Weight Loss Stories: Helen’s OPTIFAST Journey

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Everyone’s weight loss journey looks very different; everyone has different goals, schedules and priorities. Even so, when you’re considering embarking on a new weight loss plan, it can be incredibly helpful to know how other people with busy lives got on while following the plan.

It’s recommended to follow the OPTIFAST Six Week Plan, but Helen Robinson chose to follow the plan for 12 weeks with support from healthcare professionals. She’s shared her experiences with us to inspire you as you take the first steps towards your goals.

How Did You Find Starting the OPTIFAST Plan?

Helen: The concept of the OPTIFAST programme is very simple, so easy to follow and understand.

Removing the need to make any decisions about food was a massive help to me, as part of my problem was that I didn’t make good choices about what I ate. Telling myself that I just couldn’t have *anything*, seemed to be something I responded to very well.

The weekly dietitian support I received was excellent and also helped me to maintain my focus; I didn’t want to let myself down, but I also didn’t want to have to record a poor week! Being able to ask questions and receive reassurance throughout the plan was also a big help.

I was amazed that once I was through the first few days, my energy levels were unaffected. I’d been concerned that consuming so few calories would lead to a lack of energy, but the opposite was true.

Some of the early days adjusting to the new plan were hard, but I had a great support network around me (I told all my friends and colleagues what I was doing) – and I needed it at times. It definitely got easier as the programme progressed.

I also found that seeing my week one weight loss was a huge boost and real motivation to keep going.

What Are Your Favourite OPTIFAST Meal Replacement Products?

Helen: I really enjoyed the OPTIFAST Shakes – they tasted good, but not too sweet and were very easy to prepare. They were also filling enough – just stick with them for the first few days.

I enjoyed the convenience of knowing what I was having every day, and I never found myself bored with the repetition.

Once I got used to them, I could have stayed on the Shakes quite happily beyond the initial 12 weeks – in fact, I missed the convenience when I had to start eating real food again!

How Would You Describe Your OPTIFAST Experience?

Helen: Following the OPTIFAST plan was an overwhelmingly positive experience. I was never once made to feel humiliated for having allowed myself to get to such a huge weight, and there was support from day one to help me be successful. Most importantly, I was helped to feel that losing weight was something I could finally achieve.

The length of the weight loss programme was enough for me to feel like I’d been able to break some of my bad relationships with food. I’m still working on these, but not eating anything (other than veg) for 12 weeks showed me how skewed my relationship with food has been.

I surprisingly found that I slept a lot better on the programme than I normally would and I also noticed almost immediate improvements in the appearance of my skin and hair.

What’s the Next Step on Your Weight Loss Journey?

Helen: Although my weight loss journey continues, the OPTIFAST programme helped me lose a lot of weight quite quickly and also helped me to relearn eating habits in a way I don’t think other diets could have done. It was extreme to do, but so were the results (in a positive way!).

As I transitioned back to eating more conventional foods, the dietitian support was invaluable. I was a little worried about what I was eating at first, as I was scared I was going to undo what I’d already achieved. Being guided and helped through that part of the process was incredibly important.

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Individual results on an OPTIFAST diet plan may vary. Always seek medical advice before making intensive changes to your diet and lifestyle. Meal replacement products should not be used for longer than 3 weeks without medical advice.

Health & Nutrition Expert

Health & Nutrition Expert

Writer and expert