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OPTIFAST

Optifast Review: Does it Work?

Program offers 12 weeks of meal replacement to help you lose weight.

Top Rated Diet Shakes of 2016
What is it?

Optifast is a meal replacement shake offering 100% of 24 vitamins and minerals. It’s claimed to be an easy to mix formula, and they also offer a ready to drink liquid shake.

Their powdered shake has a combination of dry milk and calcium caseinate that equals 14 grams of protein. They currently offer three flavors in Strawberry, Chocolate, and French Vanilla. These shakes are meant to be drunk alongside the other meal replacement foods offered by the company. On their own, they’re said to be a nutritionally healthy choice. So are these shakes truly effective for weight loss? What kinds of ingredients are added, and are they wholesome? This Optifast review will help you discover the truth about this meal replacement.  To discover which meal replacements made it to the top 10 list, click here.

Do You Know the Best Diet Shakes of 2016?

Optifast Ingredients and Side Effects

Nonfat Dry Milk

Fructose

Calcium Caseinate

Canola Oil (BHA/BHT)

Salt

Potassium Phosphate

Magnesium Oxide

Mono and Diglycerides

Choline Bitartrate

Potassium Chloride

Ascorbic Acid

Natural and Artificial Flavor

Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate

Ferrous Sulfate

Zinc Sulfate

Vitamin A Palminate

Niacinamide

Copper Gluconate

Calcium Pantothenate

Manganese Sulfate

Vitamin D3

Color (Beta Carotene, Turmeric Oleoresin)

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride

Thiamine Hydrochloride

Riboflavin

Chromium Chloride

Folic Acid

Biotin

Potassium Iodide

Sodium Molybdate

Sodium Selenite

Vitamin K1

Vitamin B12

 

 

Nonfat Dry Milk: Dehydrated milk that is added to foods due to its naturally long preservation. 

This ingredient is often imported in from difference countries. There’s controversy over its use, due to a 2008 scandal where 300,000 people were contaminated from this ingredient.

It was found to be contaminated with melamine, which is added to help increase the protein content. This could also lead to kidney stones and renal failure.

A recall began in China after several people had debilitating illnesses.

Fructose: Fruit sugar that is absorbed directly into the bloodstream when digested.

It’s considered one of the worst sweeteners that can cause metabolism disorders, as well as raise the risk for obesity. The University of California, Davis performed a clinical study showing:

“increased consumption of fructose may be detrimental in terms of body weight and adiposity and the metabolic indexes”

“shown to induce visceral obesity, insulin-resistant diabetes, and hyperlipidemia”

This means it can cause issues with raising blood sugar, and it can increase the risk for weight gain. These kinds of effects have also shown a rise in obesity related illnesses.

Fructose when it’s extracted from fruits has been shown in many other clinical studies to be harmful to overall health.

Calcium Caseinate: Protein taken from the casein found in milk. It’s a cheap protein source often added to increase the amount of protein in foods.

Though it can lead to a sense of fullness, this ingredient is cheap to make, and isn’t as potent in amino acids as other protein sources.

The manufactures also fail to list the total amino acid profile. So it’s impossible to determine whether it has enough amino acids to help the body’s performance. When replacing meals it’s important to determine how much amino acids are provided, instead of solely looking at the total protein content.

You can discover the best shake brands for weight loss by clicking here.

Canola Oil (BHA/BHT): Oils made from the processed seeds of rapeseed. BHA and BHT are preservatives added to help fats from going rancid. Live Science has mentioned there are possible side effects. They listed studies in which this ingredient lead to:

“cancer in rats, mice and hamsters”

In California this ingredient has also been listed as a carcinogen.

Artificial Flavor: Man made synthetic ingredient used to help make food taste a particular way. It’s often added to help substitute natural flavors that would be harder to keep fresh.

It can be extracted from many different common allergens including soy, wheat, and corn. Though it’s not required for the company to list how they sourced this ingredient from. This could potentially lead to unwanted side effects.

Optifast Quality of Ingredients

Optifast has a total of 18 grams of sugar that comes from fructose, which is considered one of the worst sweeteners available. Multiple studies have shown it to potentially raise the risk for obesity. 18 grams of sugar is a significant amount as well, this can make weight loss harder.

Also, there are preservatives that have shown to potentially be carcinogenic.  Both BHA and BHT have been found in some studies to have a damaging effect that leads to cancer.

There is a high amount of protein at 14 grams, but it comes from cheap sources such as nonfat dry milk and calcium caseinate. Both of these can be purchased for much cheaper, though they’re not the best protein sources. The company also fails to list the total amino acid score, so it’s impossible to determine if the protein provided is well rounded enough.

There’s far too much calories as well at 160 per serving. The combination of high sugar, calories, and no fiber make this a very poor meal replacement. It can all make weight gain easier, instead of helping support a weight loss diet plan.  For your convenience, the top 10 meal replacements are available here.

EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this supplement with a proven meal replacement such as 18Shake for better results.

The Price and Quality of Optifast

The company fails to mention how much these shakes cost. They only offer sales for people who visit their clinics, and then they try to recruit people into their centers.

It’s important to be able to know how fairly this is priced. Though due to the high amounts of sugar, low quality protein, no explanation as to the amino acid content, and the 0 grams of fiber, this shake isn’t a well-rounded enough meal replacement. It’s unlikely to help people with appetite suppression.

Web MD advises to find a meal replacement that offers the following:

“3-5 grams of fiber per serving”

Without this, you aren’t getting enough fiber to help promote healthy digestion and appetite suppression. Since you aren’t getting enough fiber from this shake, it does not qualify as a proper meal replacement. You’d have to supplement with additional fiber sources to make up for the lack of quality.

Before considering any shake, it’s important to know exactly how much it costs. Since this meal replacement has poor ingredients, it shouldn’t be priced too high.

Business of Optifast

The Nestlé Health Science company makes this brand. They can be found via the following customer support information:

Phone Number: (800) 662-2540

Address: 445 State Street

                   Fremont, Michigan 49412

They fail to mention whether or not they offer money back return. There’s also a problem with controversies.

The company has also had to recall their products in the past due to contaminations.

The New York Times added that

“The Food and Drug Administration … was investigating and working with Nestle to pinpoint the source of the latest E.coli contamination”

This outbreak ended up harming several people, who had to be hospitalized. It’s unknown how this problem was handled to ensure it wouldn’t contaminate any future batches of their foods.

EDITOR’S TIP: For the best results with meal replacement shakes diet our experts recommend to use it at least 5 months. Save your money buying a few bags of meal replacement product.

Customer Opinions of Optifast

There aren’t many reviews on the shakes themselves. Here are a few of the limited customer reviews online:

“found I was always hungry”

“first three days were awful”

“struggling a bit”

There was the common opinion that this meal replacement failed to suppress people’s appetite. For many, it was shown to cause extreme hunger and many continued to have constant thoughts about food.

The company also fails to provide any testimonials or studies to show why this shake would be a proper meal replacement. Without much information available, it’s unknown if this is priced fairly, or if customers found it useful for weight loss.

The few reviews have all been negative towards the overall quality of these shakes.  The highest ranking meal replacements are available in this top 10 list.

Conclusion - Does Optifast Work?

When considering a proper meal replacement, it’s important to make sure there’s enough fiber with low amounts of sugar. Optifast has too much sugar added that’s from a sweetener shown in studies to potentially cause weight gain. Better options are available that have no preservatives, high quality protein, and all natural ingredients. Its customers have also reviewed this shake poorly.

When searching for a proper meal replacement, it’s important that customers reviewed it highly, and that it has a well-rounded nutritional profile. There’s simply not enough support for this meal replacement to rank it as one of the best.

The very best shake out of 2016 that offers all the mentioned benefits is 18Shake. There’s 5 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and just 90 calories added to this all-natural formula. Customers mention it’s great for reducing appetite, and that people have lost significant amounts of weight. Best of all, it’s made only with natural ingredients, and no fillers of any kind.

This meal replacement has many customer testimonials showing just how effective it truly is. People rave about its easy mix formula, its ability to suppress appetite, and how effective it is for weight loss. They also mention that it tastes great, which is important when using a meal replacement so you don’t lose track of your diet.

18Shake is supported by a great 30-day money back guarantee, which you can learn more about by clicking here. So you can use this shake with the knowledge that there’s no risk in giving it a try.  

How Does OPTIFAST Compare?
  • Product Name
  • User Rating
  • Has Good Appetite Suppressant
  • Has Only Natural Components
  • Good Taste
  • OPTIFAST
  • 39 /100


> Leave Feedback

User Feedback

(Page 1 of 14, 268 total comments)

Angela

+

Started the program 5 weeks ago. Ive lost 8kgs to date. Shakes are fine tasting, I stick to banana, chocolate, strawberry and caramel. Others have put in flavour essences in to mix it up e.g. mint into choc, anything into vanilla. Soups are ok, I like vegetable best. Recipes for additional allowances are really nice and varied and Optifast Aust Forum members are always posting good food allowance recipes.

Drinking 2 litres of water a day is acheivable by having a water bottle nearby and drinking regularly. I have not cut out my morning coffee with 2SM, it hasnt affected the outcome. Ive been to dinner 3 times in the 5 weeks, I made healthy choices and didnt suffer.

I exercise at least 5-6 hours a week. 2-3hrs on weekends doing my regular stuff like going for a dive or beach walk. and I added 3 x 1 hr gym or dog walking during week. He walks 5-6 times per week an hr at a time.

I came into the program via a friend who is 140kg @6'2. I was 85 @ 5'3. We stated together and post each other our daily weights to keep ourselves motivated and provide support. Both of us at times have had great weeks and slow weeks. We keep reminding each other its a marathon not a sprint.

I m happy I started it. Not hungry, or light headed. Ive stayed active and its working for both of us.



posted May 2nd, 2016 2:50 am


Maria

-

Products taste horrible, and hungry all the time!

posted Apr 15th, 2016 9:25 am


Cherie

+

I'm really happy I am learning to eat less on Optifast instead of being seduced by mega food company's intense marketing. I like the tastes and my nutritionist recommends the products as very balanced nutritionally. This is contrary to my many former diets.

posted Apr 10th, 2016 1:59 am


Natasha

+

Loved the program and lost 50 lbs in 3 months without excersize. I have kept it off. The secret is to eat better and often once you lose it. I also work out 3 days a week. I have never felt so good.

posted Apr 6th, 2016 4:50 pm


ChienOpus

Re the entry in the list of 'Pros' for the Optifast program which states

"Great tasting meal replacement shakes".

I sincerely feel that statement is misleading. I appreciate and recognize that taste is subjective.

It has been my experience that the flavours of shakes available for the 900 calorie/day Optifast program (chocolate and vanilla) taste like wallpaper paste.*

I do not equate wallpaper paste/Optifast shakes as 'great tasting'.

To this end, I feel that the statement concerning the shakes being 'great tasting' which appears in the list of 'Pros' for the Optifast program should be removed OR come with a disclaimer re the subjectivity of taste OR that my description of my experience of the product tasting like wallpaper paste should be included in the list of 'Cons' for the Optifast program.


* As far as I have determined the 900 calorie/day program shakes do not have a strawberry flavour option. I understand that the 800 calorie/day program shakes have three flavour options: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.


As I believe I would benefit from the Optifast program but find the flavour of wallpaper paste to be.offputting, have found it necessary to try and mask that taste in order to down the shakes.

As at February 29, 2016 I have been on the 900 calories/day Optifast program for six weeks.

As at February 29, 2016 I have purchased 24 different flavours of sugar free zero calorie syrup product.

These syrups are expensive (from my point of view) @ a minimum cost of $11.95 (Canadian) (before any applicable taxes).

I have also purchased at least 20 sugar free zero calorie flavour enhancers, i.e., Mio, Kool-Aid.

While the latter type of products are less expensive than the former, it has been my experience that the latter products do not mask the taste as well as the former products.

Regardless of whether my suggestion is acted on, I would request that my feedback be posted on the list of feedback for the Optifast program. My request is conditional on the feedback I have provided being reproduced in its entirety.

ChienOpus

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posted Dec 8th, 2015 3:48 am


Scott

i was skeptical at first my wife started before i did and after 1 week i started i have now been on it for almost 2 weeks and 100% noticeable results its tough yes but if you stick to it the results push you and it becomes easier

posted Oct 28th, 2015 1:34 pm


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posted Oct 19th, 2015 5:56 am


Ruby

+

This program is fantastic. If you need to lose a significant amount of weight in a shorter period of time, this is the program for you! The first week is the hardest, and the first month is tough, but after that it becomes routine. There is also room to cheat a little bit - and it will still work. I've been on it for 4 months and have lost over 40 pounds. Four shakes a day. Will continue for another few months.

posted Sep 2nd, 2015 1:21 am


StacyB

+

I've fought with 40-50 yo-yo pounds over the past 5 years. I have been enrolled in the Modified Fast program for almost 2 weeks and I've already lost 15 pounds. I agree with everything written: you have to stick to it, you have to eat all the food required (if on Modified Fast - you have 1 fruit, 3 veggies and 1 meat serving a day), and you have to drink the water (at least 64oz.). However, there is nothing more difficult on this program than starting any other committed diet program.

The medical support and nutrition, exercise and psychological guidance is invaluable. I've been on all the major diet programs and this is by far the most organized, healthiest and fastest working one I've been on yet! I'm the best weight loss patient, but maintenance has been my downfall. I get 6 weeks of maintenance support to help me to FINALLY keep it off for good plus 1 year+ follow on support if you want...overall, a bargain!

posted Aug 27th, 2015 6:55 pm


Beth

?

I just began Opti Fast today and I already feel lightheadded. How long does this feeliing last? Days, Weeks? I just started on opti fast today. I had 3/5 meal packets so far and I am light headed. How long does this typically last? I know I am in withdrawl from carbs. I want to begin an exercise program, but I am afraid I will faint if I do.

posted Jul 14th, 2015 11:44 pm


Lyn Wood

-

I was on Optifast in Chicago at the same time Oprah did it. Yes, we all lost weight BUT we ALL regained the weight and more so. This diet works for about 2-3 weeks. Period. It is an extreme method to lose weight fast. Then the body resets your set point lower and forever after you have to eat significantly less. Basically it doesn't work for the long term. Beware. No one will tell you this unless they have been on the diet themselves.

posted Jul 10th, 2015 12:05 am


narelle

?

for how long does the optifast program of each phase go for

posted May 31st, 2015 8:52 am


Ronnie

I was on optifast at Mt. Sinai hosp. with Dr. Vic Vertes in Ohio in the 70's. The weight loss was easy but I was afraid to go on food. I guess I slipped through their cracks and with their "supervision" I remained on it for one year. Right, no chewing for 12 months! Results....weight off but I lost all but two teeth.

posted Nov 22nd, 2014 11:00 pm


JW

+

Started Opti Fast last June. Lost 72 lbs and have kept it off. I like the program a lot. I like the classes and have learned so much that weight watchers does not teach you. If you want to eat, then don't join it's not for that. It's to get the weight off and then teach you how to KEEP it off. It's easy to lose it, you have to keep it off.
Yes it's hard, but so is every other diet!

posted Aug 12th, 2014 5:52 pm


joan

-

Im on the optifast weight lose for a pre op program. The shakes are fine and the lemon pudding is ok BUT the chicken and vegetable soups are disgusting!! After a couple of days of trying to get them down, I stopped using them completely. I started making vegetable soups myself. The thing that upsets me is I spent quite a lot of money on them and have only used two packets out of each box! Wasted money for sure. Im glad its only been two weeks of using till my operation.

posted Jul 17th, 2014 4:31 am


rang

+

I started the Optifast 800 program thru the Kaiser Wellness Center. I did to avoid becoming a diabetic. I think I fell into the worst catagory of "why I gained the weight". It' because my even my wifes "cooking mistakes" taste good but lately I've been so busy I just eat out a lot and just like the taste of good food. No emotional problems here. Just like good food.
So after my third week weigh in I've lost 28lbs. I'm not active. I'm 61 and a professional photographer. I might do some walking on location but no treadmills, no gym, no weights and forget running anywhere.
I like this program. The two soups are good...I jazz them up with curry powder, various salt free Mrs. Dash stuff. One in the AM and one in the PM. My other three shakes/day I spike with the little Meo water flavorings (Vanilla shake, ice cubes, H20 and three little squirts of Meo Orange/Tangerine and I challenge anyone to be able to tell it's not an Orange Julias from the old days).
Definitely in ketosis. But no cravings for food. Even shot three RenFaires and a wedding that was overflowing with food. Didn't crave Turkey Legs, cake, potatoe dishes etc. etc.

So far, so good.

posted Jun 25th, 2014 7:55 pm



Zahara

+

I lost 80 kg on optifast four years ago. I maintained the loss for about three years and then got sick and put on 60kg. I have again started and am on week 10 of the intensive phase. I have lost 22kg. Its easy as long as you stick to it.

posted Mar 26th, 2014 9:33 am


Susan

+

I am so happy to start a regulated diet that will help me change my emotional eating habits just started

posted Feb 19th, 2014 3:26 pm


TL

+

I started Optifast today... Feb 17th.. I hope I can do this!!! Need to lose 50 lbs!!!! before the summer!!!

posted Feb 17th, 2014 8:29 pm



 

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QUICK FACTS Start the Diet Now Advertisement
  • Established: 1974
  • Founder: Novartis Medical Nutrition Corporation; now owned by Nestle HealthCare Nutrition
  • Stock Symbol: NSRGY
  • Headquarters: Florham Park, New Jersey
  • Accessibility: Online, weekly one-on-one counseling
  • Diet Type: Meal replacement, liquid
  • Gender: Male, female

Do You Know the Best Diet Shakes of 2016?

BACKGROUND

The OPTIFAST plan has been considered the ace of liquid-based diets since 1974. The meal replacement drinks and bars are recommended by physicians for patients weighing more than 50 pounds over their ideal weight or with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more. OPTIFAST is recommended to help obese individuals prepare for gastric bypass surgery as well. All participants have full access to professionals like doctors, dietitians and counselors.

The OPTIFAST program follows strict guidelines to ensure the health and safety of patients with three key areas of concentration - medical, behavior and nutrition. Patients have an initial medical exam to make sure they meet the program criteria.

Progress is monitored during weekly one-on-one and group counseling, to help encourage healthy lifestyle changes.

PRO
  • People will lose weight on the introductory phase
  • Your weight loss is monitored by their experts
  • Proven results with clinical studies and over 1 million participants
  • Program gives support and counseling along with weight loss
  • Medical monitoring while on the program
  • Offers decrease in cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels
  • Great tasting meal replacement shakes
CON
  • Doubtful that most health care professionals would recommend being on a meal replacement plan for any extended period of time
  • Program consists of all liquid diet
  • May be cost prohibitive for some
DIET and NUTRITION

To participate in Optifast, you must first complete a preliminary medical exam. You will be assessed to determine any risk factors and make sure you are a good fit for the program. After passing that exam, you are given a personalized weight loss plan that is based on your current weight and your goals. You are monitored throughout the entire process. Your meals will consist of the Optifast shakes and meal replacement bars.

EXERCISE

You get a customized activity plan for your fitness level and schedule.

CONCLUSION

Maybe the OPTIFAST meal replacement is nutritionally sound, but there are plenty of other programs that have you making sound choices with real food. This program is also very expensive. This combination can only lead to the conclusion that there are other choices that would come before OPTIFAST.

Common Misspellings

optyfast, opti fast, optifast progarm

Related Diets: Medifast , Slim Fast 321, Juice Diet, Slim-Fast, VF Smoothie

Whats better than
OPTIFAST?