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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 5 of 14, 263 total comments)


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

James McIver

Okay I am already seeing a doctor for my cholesterol which includes EKG testing and weight monitoring when necessary. My doctor has the Optifast program listed in his office and has asked me to try it. But the cost would be way more then buying it from Amazon. About $800, for the program and food.

Would I be better off just buying it from Amazon when my doctor is already monitoring my health and cholesterol levels?

posted Jan 22nd, 2011 9:00 pm


This is first for ever I started myself being very confident in me, As i have lost almost 13 pounds in 4 weeks and still on my Optifast, first week i lost 5 pounds and gradually 2 pounds a week. I suggest people who are hesitating should deftly try .. and its easy no side effects..

posted Jan 11th, 2011 8:50 pm


I'm on my second day of optifast, I don't feel hungry, I do get kind of light headed, but the only hard thing is watching people eat around you, and I cook for my husband and it's so hard cooking and not being able to taste th food I'm making that mind you is delicous, clearly if I didnt have the will power I would have given up, I just had my first baby three months back, I weigh 80kg looking to lost 15kg, jope it works out for me.....

posted Dec 10th, 2010 12:47 am

m. courtney

how expensive is this plan? i need to lose 45 lbs. do you ever get to eat food or is it all liquids?

posted Dec 1st, 2010 12:17 am


I have been on Optifast for 12wks and lost close to 60lbs.This diet works great for those who are wanting and committed to making a change. We have all tried just about everything out there. Just commit and watch the weight melt.

posted Nov 12th, 2010 11:47 am


the shakes are good and I don't even mind the soup (with some salt free mrs. dash). I'm only on the first day, and I had to have a product every two hours. my stomach is hurting, but I am guessing that will pass.

posted Oct 16th, 2010 9:33 pm


day 26, 27ls down, feel good, give this a go if you have some will power, have lots of energy! :)

posted Oct 1st, 2010 4:53 am


day four and feel fantastic

posted Sep 24th, 2010 2:58 pm


Day 19, lost 21lbs, all good, only very slightly hungry, feeling full of energy

posted Sep 24th, 2010 8:14 am


Day 9 now lost 6 Kgs, 13lbs nearly a stone, not that hungry, 3 shakes a day, lots of water tea and diet soft drink and low jould lime with mineral water and low fat jellies and veg. First few days easy, 4/5th days the hardest for me, but once past that its OK.

posted Sep 13th, 2010 8:01 pm


On day 5 lost 3kgs/ appx. 7lbs, drinking loads of water ,tea, green tea and diet soft drinks - waterfords and diet rite also having low joule jellies and carrotts broccoli and home made veg soups and jols and low sugar lollies its hard but need to loose 15kg in a month. Give it a go, but be prepared to struggle sometimes and know you will, but be strong and keep your results on your calendar. Good luck!

posted Sep 10th, 2010 5:54 am

Scott T.

I did not like the food.

posted Sep 2nd, 2010 2:09 pm

jodie straughan

I'm 23 female and I have a bmi of over 30

posted Aug 27th, 2010 5:38 pm


[b]Wow 96%[/b]

posted Aug 22nd, 2010 4:38 am

Des Moines

I began Optifast August 2008. During the initial phase of 18 weeks, I lost about 60 lbs. I transitioned to regular food during the last 6 weeks with the help of the registered dietician and lost a total of 140 lbs. by the end of the 10th month. I have kept the weight off for over a year and feel like a different person. The whole program works. You can't just drink the shakes and expect to learn new eating habits that ultimately determines long-term success. I continued to go to weekly classes even though I had technically graduated from the "full-formula" phase after the first 12 weeks. The medical care, class with the behavioral therapist class with the exercise therapist, and meeting with the registered dietician is the best way to get your head on straight and make life-long changes for better health. It was the best thing I have ever done for myself! To me, it was well worth the money - about $3900.00 for the complete program. I can continue to attend class or call any of the support staff, free forever.

posted Aug 3rd, 2010 11:22 pm


I have completed Week 1 out of the shorter 9 week program. I lost 6.6 lbs out of 53 lbs total that I need to lose. I got over the food cravings after just 2-3 days. I have been drinking twice the recommended water but I only exercised a total of 90 minutes over 7 days.

posted Jul 16th, 2010 12:14 pm

Heather Cotter

Optifast helps you kick start a good program. If you go off and gain the weight back it means you have gone back to your bad eating habits. Whether it is Optifast, or other weight loss programs, if you don't modify your diet at the end the weight will come back. And fast.

I use diet orange, fresca, cream soda, to blend my powders with. It's like a creamsicle with the orange and very tasty. I also do crystal light mixed in water and added to vanilla. You can make so many variations it never gets boring. IUse your imagination. t is easy because I don't have to think about what to eat. When I get absolutely crazy I do eat a huge bowl of lettuce with Walden Farms no calorie balsamic dressing. It fills the void. I have only been on the optifast for 4 days and lost 7 lbs but I know it is mainly water. But it is an incentive to keep going. Every 4 hours is the key. I am on optifast 900 and I have it at 8, 12, 4 and 8. It has been working well. I have 100 lbs. to lose but doctor happy with 50. We will see what happens at that point but I plan on being there at Christmas. That's realistic. Good luck everyone. But remember, when you go off Optifast modify your life style and do not go back to eating like you were that made you fat in the first place. That is something I want to learn along the way.

posted Jul 1st, 2010 8:13 am

Stephanie Baker

Can someone please list the directions for the optifast diet, I think for the first and second month its shakes and bars only and then the third month, you get to eat one healthy meal a day, is this correct? thanks!!

posted Jun 27th, 2010 8:37 am

Sandy Eggo

I am going to a OptiFast orientation mtg. next week. My dilemma is whether it is wise to start it immediately knowing that I am going on a cruise (read food fest) within a month. Has anyone worked the program with vacation/holiday breaks? If so, when you resume the program is it like starting at day one?

posted Jun 18th, 2010 7:53 pm


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