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On a cold, grey day in January 2016, Val Hunter, a Nestlé US employee, decided to make a change. He sat in a hospital waiting room and watched as a doctor came to tell a family sitting nearby that their loved one had passed away. Watching someone else’s health crisis unfolding before him made him realize that his family could be in a similar position if he didn’t stick to his commitment to lose weight.

Coincidentally, his first shipment of the OPTIFAST® product was waiting on his front porch when he returned home. Here are his weight loss tips and how he kept motivated during his 102-pound weight loss.

OPTIFAST® patients who actively participate in a 26-week program typically lose approximately 50 pounds.

The power of weight loss support

Val and his wife Jenné embarked on the OPTIFAST® journey together, and he credits their partnership with his success on the diet. “We needed each other’s weight loss support, we depended on each other for strength, and we simply grew closer,” Hunter says. The OPTIFAST® program is a meal replacement program with an active weight loss phase that typically lasts 12-16 weeks. “To be successful on our diet, it took some planning and a lot of commitment. We mixed our shakes and soups in all sorts of crazy places. Our weight loss tips include cutting our bars into 32 pieces so that we could sit and eat dinner with our family at restaurants.”

Losing Weight and Gaining New Life

 

Fast-paced weight loss support

Quick weight loss that Hunter experienced on the plan was important in helping him stick with the OPTIFAST® program. “I probably would have been bored and quit, had it not been as rapid as it was. I was throwing out clothes faster than I could buy them,” he says. Hunter was motivated by the constant changes he saw in his body, as well as his increased energy level and his new passion for exercise. Read about the science behind quick weight loss.

Losing Weight and Gaining New Life

Weight loss tip: Exercise is a powerful driver

After a few months on the weight loss support program, Hunter felt like a new man and got into the habit of running. “Running and exercise is now my life,” he says. Eventually he signed up for a Hood to Coast race in Oregon and ran his fastest mile to date at 7 minutes and 38 seconds. He now wakes up at 3:45 a.m. to get a run in before his workday starts and he loves every minute of it. “My life was fun before, but it is just a blast now.”

Losing Weight and Gaining New Life

The health benefits of weight loss

Before the OPTIFAST® weight loss support program, Hunter’s doctor was about to put him on diabetes and heart medication. Now, it is not necessary because of Val’s weight loss. Maintaining a healthy weight is associated with reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease, and increased life expectancy. However, no patient’s case is typical. “My doctor says to me ‘Imagine Val, putting ten eight-pound bowling balls in a backpack, and strapping that on your back. That’s what you’ve just taken off,'” Hunter says.

“‘Val,’ he says, ‘You’ve added 10 to 15 years on your life by losing all that weight.’”

Interested in other weight loss tips and stories?

Get inspired by the winners of the OPTIFAST® New You contest

Losing Weight and Gaining New Life

 

Losing Weight and Gaining New Life