In New Jersey, the Optifast weight loss program promotes weight loss by replacing your existing diet with low-calorie, nutrient dense meal replacement products. But it is not just the products that inspire weight loss. To follow the OPTIFAST program you have to adjust your behavior, and that means adopting new habits that will encourage a healthier eating style.
There are no foods that are inherently bad. There are foods that are healthy, and there are some that lack nutrients. Weight loss and weight gain are dependent on behavioral factors outside of the nutritious properties of the foods you are eating, such as how often you eat, the portion sizes you choose and how often you choose one food versus another.
Your eating style isn’t defined just by what you eat, but how and why you eat, too. Developing a healthy eating style will help you progress towards your weight loss goals.
During your OPTIFAST program, focus on improving these five P’s of appropriate eating behavior:
- Plan Ahead: Impulse eating is a leading contributor for weight gain. Make a habit of planning your meals ahead of time. Planning ahead makes it more likely you’ll eat healthier meals and less likely you’ll stop at a drive-thru on your way home.
- Portion Control: Portions are relevant for meals and snacks, alike. When you eat more than a recommended portion you are consuming more calories than necessary, which can lead to weight gain.
- Proportionate, Well-Balanced Meals: Your food choices should be healthy and nutrient-dense as often as possible. Planning meals ahead of time can help you maintain a well-balanced diet.
- Placement: Make a habit of eating in a certain place, and don’t let yourself eat in other places. If grazing is a problem for you, rule eating in the kitchen off limits and only eat when you are at the table. The same can go for eating at your desk at work. Limit your workplace eating to the break room.
- Peacefulness: Try to savor your food and become more of a mindful eater. This means cutting out distractions like the TV or a cellphone and use the few minutes you have as you eat as a time to meditate and consider the texture, taste and nutritional value of the food you are consuming.
The OPTIFAST program is designed to help you develop a healthier style of eating by giving you an opportunity to focus on each of these habits. Replacing your existing diet with a collection of meal bars, shakes and soups creates space to evaluate your eating behaviors and to make improvements as necessary so you can maintain a healthy weight as you transition back to a traditional diet.