide fibre which is removed once you juice or blend them.

In addition having something to eat each day makes handling social situations a lot easier and increases compliance. It is fine on occasions to substitute a vegetable juice however you need to make sure that it is a vegetable juice only and not a vegetable and fruit blend as this may be too high in carbohydrates.

Most products contain less than 10 calories and less than 1g of carbohydrate per serve. Fruit is naturally high in sugar and in order for the body to start burning fat via ketosis it is best to avoid fruit as this can deter the ketosis process and compromise weight loss.

If you feel like something sweet, try low joule jellies or lollies. Alternatively, for a snack, try carrot or celery sticks. Fruit can be added back into the diet during the Active 2 Level of the program. A serve of fruit could be: A serve of dairy should have around calories.

A serve of dairy could be: You are allowed diet drinks and diet lollies as long as they do not contain any sugar and have minimal kilojoules. It is important to note that many of these foods can cause gastrointestinal side-effects so it is advisable to keep them to a minimum.

The inclusion of a teaspoon 5ml of vegetable oil a day on the Intensive Level ensures that sufficient fat is consumed. This is particularly important for those who are at risk of developing gall stones as the fat will help to stimulate the emptying of the gall bladder. This teaspoon of vegetable oil is often incorporated with the vegetables or salad. Alcohol also has a diuretic effect as well as contains extra calories which will slow down your weight loss progress.

Keep heating in 20 second intervals, stirring after each time, until desired temperature is reached. Water has no calories or carbohydrates so additional water will be beneficial for your hydration, as well as helping to sustain your appetite. The skim or low fat milk will provide additional calories as well as carbohydrates which may affect ketosis and therefore slow down or inhibit your weight loss. However, if left in the freezer too long the functionality of the thickener may be affected resulting in the product being more liquid than normal once it is thawed.