There are 4 phases of the OPTIFAST® VLCD™ Program. Although most individuals will start at the Intensive phase and work their way through to the Stabilization phase, you can start at the phase that best suits your needs and weight loss goals.


Weight loss with the OPTIFAST® VLCD™ Program Intensive phase is achieved by the restriction of carbohydrate and total energy intake. This enables your body to use its fat stores as energy via a process called Ketosis. OPTIFAST® VLCD™ products contain carbohydrates, fatty acids and protein, which helps preserve lean body mass while you lose your fat stores. They also contain vitamins and minerals to ensure that you are receiving all the nutrients you require for a safe and healthy calorie restricted diet. OPTIFAST® VLCD™ is available in a wide range of products such as soups, shakes, bars and desserts, in a variety of flavours


  •              Calorie Intake: 600 – 800 Daily

  • This phase is designed for rapid, initial, effective weight loss. The only sources of nutrition during this phase are three OPTIFAST VLCD products, two cups of low starch vegetables and one teaspoon of vegetable oil, providing less than 800 calories per day. Two litres of water should also be consumed each day.
  • You can stay on this phase from anywhere up to 12 weeks, however this period is variable and depends on your weight loss goals. If there is still a significant amount of weight to be lost at the end of the initial 12 weeks, we recommend you follow the Transition Phase for a minimum of two weeks before repeating the Intensive phase again.
  • In some instances, if you are doing well on the Intensive phase and still have more weight to lose at the end of the initial 12-week period, your healthcare professional may advise you to stay on the Intensive Phase for longer. It is very important to note that this should only be done under the instruction and supervision of your healthcare professional
  • Calorie intake: 800 – 1000 Daily
  • The Transition Phase of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program includes two OPTIFAST VLCD products and one low calorie meal of approximately 400 calories.
  • During this phase, you also have at least two cups of low starch vegetables, one serve of fruit, one serve of dairy and two litres of water.
  • Calorie intake: 1000-1200 Daily
  • During the Maintenance Phase, only one OPTIFAST VLCD sachet or bar is consumed, and two low calorie meals of around 400 calories are consumed. Dietary intake will consist of one OPTIFAST VLCD Product, two low calorie meals (approximately 400 calories each), at least two cups of low starch vegetables, two serves of fruit, one serve of dairy and two litres of water.
  • Calorie intake: 1200-1500 Daily
  • ·       The Stabilization phase is where all OPTIFAST VLCD products are eliminated and is designed to help you maintain a long term focus on maintaining your weight loss.
  • ·       Dietary intake consists of three low calorie meals of approximately 400 calories each, two serves of fruit and one serve of dairy, plus low-starch vegetables and water.
  • The nutrition component of the Stabilization phase requires ongoing monitoring for meal plan adjustments and education to ensure long term weight management


The recommended allowed vegetables on the OPTIFAST® VLCD™ Program are low starch or low carbohydrates and also low calorie. The table below lists what vegetables are recommended whilst on the OPTIFAST® VLCD™ Program.The OPTIFAST® VLCD™ Program calls for at least 2 cups a day of allowed vegetables, but doubling that quantity makes little difference to your weight loss as long as you are sticking to the list of recommended allowable vegetables. They are great for hydration, extra fibre, vitamins and adding bulk to your diet. The vegetables also provide real food to chew and keep your diet interesting beyond the OPTIFAST® VLCD™ products. Eating vegetables during the program is an important part of helping with your transition onto a balanced, calorie controlled diet after you have eliminated all OPTIFAST® VLCD™ products.




Fruit* and dairy servings for
transition phase onwards
  • A serving of fruit should contain around 50-70 calories and 10-15g of carbohydrate.
  • A serving of fruit could be:
    one of – 200g strawberries, 2 apricots, 2 slices of pineapple, 2-3 passionfruit,
    100g grapes,
    1 small apple, 10 cherries, 1 small orange,
    1 peach, 1 small pear, 120g pear in natural juice, 120g plums or 3 prunes.
  • A serving of dairy should have around 100 calories.
  • A serving of dairy could be: one 250g glass low fat milk, 40g low fat cheese,
  • 1 scoop of light ice-cream or 200g low fat yoghurt.
All other fruits

Low starch and green


  • asparagus
  • beans
  • broccoli 
  • celery
  • cabbage 
  • capsicum
  • carrots

  • cauliflower 
  • cucumber
  • eggplant
  • garlic
  • lettuce
  • leeks
  • beans
  • mushrooms
  • onions

  • radish 
  • silver beet
  • snow peas
  • spinach
  • squash
  •  tomato
  • zucchini

  • corn
  • green peas
  • legumes 
  • lentils
  • potatopumpkin
  • sweet potato

  • Soups

  • stock cubes (in moderation)

  • vegetable soups(using
  • allowed vegetables

  • All others

Sauces and condiments

  • lemon juice
  • vinegar
  • soy sauce (in moderation)
  • chili
  • mustard
  • tomato paste


Spices and herbs

  • chili
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • coriander 
  • cumin
  • curry powder

  • dill 
  • fennel
  • garlic
  • ginger 
  • lite salt 
  • mint
  • mustard seed
  • nutmeg

  • paprika 
  • parsley
  • pepper 
  • rosemary 
  • sage
  • thyme 
  • turmeric



  • artificial sweetners

  • gum

  • Diet Jelly
  • Essence 
  • banana,
  • mint
  • strawberry


Calorie free fluids

(at least 2 litres extra per day)

  • water 
  • tea 
  • diet soft
  • drink

  • mineral water

  • Fruit juice

*Fruit is only permitted during the transition, maintenance and stabilisation phases of the program. Fruit is not allowed during the intensive phase of the program due to the carbohydrate content.