Frequently Asked Questions
Quick search for easy answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are low starch vegetables?
Low starch vegetables are vegetables with a low carbohydrate content. These are usually green vegetables and include: alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, bean sprouts, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, lettuce (all types), leeks, mushrooms, onions, radish, shallots, silverbeet, snow peas, spinach, squash, tomatoes, watercress, and zucchini. High starch vegetables are generally root vegetables and potatoes. Click here for a full list of the Allowed Vegetables.
Q. Should my 2 cups of vegetables be measured raw or cooked?
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.
Q. Can I eat more than the recommended 2 cups of low starch vegetables?
The OPTIFAST VLCD Program calls for 2 cups a day, 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!
Q. I don't really like vegetables, do I have to eat the recommended 2 cups per day or can I just have another OPTIFAST VLCD product instead?
For optimal results it is best to stick to the OPTIFAST VLCD Program as outlined in all our product information. 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 be quite inventive with your vegetables; you don’t have to just eat a bowl of plain steamed vegetables each day. You can have them raw as a salad or stir-fried with 1 tsp. vegetable oil. 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. Click here for a full list of the Allowed Vegetables and additional condiments. The website also has lots of vegetable recipes to help make things a little more interesting for you.
Q. Can I have a vegetable juice such as a V8 Juice instead of eating the vegetables?
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. 125ml of vegetable juice is equivalent to 1 cup of vegetables, therefore if having vegetable juice instead of the vegetables or salad; try to keep it to no more than 250-500ml per day.
Q. Can I include fruit as part of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program?
Fruit is not recommended during the Intensive Level of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program. 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.
Q. What is considered a serve of fruit when on the Active 2 and other Levels of the Program?
A serve of fruit should contain around 50-70 calories and 10-15g of carbohydrate.
A serve of fruit could be: 1 ½ punnets of strawberries, 4 lychees, 2 apricots, 200g cooked rhubarb, 2 slices pineapple, 3-4 passion fruit, ½ cup of grapes, 1 small apple, 15 cherries, 1 medium orange, 1 medium peach, 1 small pear, 2 small plums, 3 prunes, 120g diced fruit in natural juice, ¾ cup blueberries, 1 kiwi fruit, ½ mango and 1-2 mandarins.
Q. What is considered a serve of dairy on the Active 2 and other Levels of the Program?
A serve of dairy should have around 100 calories. A serve of dairy could be: 250ml glass low fat milk, 30g reduced fat cheese, 1 scoop of low fat ice-cream, 1 tub ~ 150g low fat yoghurt or 1/3 cup cottage cheese.
Q. Can I have diet soft drinks and sugar free lollies whilst on the OPTIFAST VLCD Program?
Yes. 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.
Allowed Vegetable Oil
Q. Why should I include a teaspoon of vegetable oil in my daily intake whilst on the Intensive Level of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program?
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.
Q. Can I omit the vegetable oil when on the Intensive Level of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program using 3 OPTIFAST VLCD ProteinPlus products per day?
Yes, the OPTIFAST VLCD ProteinPlus products contain sufficient amounts of fat, therefore when consuming 3 per day, the addition of oil is not required unless desired for taste.