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based on 128 reviews


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

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

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.

  • 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
  • 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

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.


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


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

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(Page 10 of 14, 262 total comments)


I lost 65 lbs using Optifast from August 07 - December 07. As of today (Dec 30, 08) I have gained 40 lbs of it back. I start again at the top of the year. Once off the fast this time, I plan to begin a workout regimen.

posted Dec 30th, 2008 5:59 am


2day is day 8 on this stuff.i need to lose 50lbs for hernia far so good miss eating alot,even went grocery shopping with a friend(that was hard) and had a breakfast meeting at work..thank you black coffee..havent weighed since start but feel okay...we will see

posted Dec 10th, 2008 9:13 pm


I have lost 45 pounds in a matter of 2 months I due the optifast 2 shakes and bars and a healthy meal for dinner

posted Dec 9th, 2008 9:35 am


The Optifast diet will help you lose weight, but in the end it is up to each individual to change eating patterns and behaviors. I was on the Optifast program for about 5.5 months and lost 35 pounds. The first week was horrible, depressing and everywhere i went all i saw was food. After my first weight in i lost 13 pounds, i was so motivated. After the second weight in i lost 2 pounds, i was angry. I followed the plan exactly as my doctor said but i was losing 4 pounds there 3 pounds here. I still kept with it though and the weight loss allowed me to start excercising again. It wasn't only about the weight loss, my whole attitude about food and eating changed. I use to walk by my favorite restaurants and wouldn't even notice them. I missed eating real food so much that when i did start eating again i had no problem eating vegetbales and other "healthy" foods. Unfortunately i gained all the weight back because i stopped goign to my doctor and did not finish the program. It got to the point where it was either optifast or rent and gas money. My doctor would charge $70 every visit just for the weekly weigh in. He charged about $50 for the phentermine and $20 for the laxatives. It got to be too much money. I place the blame on myself for gaining my weight back because i fell into my old traps again and i didn't make time to excercise. If you are really overweight and need to lose a lot of weight, this diet will help you but it is very expensive and mentally challenging. If i could find a less expensive doctor or avenue i would def go back to it again to lose what i gained back. Good luck to all!

posted Dec 2nd, 2008 10:15 pm

Dr. Primack

When using Optifast as formulated and directed, you should not need any other supplements (such as potassium or magnesium). It is already added to the shakes and soups.

One of the benefits of seeing a physician for weight loss is as these or other concerns arise, you have a knowledgeable souce for information.

posted Nov 19th, 2008 10:39 am

wo fat

the first time i did it i lost 35 pounds in 6 weeks, over the next 2 years i put the weight back on so did it again, same great results .
here in spain the product can be purchased over the counter.
when i did it in america the first time the price was obscene with the doctor as a middleman.
i think there were some online sites , so unless you have a medical condition other than being fat i recommend doing it yourself
remember to drink lots of water
i also take a multimineral as the water depletes your body of some of these.
another thing to remember is once you start a liquid diet and flush yout your digestive tract you will have lost about 8 kilos which is the amount of gunk we constantly carry with us
good luck

posted Nov 19th, 2008 6:43 am

Mrs Jones

So far I've lost 30+ lbs in 10 weeks.

posted Nov 11th, 2008 1:57 pm


I have been on the program for 17 weeks. It should be medically supervised. Sandie, you might be having stomach problems because you need to take a potassium supplement. When you are on a fast such as Optifast, your potassium levels drop. One side affect is stomach problems, among others. For this reason and others, it should be medically supervised. It is also a complete weight loss program. When if done correctly, explores deeper topics such as food choices, body image, reasons and situations when one over eats, eating disorders, and many other topics. The weight loss part is just the begenning of the program.

I recommend it, but beware it is not easy to be on a liquid only diet with no food. Yet, the rewards are huge. I am a male and I am losing about 5-7 pounds per week. The first week was horrible. Afterward, I felt great. I play sports for about 2 hours now five times a week and feel great. I've lost 85 pounds and still have 50 to go. So, another thing to consider when trying to diecide if this diet is right for you is if you have a lot of weight to lose. I had over 100 pounds so this diet is good because it gives results fast. Remember though, you want to go beyond the quick results and change your eating habits and overall way of thinking if you want to maintain the weight off. That's why it is important to go through the entire program. Good luck to everyone!

posted Nov 7th, 2008 12:41 am


Hi everyone,I live in NZ and we can buy it over the counter here for $62.00. This is my 3rd day on it,only have 15kg to loose.I am finding that it is giving me diarehoea and was wondering if anyone else is having this problem.

posted Nov 4th, 2008 2:32 am


I need to loose weight, I cant take it anymore, my problem is not overeating I accutually dont it much, and im walking more than ever, I want to try optifast I heard its a good weight loss program , I am going for my 1st appt on tuesday but before I go can someone tell me how much does this cost? thanks

posted Oct 30th, 2008 11:15 am

Dr. Craig Primack

Optifast is only available under the care of a physician (via prescription) in the US. I cannot speak for other countries but believe it to be the same.

Many people starting Optifast believe in giving themselves a "break from food" As you add regular food back into your diet, it is controlled and usually only one meal at a time.

posted Oct 27th, 2008 1:20 pm


I am just beginning the program and it is tough. I am learning how "hooked" I am on using food for everything. I have been "using" for my whole life, to celebrate, to soothe, to love, to be angry, frustrated, sad, lonely...all these emotions tied to my eating. I had a miserable first week....felt like a junkie cleaning out. This second week is just a bit better, but today I have been preoccupied with "wanting to eat". I realized the same thing someone else said that I needed to quit "cold turkey" just like people quit smoking. When I get to the point of starting to build better habits I worry that I might fail to be successful. I am just now realizing how strong my urges are to over eat for emotions. Good luck to all of you...and thanks for listening

posted Oct 22nd, 2008 6:22 pm


I am confused by some of the posts here. The program is medically monitored, and all questions about liquids and lack of weight loss should be directed to the physician running your program. It is not designed to be used like Slim-Fast, at least during the first four months. The program I am beginning is just Optifast products for the first 16 weeks - 6 per day, no other food except no-calorie beverages. That equates to eating every 2.5 to 3 hours for me, which is about what my body craves anyway.

Are optifast products sold over-the-counter in other countries? They can only be obtained through a physician here in the US, so I am also confused about the "shipping charges" some people have mentioned. I pick mine up at my weekly doctor's appointments.

posted Oct 21st, 2008 2:12 pm


I went with this program. I learned alot about myself, my choices and a new way to discipline myself with food.
I lost 55 lbs. Feel amazing!

posted Oct 17th, 2008 5:02 pm

Dr. Primack

Optifast as a program is best administered under the care of a physician. The doctor (often a bariatrician) can use techniques other than just meal replacements to assist in your weight loss. If your weight loss is slow, you are hungry, have multiple medical conditions or any other problems with your program, please discuss this with your physician. It is one of the best parts to the Optifast program.

posted Oct 15th, 2008 10:33 am


II just turned 65 and starting my third week of this diet and only lost 2#. I take two shakes a day and eat a healthy meal for dinner. I also have been exerising. Can't understand why I haven't lost more. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG. SOMEBODY HELP

posted Oct 5th, 2008 11:19 am


Two weeks of Optifast in preparation for (roux en y )bariatric surgery.I've finished my first week and dont have any cravings.If you truly want to lose weight,then you must defeat the desire for the food that is not good for you.My starting weight was nearly 400 lbs,and I'm down to 384 in one week! I have a strong desire for this to work,so I know that I will not sabotage myself by not following the directions. Optifast doesn't have the greatest flavor,but it does have results!

posted Sep 30th, 2008 9:20 am


I am on my third day of the Optifast program. I am still really hungry and I feel a little light headed. My understanding is that this will start to subside after a the first few days. Will some of you please share how long it took for you to have the hunger and lightheadedness subside? Also, I know that the cravings for food should go away eventually. When?? On the bright side, I'm only on my 3rd day and I woke up 6 pounds less than I did two days ago. I know this is mostly water weight, but it's still encouraging!

posted Sep 28th, 2008 9:51 am


Hello, it's me again, I'm writing to thank the person who mentioned that they take an additional dose of chromium!! You saved me!!! I was having an increase of feelings of hunger; in remembering what was mentioned of the chromium, which is in Optifast. I decided to look it up, some meds will decrease the effect of chromium; like the generic Zantac that I take. When I asked my pharmacist about it today, he recommended continuing the Zantac but, taking Chromium Picolinate once a day. Moments after taking it my stomache felt relieved and the feelings of hunger subsided immensely!!!!!! THANK YOU ANDREW!!!!!

posted Sep 24th, 2008 8:45 am


Mikus!!! Thank you for posting!!! You have really helped me!!!!! I started Optifast five days ago; I am hungry ~ it is so tempting but you're right, it's going to change our quality of life!!! We've got no excuses; how can we let the food or anything else have all of the power over our own life?! This program is a good start at regaining the power over our own future!!! There are no good excuses!!!! Thanks again Mikus and the best of all that is good in life is being wished for you!!!! I started at 303lbs. and I just weighed in at 295lbs. at the end of the fifth day!!!! My advice for the exercise is: change it up, just keep moving. Stand when you can instead of sitting. If you watch TV, pick up two of something and start moving your arms with the items in your hands. Get on the floor and do some crunches. I do some exercise while I'm in bed because it's softer for my back. I'm in upstate New York and I have a PPO insurance plan; I get billed for my portion of the doctor visits, which I haven't received yet. I also pay $105. for a week of shakes. So far I have only purchased the premade drink boxes of strawberry, french vanilla, and chocolate. I like them all and they're convenient especially for taking out of the house for whatever reason. My husband and friends are very supportive; my daughters are young and with special needs, they don't quite get it. To me, it's more important for me to get healthy for myself and them, then it is for them to completely understand it. I will try to post again for an update. Happy health to all of you!!!!!!!!

posted Sep 23rd, 2008 9:14 am


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