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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 4 of 14, 262 total comments)

joshua dial

I started optifast today, I am doing the 5 servings a day, i dont feel hungry at the moment and I do find myself drinking lots of water, but it helps subsides the hungry urge, i currently weigh 298 and I would like to lose 75lbs, So encouragement from others would be great. I look forward to my weight loss and sharing it with you guys.

posted Jul 11th, 2011 4:54 pm


Worked well for me. Lost 55lbs.

posted Jul 8th, 2011 12:51 pm


I lost 86 pounds on Optifast between January 2009 - September 2009. I went from 208 lbs to 120 lbs. It changed my life.

This message is for those of you who are close to your goal weight or at your goal weight.

Once you have lost all of the weight, sign up for Weight Watchers online or in person. Then follow Weight Watchers for your maintenance. I strongly advise this because Optifast does not have a satisfactory maintenance program and you WILL start putting the weight back on if you do not have a formal maintenance program. Kaiser allows optifast graduates to continue to go to free meetings every week (which is wonderful) but those meetings do not help you manage your daily eating habits. YOU DO NOT MAKE GOOD EATING CHOICES WITHOUT WATCHING YOUR CALORIES OR FOOD EXCHANGES ON A DAILY BASIS.

The other thing I would suggest that you do is that now that you are free from the high sugar, high fat, high alcohol habits (because after you've been on Optifast a while you lose ALL your previous cravings), DO NOT start eating foods that are triggers for you. You no longer have cravings after Optifast, but one taste when you are on maintenance and it's all over. It's like a drug addict who has been clean for a year and then takes one hit of a drug. He's hooked again. You will be too if you do not stay away from your triggers once you are in maintenance.

Good luck to you all. Optifast is the easy part. Maintenance is tough. But with the right methods you can keep it off!

posted Jul 1st, 2011 4:46 pm


I have been on it for 8 days and have lost 8 pounds. I was told the first three days would be the hardest - but it was very easy. I had however done low carbs for 2 weeks before starting this and think that helped. How much water a day is everyone drinking on top of the opti fast shakes?? Is there a certain amount recommended?

posted Jun 24th, 2011 10:10 am


The diet has been a Godsend for my wife and I. We're both more than 100 pounds overweight and until recently were rather blase about it all. It took some straight talk from our GP to get us on optifast and we've really appreciated it. The weight loss has been great so far, but more importantly we've got some great advice and tools to help us in the future.
The support from group members is one of the most important parts for us. And learning to exercise (together...first time ever!) has made all the difference. Writing down goals, keeping track of everything we eat, is a habit now. We're not far off finishing the diet, but we're really looking forwrad to starting our healthy eating futures.
The first week is hard, and that's the truth. I felt tired and grouchy and I cheated by going to McDonalds...I was ready to quit. Luckily we learnt about not giving up and my wife was a real strength (its been great, we take turns urging eachother on). Now I wouldn't dream of cheating, I can sit in burger king with others eating their fries and burgers, and I'm not even tempted. Honestly. I've never had that will power when it comes to food, but I do now. I feel more energetic, I look better, I can do yard work and walk for long distances at a time. I can play outside with my, I'm gettin' all teary, here.
Optifast has worked for us. It's started us on our way to the rest of our lives.

posted Jun 15th, 2011 10:25 pm


I am finishing my first month on Optifast, and am happy with my weight loss, the support, and the medical oversight. There are many blogs with success stories. My own Optifast journey is at I have 12 weeks to go and expect great things, both for weight loss and overall health, including lower blood pressure.

posted Jun 12th, 2011 10:04 am


I am on my second day and very weK, is that normal?

posted Jun 4th, 2011 4:51 pm

principal potter

only temporary weight loss

posted May 28th, 2011 6:36 pm


Hello Everyone. Today is my first day of OptiFast and although I'm nervous about the journey, I am very excited about making this lifestyle change. My personal trainer recommended the program as one of his clients followed it and was successful and has kept the weight off. For me I'm looking forward to the behavioral modification and finding out through group why I over-eat. Being overweight is such a silly problem to have because I don't have to be, and quite frankly tired of the yo-yo'ing. I'm confident I'll get thru this and willing to take the healthy steps necessary to lose the weight, keep it off, and maintain a healthier lifestyle. I wish everyone on their journey the best! :-)

posted May 20th, 2011 7:35 am


The program includes shakes, bars and soups. I have lost over 70 pounds in the program and loved the food. The entire program consisted up check up with you MD and Dietian as well as support groups once a week. And please don't forget the exercise, that is what really helped me. Thanks OPTIFAST

posted May 18th, 2011 10:01 pm


I have been on optifast this past summer and lost 15lbs!!

I have now been on it since last week, and don't know why this time is SO MUCH HARDER. To add to it, since it was jsut my anniversary, my sister sent a HUGE breakfast for us, as she was not aware I was on this diet! I did not eat a thing!!!!!!! Frustrating!!!

I currently weigh 170 and wold like to lose 40lbs! I am going to be weighed on sunday, so can't wait to see.

During the day I am fine, it's when I'm home in the evening that I find the hardest.

I am only on the chocolate shakes, and am taking Vitamin D as well!!!!!!!

posted Apr 5th, 2011 1:20 pm


I started using Optifast a week and a half ago and I am down 9 pounds.
My doctor recommended that I also take phentermine and a b12 shot. I am only drinking the Optifast at lunch time and then eating a healthy breakfast/snacks and dinner.
I am happy so far with my results! I don't think I could do Optifast for each meal. I tried the chicken soup and it was awful! I really like the chocolate shakes.
I am 5'8 and started at 220.. I would like to weigh 170

posted Mar 30th, 2011 4:49 pm


Starting my optifastI'll be starting my optifast nextweek. I know it will be hard to go without food. Do anybody have any diet plan suggestions for me. I put a order in for the chocalet shakes,chocalete bars and chicken soup. I need a daily diet plan

posted Mar 24th, 2011 8:30 pm


I have been on Optifast for one wk as of yesterday. I have lost 18lbs!!! Although I have done well my first wk it's still very hard to stay on track at times. Some tips that I'm finding that's making it a lil easier are: I have a great support team. They don't mention food around me. They check in w/ me everyday. My husband is the absolute best b/c he's not an enabler this time. We discussed b4 I started the diet that I would become agitated at times etc... So if you can have an "accountability" partner that will be your best support system. 2nd I don't cook or be around food at all. I plan to do this until I'm sure that I can make healthier food choices in moderate amounts. 3rd I stay busy now. Not necessisarily working out but I just keep moving throughout the day. I have finally admitted to myself that I have an addiction to food. Unfortunately, I can't stay away from it forever so I have to learn to eat in moderation. My biggest problem was that I would go all day w/o eating and then over eat in the afternoon. So yes, Optifast does work but it's like any other diet. It's about a lifestyle change. I started Optifast b/c I was about to have gastric surgery. I have decided against surgery for now. I have never really dieted b4 & I want to give myself a fighting chance w/o surgery. Don't get me wrong, I have a LOT of wt to lose but I have a long life to live as long as I stay devoted to my wt lose. I have planned to stay on Optifast for a very long time even after I start training myself to eat healthier. I plan to have a drink for breakfast & lunch & a sensible dinner. Eventually, I plan to just have a shake for breakfast. Good Luck to you all & wish me Luck as well!!! We Can Do It!!!

posted Mar 23rd, 2011 12:28 pm


hey, I'm sandra I posted when I started the the whole optifast thing, and I swear I was on top of the world by the fifth week, I had dropped 15kg so quickly thin is, I never followed the programe I just had optifast shakes for three weeks straigh only, with water obviously the gradually I had tuna for lunch, eventually I had to get of optifast I did well for the first two weeks but then somehow I just piled the weight back on which made me feel depressed...but the positive side is I know now I have the will power to do something so hard like that, also I use optifast now for a quick fix, if I have a wedding coming up I jump on optifast so I learnt from all this opti fast doesnt keep the weight of 4 good luck....

posted Mar 2nd, 2011 7:18 am

Alexandra Rose

im always on and off this diet, but. i always take metamucil when i do the diet, and i feel like it really makes you feel better, adding extra fibre into the diet, idk about everyone else, but i feel terrible without fibre! just a little hint, who knows, maybe it could help you! plus, is really low calories and makes you feel quite full as it expands in your stomach.

posted Feb 21st, 2011 10:24 pm


Just starting this optifast diet today any helpful hints for me?

posted Feb 12th, 2011 6:57 pm


I have just finished my fourth week on optifast and have already lost seventeen pounds! I'm very happy with my success so far. For those that asked, yes it does work. And yes, you should do the whole program and not just buy the product. The meetings really help and help you feel both accountable and also you can share with people that are in the same boat as you. I think that support is really helpful

posted Feb 12th, 2011 6:32 pm

p kavitha

i too want to have this optifast program .will it really works

posted Feb 9th, 2011 8:33 am


I just started the Optifast program through Kaiser. I have been looking for a forum of Optifast users, but can't seem to find anything on the internet that is recent. I've started my own blog, and I have a weekly group meeting, but it would be nice to talk to folk that are further along or have completed the program recently. Does anyone know of such a forum or message board?

Also, you can check out my blog chronicaling the program:

posted Feb 8th, 2011 7:53 pm


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