Tips- Managing social situations
You can still enjoy social occasions whilst on the OPTIFAST Program. Your life doesn't have to stop nor should it have too. When socialising try to focus on the other aspects of socialising such as the people you are with and the location rather than focusing solely on the food and wine. When planning to eat out try having your OPTIFAST VLCD product prior to going out and then choose a low starch salad or vegetables. You could order a miso soup, some stir-fry vegetables (without noodles or rice), or a garden salad with the dressing on the side (no creamy sauces). If possible skip the protein and carbs on offer. If you must eat something other than just the vegetables or salad, skip the OPTIFAST VLCD product for that meal and opt for a small portion of protein such as 100g meat or chicken, some fish or eggs and load up your plate with a garden salad or some low starch vegetables. Make sure you avoid any carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, pasta or rice as this will affect ketosis and may increase your appetite.
If you do eat something you shouldn't when out socialising, don't give up as one slip up is not going to make a big dent on your weight loss goals. Get straight back on track and prevent it from happening again. If you eat some carbohydrates you may find your appetite return as ketosis may stop and you will have to go through the slightly uncomfortable 3 day challenge again. You will find it easier to manage the second time around and the symptoms should pass quicker than the first time. It can help if you have eaten some carbohydrates to do some extra exercise that day to try to burn them off.
It is advised to eliminate alcohol completely whilst on the OPTIFAST Program. Alcohol is full of nutritionally empty kilojoules and puts extra stress on your kidneys and liver. Instead opt for a mineral water with a spritz of lemon or lime. If you do consume alcohol, be extra diligent with your water intake and get back on track as soon as possible. If you have diabetes, check your blood glucose levels more regularly as it may be compromised after alcohol.
If you do need something extra the single best thing to have is extra non-starchy vegetables. The OPTIFAST Program calls for 2 cups a day of allowed vegetables, but doubling that quantity makes little difference to your weight loss. They are great for hydration, extra fibre, vitamins and adding bulk to your diet - crunch away! Therefore if out at a restaurant order an extra serve of salad or vegetables or if you are asked over to a friend’s place offer to bring a salad or to bring a plate of fresh cut up vegies with a low fat dip to have as nibbles.
If however you find yourself continually cheating your meal plan with little control speak to an Accredited Practising Dietitian to see if you are on the right plan. You may in fact need an extra OPTIFAST VLCD product each day or an extra serve of protein. Or you may need to move to a different level of the program. If this is not the case speak to your healthcare professional about why you are cheating you may need some help to practice mindful eating and to reduce emotional eating.