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Charles Dornan

Charles Dornan is the Managing Director of Gold Coast based family business Medical Vita Diet. A local company selling a range of weight loss shakes, soups and snack bars. The company was founded in 1987 by Charles’ late father Peter Dornan and has been in the family ever since. With Charles taking over the reigns along with his brothers James and Jeremy and mother Marilynne, Vita Diet shakes are run out of Molendiner with the products available locally at Chempro Chemists. A recent expansion into the New Zealand market has been successful in making Vita Diet the number one weight loss shake in the country. We sat down recently with Charles to talk about the company’s success and what’s instore next.

What is Medical Vita Diet and how did it start?
In 1987, Vita Tech introduced the Medical Vita Diet to selected Queensland Medical centres as an aid for combating obesity. The first doctor to implement the Vita Diet was Dr Colin Holloway, who subsequently opened another 5 medical Weight Loss and Nutrition Clinics in Queensland, personally treating thousands of patients with outstanding results.

How does the Vita Diet weight loss program work?
The Vita Diet weight loss program works by controlling the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats a person consumes each day. This is achieved by using any of the gluten-free Vita Diet Shakes, Soups, Bars or Desserts to replace two meals per day, usually breakfast or lunch, and a third meal can be made from the Vita Diet food allowance list which includes proteins, unlimited vegetables, low carb fruit and much more. We make the program really easy to follow with our 5 simple steps.

What are the Vita Diet 5 Simple Steps?

  1. Have any 2 Vita Diet supplements (shakes, soups, bars or dessert) a day to replace either breakfast, lunch or dinner. The preference is yours.
  2. For your 3rd meal of the day, prepare a main meal from the Vita Diet food allowance list. This can be found in the Vita Diet Usage Guide.
  3. Drink up to 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. (Herbal teas do count)
  4. Walk for a minimum of 30 minutes or 10,000 steps each day.
  5. Perform a Ketone test (Optional)

Whilst individual results may vary, if you follow these five daily steps with the Vita Diet, you can expect to lose up to 3kgs plus in your first week and at least 1 – 1.5kgs for every other week you stay on the program.

Does it really make you lose weight?
Yes it certainly does. The combination of the Vita Diet supplements and eating forces the body to go into a mild stage of Ketosis and is the reason why the weight loss results are so quick.

What is Ketosis?
Basically, if you ever restrict your carbohydrate intake, your body naturally will go for its backup energy which is your fat stores. This is known as Ketosis. The Vita Diet weight loss program does exactly that safely and effectively. Vita Diet also has ketone sticks available which allows participant to test themselves daily to see if they are burning fat successfully or not.

What are the health benefits of using Vita Diet?
Being overweight or obese can cause many health issues including; backaches, indigestion, heart disease, hypertension, gastric reflux, varicose veins, arthritis and many other illnesses. The major health benefits of doing the Vita Diet weight loss program is it will not only help a person lose excess body weight and burn fat but it will also educate them on healthy eating and exercise which will help them keep the weight off long term.

What’s the difference between a Vita Diet shake and a protein shake?
The first major difference is the Vita Diet supplements are manufactured under the Australian food standards as a “Formulated Supplementary Food/Meal Replacement” where most protein powders or protein shakes are under the Australian food standard “Formulated Supplementary Sports Food”. Basically they are intended to supplement the diet of sports people rather than be the only or main source of nutrition (Meal Replacement) and therefore are not required to have the 16 essential Vitamins & minerals, carbohydrates, fats that a meal replacement product has.

Secondly, the Vita Diet supplements contain 80% Casein and 20% Whey Protein which is ideal for protecting your muscles while in ketosis however most Protein shakes are made up of only Whey Protein which doesn’t protect the muscles as long as Casein Protein.

Finally and most importantly taste. Vita Diet only needs to be mixed with water and tastes amazing!

Where are Vita Diet stocked?
Vita Diet is now available in over 1200 pharmacies in Australia and 340 pharmacies in New Zealand. On the Gold Coast, simply go ask your local Chempro Chemist.

It’s going into winter now… what other options are there if it’s too cold to have a Vita Diet shake?
It’s a fact, your body uses more energy in winter to stay warm therefore winter is perfect time to lose those extra kgs. Why wait for spring to get ready for summer!

The Vita Diet soup range are perfect for work or home. Mix in some vegetables and you have a healthy inexpensive lunch. The Vita Diet shakes can also be enjoyed hot or cold which makes them enjoyable all year round.

Why did you decide to locate Vita Diet’s head office on the Gold Coast?
The Gold Coast is literally the best city in the world in my opinion and I’ve seen most. The weather, beaches, people and business in general is just great.

Do you have any advice for people starting a business on the Gold Coast?
Always be a realist and do your market research. The old saying location, location, location is very important and visualising and doing a realistic business plan which in the end will save you a lot of time and money.

What are the pros and cons of working in a family business?
The pros are working in a family business is you never have to worry about trust etc…
The cons are not all family members have the same drive, work ethics or beliefs, like a 5 day work week haha.

Have the recent events of the virus impacted your business positively or negatively?
Coronavirus has definitely impacted our business due to travel restrictions which is not allowing us to visit our interstate/international stores for general training and merchandising purpose but we are very grateful to be in the pharmacy industry as this has keep the wheels moving.

What is in the works for Vita Diet next?
Definitely more brand awareness. Although we have been helping Australian’s lose weight since 1987, I feel we are also Australia’s best kept secret haha. More education, pharmacies, countries and online is my focus for 2020.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Café for breakfast: Forreal Kitchen, Nobby’s Beach
Coffee spot: Nobby’s Beach, Burleigh Heads
Bar for a nightcap: Bine Bar & Dining
Restaurant for dinner: Northcliffe Surf Club
How does your weekend usually look: I love to do anything involving getting out in the sun or on the water from bike riding from Surfers to Burleigh, boating, surfing it’s all possible on the beautiful Gold Coast.

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