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based on 122 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 6 of 13, 255 total comments)


What I will say is that I lost 30 Kilos (66 pounds) 4 years ago and have kept it off.

The key to this program and related meal replacements is:

1. Stick to it and it's not expensive, it's considerably cheaper than normal eating.

2. Do the maintenance and stabilisation plans.

3. Do light exercise and get ready to build it up to compensate for the slow reintroduction of other foods.

Yo Yo dieting occurs on any diet EVER if you go back to eating crap every day. I have treat days and drinking nights haha, but I keep my weight because I used the program the way it was designed and learnt some key lessons from it.

posted Apr 19th, 2010 12:55 am


I started the Optifast diet 8 month ago. i have lost 80 pounds so far with 10 pounds to go to reach my goal. No diet is easy, but I found I was able to stick with this one.

posted Apr 15th, 2010 8:52 am


at five week weigh-in i had lost 22.5 pounds. i am never hungry and the program is so nutritionally sound, that i have no cravings. the medical monitoring/bloodwork/ekg makes me feel safe.

posted Apr 14th, 2010 11:16 am


I was very eager to reduce my weight,but in 3 weeks i not yet reduced one kg brother lost 3 kg in 3 weeks i was very upset.give a idea

posted Apr 13th, 2010 10:34 am


I followed this diet religiously for 30 days and only lost 10 lbs- While that is probably a healthy rate of loss, I have done other diets such as weight watchers and south beach and lost the same amount while continuing to eat normal food. On only 800 calories a day I felt exhausted and almost fainted at work. My roommate said I was "like a ghost" and my personality disappeared because I had no energy. I have since gained back all of the weight I lost plus more. While on the diet I learned that 800 was chosen as the allotted amount of calories because anything less than that is technically starvation. Even Guantanamo Bay prisoners are required to get over 900 calories a day. This diet made me feel awful, was very expensive, and did not provide lasting results. I do not recommend it.

posted Apr 1st, 2010 7:04 pm


Hi, I'm on Day 2. Day 1 wasn't too hard. My doctor allows me 1/3 cup of Fiber One cereal and unlimited (non starch)vegetables. The Fiber One was an important snack last night at my typical munchie time. So far I've drunk a blender vanilla shake, a chocolate bar and two prepared chocolate shakes. They taste good. Very thankful for the bars.

posted Mar 28th, 2010 2:47 pm


i have been on optifast for three weeks and lost 17 pounds. i am never hungry and am on the optifast only portion of the plan. it can get a little boring, but very exciting when the weight is literally dropping off of you that fast.

posted Mar 26th, 2010 2:38 pm


Just started on Optifast. This is my 2nd day. !st day not so bad. Today a little harder especially in the evening. That was my time to binge. I am fully committed to this so I am excited to see how much I lose. I really need it. Love the products. Was impressed at how good they taste. yum!

posted Mar 17th, 2010 5:36 pm


When i started the optifast program back in October , I was 5'2'' and 200 pounds. I am now 165 and kept it off. In the beginning, I didnt like the taste of it that much but I was sick of being fat. Now I actually like the taste of it and requested more of the optifast. If you stick to it and listen to your doctor you will lose the weight. The last time i was 165 was in 2003!

posted Mar 8th, 2010 11:52 pm


Hi I have lost from 358 to 343 in just 3 weeks on the partical optifast diet.It has been a struggle to not eat but it will be worth it in the end.

posted Mar 7th, 2010 3:28 pm


hesitant to start the program. cause if i lose the weight will i gain it back after i switch back to food

posted Mar 5th, 2010 12:49 am


Hi ,I have just started the parcial optifast diet.I have food for supper and the rest of the day I use the shakes and soups.I have started off to a good start.I set a goal of 50 lbs to start.I weighed 353 when I started.I hope it all works out.Will keep everyone updated..

posted Feb 11th, 2010 11:28 am


I tried to find an optifast program near me and found two but they are using the optifast to get there patients ready for bariatric surgery and I do not want surgery.

I was thinking of buying the product on ebay as it is available there but I feel the counceling and doctor visits are important. Any ideas on how I can do this diet?

posted Feb 11th, 2010 9:53 am


It is a way of life, not a diet. Optifast program has helped me to break bad eating habits while helping me shed those pounds to start my life on a healthy path.

posted Feb 7th, 2010 6:41 am


Greetings and Happy New Year! This is the first new year that I did not make a resolution to lose weight. Instead, I ran a 1/2 marathon in excellent time and really happy to enter this year and new decade on a high note.

As some of you know, I have been in a weight loss program since September. It has been an amazing 17 weeks thus far and I have been using OptiFast for 12 of those 17 weeks. I have lost a total of 86 lbs I started off weighing 256 lbs and as of this morning I weigh 170 (I'm 5'7").

I'd be remiss if I did not mention that in addition to OptiFast, my weekly one on one session are used to restructure cognition around food and the doctor requires that I walk 10,000 steps AND engage in some physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes per day. Since Sept I have not missed a day of working out (I have not always reached 10K steps). My workouts include swimming, running and circuit training at the gym. The best parts of working out for me are feeling great afterwards -- even if I did not want to do it to start with -- and enjoying the physical benefits of being able to shop and wear clothes that actually fit.

There are 13 more weeks in the program and Tuesday I begin the transition phase where I curtail my usage of the OptiFast. I'd like to hear from some of you who have gone through the transition phase wit OptiFast. More specifically, how did you deal with eating food after being not eating it for 12 weeks (in my case)? Are there things I should expect? I'd really like to draw on your experiences and knowledge.


posted Jan 17th, 2010 9:24 am


I knew I needed to lose weight when I went skiing with my friends and realized I couldnt. I realized that if i fell, i was too big to be able to get back up.I started optifast Jan 2 and am really liking the diet so far. my doctor prescribed phentermine, and i think it is helping me from being hungry. The first day on phentermine, i felt a bit off (jittery and a headache) but that was the only day I felt bad on it. the shakes are good, especially strawberry. I weighed myself this morning (start of day 3) and have lost 5 pounds- so now Im 201 and 5'4. I'll keep updating everyone on how i do.

posted Jan 4th, 2010 2:30 pm


Happy Holidays to all. Dec 21 I weighed 318 for a total of 29ibs loss thus far. I expect from this point forward to average a loss of 5-7 pounds per week as long as I stay focused and stick to the plan.My goal is to lose 120 - 140 pounds. Continued success to all.

posted Dec 25th, 2009 9:01 pm


Congratulations on your weight loss Ruben! Way to go!!!

I, too, have been on Optifast. I am entering the 13 week of an overall weight loss/weight control program (but 9th week of Optifast). I have lost 71 lbs thus far and have really been amazed by my determination and ability to maintain such a strong commitment to the program. I am looking forward to eating food again but really think that the skills that I have acquired and refined will help me maintain the loss.

Initially working out has been difficult for me to do but has become increasingly easy. It helps that I bought some weights for home and on "lazy" days when I don't feel like going to the gym I do a circuit workout or yoga.

Good luck with your program and keep up the good work!


posted Dec 20th, 2009 11:18 pm


I am ending week three on the Optifast diet. I weighed in at 347 on November 30and at the beginning start of week two December 14 I weighed 325 pounds. I am happy with the results and religiously adhere to the 4 shakes,1soup, and 64 oz of water. I also walk on my treadmill and ride my bike every day for at least 30 minutes. I also have the support of my wife, family, friends, and colleagues at work. I am writing today because this has been a tough day for me and itis the first time that I can say that I have been truly hungry and hungry all day. But I am fighting through this and keeping focused on my goal and taking it one second, one minute, one hour, and one day at a time. I've got 17 more weeks to go and I believe I will be successful in reaching my goal of losing 130 and keeping it off.

posted Dec 20th, 2009 9:28 pm


So I forgot to update in early November. I am now in week 11 and have lost 47 lbs.

posted Dec 18th, 2009 5:48 pm


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