Okay – truthfully its day 5 but I’m counting down as it makes me feel better to see when I’m going to get to the point at which I’m off the 4 times per day OptiFast shakes.
So far the results have not been impressive as compared to fasting. Nor to a certain extent should they. Four shakes per day is roughly 900 calories. If you supplement with the few odds and ends that are allowable then you might add another 20-40 calories depending on what you are doing. So 925-950 Cal/dy is a big difference compared to 250-300 Cal/dy.
I’ve been experimenting with a few different things including Skinny Syrups, cinnamon, Fry’s cocoa powder, and matcha green tea powder. Each of these provide a slightly different effect to the OptiFast. Cinnamon and matcha green tea powder for example seem to work very well with the chocolate OptiFast (although not together, that would just be wrong). Skinny Syrups work well with the vanilla.
I picked up three different types of Skinny Syrups. Strawberry, banana, and caramel fudge. So far the strawberry one has worked out really well. The other two are like ‘meh’. I’ll probably not continue to use the caramel one but will go back to HomeSense to find a few other of the fruit ones to try out.
Anyone who tells you you can get Skinny Syrups from Winners is lying. You need to go to HomeSense. Winners doesn’t carry kitchen items. If you happen to be lucky enough to find some there it is likely at the front, near the checkout, as an impulse buy item. HomeSense has a large proportion of the Skinny Syrup line in a dedicated section in the main store section.
The rumours about the vanilla OptiFast being horrid are false. At least from my perspective. But at the same time you need some variety to keep things interesting.
While this first week has been more playing around with how to flavour the OptiFast, I’m finding I don’t really need to all the time, which is what I started to do early on.
In terms of weight loss, so far it has been nowhere near as intense as doing a fast. In previous fasts, including the low-calorie ones I had done back in June and July, by the end of the first week I was down about 15-20 pounds. So far in this one I’m down about 10 and expect that best case by Friday morning will be 12-13 lbs at most, maybe less.
My thinking at this point is there are two key differences. The first is that this plan has 3x the number of calories that I’ve used as part of my previous fasting. That part is obvious. The second is that the OptiFast is ‘balanced’ including 75g of carbohydrate (16 of which are from fibre). This is a lot more carbohydrate than what I was eating previously.
I can only assume that while I am in a mild state of ketosis at the moment, I’m not in the hard core ketosis state that I was in back in June and July. Higher levels of insulin due to extra glucose from carbohydrates will mean that fat loss will be slower over all, not just as a result of fewer calories.
There are a few other trends that seem to be occurring such as lower blood pressure. Also my visceral fat number started to go down today which is sooner than when that happened last time. Will be monitoring myself to see how it progresses.
The last thing I’ve noticed is that my mood and hunger swings are more pronounced on this nutrition plan. Shakes are timed across the day and I have my phone set to remind me when to have one throughout the day regardless of whether I am hungry or not. That seems to have resulted so far in me being hungry at least 2-3 times per day between shakes.
Now that seems completely counter intuitive as I’m physically drinking more calories. When I was on the fast, I was eating less than 300 calories per day. I would eat when I was hungry and didn’t seem to have any problems keeping the calorie count that low. On this nutritional plan, having tea and broth available for in-between seems to be almost mandatory. And this despite the fact that we are supposed to be drinking an additional 2-3 L of water (or similar) per day.
The plan at the moment is to stick to the program as it is designed at least for the first four weeks and see what the difference is compared to the approaches I used back in June and July. After that I’ll figure out if this is in fact the correct approach for me or not. At the very least I’m getting some good additional tips on weight management that I hadn’t considered before. Will provide some additional write-ups on those later.