Before you start on your weight loss journey, it is important to know what to expect in the first few days of the OPTIFAST Program. As with any major dietary adjustment, the first few days on the OPTIFAST Program can be the hardest. The OPTIFAST Program Intensive Level is much easier to follow after the first few days due to a chemical reaction that occurs in your body called ketosis. Although ketosis is a little uncomfortable to start with, it will eventually reduce your appetite and help manage your intake through the Intensive Level. These first few days on the OPTIFAST Program Intensive Level are commonly known as the 3 day challenge. As the body transitions into ketosis, you may experience some transient side effects such as fatigue, hunger, lack of concentration, nausea and headaches. Typically, only mild ketosis occurs during the OPTIFAST Program and most symptoms pass by days 4-6. In order to best manage these side effects and stay committed to your weight loss plan, we recommend you follow these preparation tips before starting.
Stock up your fridge with lots of the free vegetables on the Allowed Vegetables list and check out some of the creative vegetable recipe ideas to add variety to your diet. Also, make sure that your cupboard is well stocked with diet jelly and any other Additional Allowances to help make the beginning of your journey easier.
Build your support network
Enlist the help of your family and friends by letting them know you are starting the OPTIFAST Program. Whilst you may not necessarily want to share your weight loss plan with too many people, it is vital to have a good network of friends and family around you that are fully aware of how important this is to you and who will support you every step of the way. You must have this conversation with them. Surround yourself with people that motivate you, and help you achieve your goals. This will be one of the most inspiring things you can do!
It is very important to regularly drink water whilst on the program, to keep you hydrated and also help prevent constipation. Also drinking adequate fluid can help you to manage your appetite. Sometimes we can mistake thirst for hunger so it pays to keep up the fluid so that you are not tempted to eat something you shouldn’t. Plan how you will regularly drink water, for example, add reminders on your phone or keep water bottles next to your bed, office desk and in the car.
You will feel hungry during the first few days or first week so planning ahead and being prepared will help you manage this better. If you are feeling hungry make sure your fluid intake is adequate as we sometimes mistake hunger for thirst, or distract yourself with another activity such as going for a walk or taking a bath. Alternatively, use the foods listed in the Additional Allowances list such as your allowed vegetables, diet fluids, diet jelly or sugar free lollies.