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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 11 of 14, 262 total comments)


I've read the comments about Optifast results and I have decided to use the program. I am to start tomorrow. In addition to the diet, what types and duration of excercises have any of you found to be helpful?

posted Sep 11th, 2008 6:18 pm


I lost 40lbs on the optifast diet in about 1 month. I found it easy to maintain my weight by drinking 2 shakes per day (breakfast, lunch ) and eating a healthy dinner most of the time. I do reward myself once per week with anything I want to eat.

posted Sep 11th, 2008 6:18 pm


Spouse convinced me to try Optifast after talking to her neighbors who have done well with it. I started at 6 feet tall, 305# and lost 11# in the first week. We shall see. I'm not that particular about food variety so eating/drinking the same thing all the time is actually kind of easy for me. My target is to get to 225# in 6-8 months but I expect I will be doing much of that "time" with my own portion control and exercise program. But this diet seems like a good jump start and motivator. The upfront costs (doctor, etc) were kind of high and the food supplements for a 1600 calorie daily is over $100 per week but I can afford it. There is no price too high for good health. I'm quite healthy otherwise for a 63 year old male so figured "why be obese and complicate things"... especially with all my new grandbabies wanting me around.

posted Sep 4th, 2008 8:23 am


Thanks Mikus. You are a great motivation. I emailed my doc today and he gave me the number of the clinic to call. Hopefully I will hear back from them after the Labor Day Holiday. I have over one hundred pounds to lose. I know the greens, beans, fruits and veggies are the way to go. But, I have found that I need a jump start through Optifast. I know it will cost a lot. I wish insurance covered it. If they can cover a gastric bypass at $25,000 I would think they would rather cover a program at under $5,000. But it is probably due to the gastric being permanent (although I have friends who have gained all their weight back after gastric bypass) and the optifast not. But, I think this is the ticket to my living longer and learning to eat healthier high nutrient dense foods. I can't wait to hear from the doc next week. I feel that I have put up with this weight for 14 plus years...and I don't want to add another year to this one. I gained all my weight having my kids...and I wouldn't change that for the world, what I would go back and change is taking care of Mom while taking care of the kids needs. I forgot me, and now I am paying the price because I thought I was being selfish for possibly putting myself first. No more...If I dont' think about myself first, then I can't serve my family or myself...friends or anyone for that matter...It's the pits feeling sick and being overweight and not being able to do things...not being able to move or tie my shoes and all that jazz. I'm looking forward to 2009 being my year of getting the weight off. Thanks so much for the post.

posted Sep 1st, 2008 8:32 am


6 weeks in and down 56#. Another week or 2 and I'll be under 400#. I have yet to feel actual, gnawing hunger. A bit of an issue with imagining real food, but less and less as each week passes. For those that say they can't imagine NOT being hungry, trust the doctors and track record. Your body knows what's right and when it knows you're finally treating it right, it'll treat you with increased energy, less joint pain and a more positive outlook. those who complain they cannot go without "real" food, isn't that the problem? You can't quit smoking by thinking you can't do without nicotine, it's doomed to failure from the beginning. If your issue has been a lifelong battle with food, quit "eating" for a while and break those bad habits. Then treat yourself right on the other end. Getting to eat healthier versions of junk food on those other diets isn't addressing your real issue, and if that's the case, you'll never maintain after you "complete" that program. Optifast breaks the bad habits and retrains you to eat right after that and includes support groups. Alchoholics know they need help from others to maintain their sobreity, no offense, but eating disorders are no less serious, or reliant on peer support. responsible food choices should not revolve around what other people "get" to eat. Every diet out there breaks down into 2 concepts, EAT LESS & EXCERCISE MORE. You can't do that on a "Eat all you want and still lose weight" type of diet. Take responsibility for what you toss down your own throat... No disrespect meant to anyone reading this, I'm reflecting on my own prior beliefs and attitudes... Mikus

posted Aug 27th, 2008 10:44 am


I have been on the program for just over 3 weeks and on the 3rd week weigh in I had lost a total of 36 lbs. Granted, I started at over 400#, so it's less dramatic than the number seems. My ultimate goal is to lose 250lbs+. I came out of boot camp at 225# in 1991 and got to double that before my health scared me into action. Those of you posting on here saying you don't know if you can get through it, go ahead and spend the next 18 years yoyo-ing up and down, always regaining more weight than you lost on the last "FAD" diet, then think about the OPTIFAST program having a 20 year track record of more than half keeping the weight off(much better odds). Keep making the excuses, like I did, and wonder, 1 year from your 40th, how your life might have been different if you just made the commitment "way back, when".Atkins, South Beach, those "magic pills" that claim to boost yoyur metabolism, none of them address the real issue, FOOD. I finally realized that "quitting eating" cold turkey, like I did for smoking last year, was the only solution. I'm breaking all my old habits by recognizing all the cravings and desires while I'm drinking these shakes, and realizing that whenever I think I'm hungry, it's really just my cravings WANTING to eat. When you clear that hurdle, ANY craving can be dismissed. At the other end, I'll learn how to eat right after all the bad habits are broken. GO TO THE MEETINGS. Expenseive? A bit, but when I add up what I used to spend on food, and my recent medical bills for the increasing health issues, saving my life has never been cheaper... If you need to lose a hundred or more pounds, THIS IS the life changing program(not diet) for you. 50-100 pounds? Its a good choice. Less than 50, it's a bit extreme, join Jenny or weight watchers and go to their support meetings, like you NEED to do for support in the OPTIFAST program. For those of you showing good results, keep it up, you'll be glad you did on the other end. Mikus

posted Aug 11th, 2008 11:36 am


I will start the Optifast program on August 21st and I am very nervous.... I have always struggle with my weight and I got to the point where I feel I need to make a drastic change in my life. I am tire of being overweight and I hope this program will help me. Reading all the positive comments was very encouraging thanks everyone for sharing :) Wish me luck!

posted Aug 7th, 2008 5:48 pm


There is no way on Gods green earth that I could stick to this diet. No one can convince me that by drinking 5 shakes a day (that?s 5 shakes PERIOD) that I won?t be hungry. I went to an Optifast meeting to learn about the diet and also found out that the 16 week plan costs $3200.00. That includes 12 wks of "food" + 4 wks of weaning + weekly counseling & health monitoring. Thanks but I?ll pass. I chose the Medifast plan instead. Much more doable.

posted Jul 31st, 2008 1:01 pm


Week 5 I am down 24lbs, and am happy with that, but I know it could be more. With the summer season here, and all my camping trips etc, I have been cheating, but try to do it with healthy low cal foods. Had a few bad, burgers, etc, which slowed my weight loss down, but didn't stop it. Going to try and keep to the diet, but it isn't easy. I did find however, that I could eat a spinach and tomato salad with a very small amount of low cal dressing, and still lose 6 lbs in a week. I also found that a half cup of frozen mixed fruit in the vanilla shakes, makes it taste much's cheating a little bit, but only about 60 calories per shake, twice a day, and it's worth it to have a second flavour added to my diet. The vanilla by itself is terrible. Berry metamucil works too, but not as tasty. Anyway, this diet does work if you keep at it, but I think you really have to change your lifestyle to maintain the loss, but that's what we needed to do in the first place. I will report back as things progress.

posted Jul 24th, 2008 10:13 am


Just finished my first month. How exciting, 14lbs. 18.5 inches. I had no idea how much an extra 10lbs. make you feel. I have never been more comitted. Can not wait for last 16lbs to come off.

posted Jul 15th, 2008 10:09 pm


Just started yesterday and am doing fine. Dr recommended having a very light eating day with salad and lots of water the day before starting it to 'prime the pump'. I need to lose about 50, which I put on during a pregnancy in my 40's--altho I've always struggled with weight. I would encourage everyone not to cheat--I met a woman in the waiting room who had reached her goal, she looked fabulous, and she said "follow the rules, don't cheat, it will work". I'm committed.

posted Jul 12th, 2008 6:15 pm


I did Optifast 2 yrs ago and lost 48lbs. V V happy. Bad attitude has caused me to regain so I am back on. First few days are sometimes the hardest but I learnt that if you stick to just one flavor and do the ready-made initially it will help break the habit of "thinking" about food and that is the real goal. You just go to the fridge get out your shake, and do it. No thinking. Like most people who are overweight, I obsess about food whether it is eating or not eating. We can do this!!!!

posted Jul 7th, 2008 7:06 pm


i lost 5 kilo (about 10 pound) in one week using optifast

posted Jul 6th, 2008 11:01 am


In Australia the shakes are about $50 per week. 8 bars cost you $25 and the soups cost $25 and is available in most chemists. Drink ater and exercize. I also add Chromium tablets to reduce the cravings. Much better than Tony Fergusson for me.

posted Jun 29th, 2008 5:47 pm


I started Optifast 4 weeks ago. Starting weight 326 and I'm down to 309. Very pleased with my progress which is a huge motivating factor for me to stay on this very strict plan. The only time I find myself thinking about food is when I'm around food preparation and the smells. When I start thinking about it - I remove myself from the environment and re-focus on why and how I got to this point. It is very difficult to do - I focus on one day at a time.

posted Jun 16th, 2008 2:28 pm


Just started today. It's a little hard getting used to not eating. I will update this ite as the diet progresses. Starting weight 263

posted Jun 12th, 2008 1:46 pm


Well this is an update it's been 23 days and cheated a couple of times during those days and I hate myself for it. the days that I did cheat I didn't eat anough to put the pounds on or anything and less than reasonable portions but it stopped me from losing the weight for those days. I am still determine to lose the weight and I am very proud to say I am down 20.2 lbs (visualize two sacks of 10lbs potatoes or 20lbs of butter) and it is going to be 3 weeks tomorrow, that is so encouraging. I already am seeing it in my clothing went down a couple of sizes in my pants and got rid of a blazer that was way to big for me. People already stared noticing I figure when it 25-30lbs then I will get more comments. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks .

posted Jun 12th, 2008 9:25 am

Lee H

I have been on the Optifast diet for 7 weeks. So far it seems to be working my Blood pressure is down from 130/102 to 126/80 and I have lost over 35 pounds. The diet is simple because you know exactly what and when to eat, however a day hasn't gone by that I haven't thought about cheating on the diet. I pay about 103 Dollars a week for food and have to pay about $25 every 2 weeks to the insurance company for the doctor visits. I hear people say the diet is expense but I would disagree. I used to eat out everyday for lunch and dinner, I know that that I was spending more then $100 a week on food. I still have about 65/70 pounds to lose before I get down below 25 BMI. I won't really know how well this diet will work out in the long run but it seems to be working so far.

posted Jun 9th, 2008 9:48 am


Wow, I was on Optifast over 10 years ago. Lost 86lbs. stuck to it all through the program, did not have the bars or the soups, could have lost some more but felt so healthy for once in my life. I managed to keep it off for 4 years, then started to have some emotional problems went on prozacs and started to put it back on 2-3 pounds a month until I then stopped taking the medication but kept putting it back on, about ten pounds a year. Now I gained most of it back and since I did so well on it before I finally decided to go back on. I have started Optifast again, I have been on it for 12 days, the last 4 days I found it really hard and ate some solid foods not enough to gain what I had lost (12.5lbs) up to date. I really know that if I stick to it, you dont want to put food in your mouth and you see the weight just drop off. When I was on it before I did not miss meals with familly and friends, i would enen acommpany them to any restaurants and have the chef mix my shake and have it served with everybody else meal. I am more determined and not quitting, by the way I dont set goals. I just watch it drop off and I feel better and want to walk, bike move ect... Its a change than having to get off a chair and go some place than the washroom or bed. I know it works thats why I am more determined

posted Jun 3rd, 2008 1:01 pm


I started Opti Fast. I did not pay a $550 initial fee. However, I am going to a doctor for bariatric surgery and this is the prep. I would not do this diet without being under a doctor's or nutritionist's care. I am doing the plan where you can eat one meal a day. It has been 2 weeks and I have lost 10 lbs. Yes, there is hunger. Yet, I have found that it is getting easier. Because it balances your blood sugar levels, I am not having overwhelming cravings. In addition, I feel that since my addictive trigger, food, has been removed for the most part, I am having an easier time of it.

posted May 26th, 2008 1:03 pm


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