I caught up with several dear friends who are success stories with bariatric surgery / plastic surgery. They did it all — dropped the excess weight and kept it off; transformed their bodies through bariatric plastic surgery; and went on to make their dreams come true with new homes and new careers. These are beautiful women inside and out. That’s why it broke my heart to hear they each recently had about 40 pounds of weight regain.
Then today I stumbled upon a solution to lose weight regain. It’s a physician-supervised very low calorie diet (VLCD) that averages a total weight loss of 44 pounds in just 12 weeks, according to WIN the Weight-control Information Network.
Reverse Weight Regain with a VLCD
An 800 calorie diet is referred to as a very low calorie diet (VLCD). A VLCD is a medically-supervised weight loss diet that typically uses commercially prepared formulas to promote quick weight loss in patients with a BMI >30, considered to be obese. Done correctly, it can lead to 3 to 5 lbs. of weight loss per week says WebMD.
At the Center for Nutrition and Weight Management in Pennsylvania, a staff of physicians, physician assistants, certified registered nurse practitioners and registered dietitians use the OptiFast Program. And they create a plan designed specifically for each patient, which can be a full or partial liquid diet. The OptiFast website claims participants lose approximately 50 pounds by the end of a 26-week program. Programs typically run 18-26 weeks.
VLCD with OptiFast HP for Bariatric Surgery Patients
The OptiFast HP Shake Mix in vanilla and chocolate is formulated for the needs of bariatric patients before and after weight loss surgery. It provides 26g of protein, 10g carbs, 6g fat, 200 calories and complete nutrition in every serving. See the nutrition panel below for full details.
OptiFast VLCD Program Intensive Level
The OptiFast VLCD Program is structured into 4 levels: 3 levels for active weight loss, and 1 level for weight maintenance. Most people will start at the Intensive Level and work their way through to the Maintenance Level once their weight loss goals are reached.
In the Intensive Level of the OptiFast VLCD Program you will replace all 3 meals with OptiFast VLCD products. You also have 2 or more cups of low starch vegetables, 1 tsp of vegetable oil (personally I would do EVOO or coconut oil), and 2 liters of water providing less than 800 calories per day.
This level is designed to achieve a large initial weight loss while helping to preserve lean body mass. You stay on this level for up to 12 weeks.
Levels for active weight loss are:
- Active 2
- Active 1 Once you have achieved your goal you can move into Level 4
The OptiFast VLCD Program can be very cost effective. On average, each meal replacement product works out to be about $2.72 per serving. That’s probably less than you spend now for your normal weekly food requirements. The only additional foods you need to purchase on top of your OptiFast VLCD products are your fresh and healthy low starch vegetables.
Health insurance plans are inconsistent in what they cover when it comes to weight loss. So do contact your insurance provider prior to starting the program because maybe they cover a portion of it! Employee benefits and healthcare spending accounts are options, too, for reimbursement with some employers.
Are Very Low-Calorie Diets Safe?
If your BMI is greater than 30 then a very low calorie diet is generally safe when used under proper medical supervision. For people who are overweight but not obese (BMI of 27-30), very low-calorie diets should be reserved for those who have weight-related medical problems and are under medical supervision.
Very low-calorie diets are not OK for everyone. Talk to your doctor to see if this kind of diet is appropriate for you.
Learn about OptiFast and Find a Clinic
OptiFast is manufactured by Nestle Health Science. It is an active member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) and participates in the Corporate Advisory Council of The Obesity Society (TOS) and The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA). Visit the OptiFast website to learn how you can drop your weight regain with a medically-supervised weight loss program and to find a clinic near you.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life