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

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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

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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

How Does OPTIFAST Compare?
  • Product Name
  • User Rating
  • Has Good Appetite Suppressant
  • Has Only Natural Components
  • Good Taste
  • 35 /100

> Leave Feedback

User Feedback

(Page 6 of 14, 268 total comments)

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


I'm on my 2nd day of Optifast. I have lost 5 lbs already! I'm walking for 30 minutes everyday and doing vigorous exercise for 20 minutes. The powered shakes are really good. I only bought chocolate. I'm not hungry at all, but the only thing I'm struggling with is missing the TASTE of food. Especially when my boyfriend cooks ......man oh man that gets hard. I think I might buy the soups just so I can have something else to taste besides chocolate. If anyone is trying to find a good website to buy optifast for a good price. I bought mine from drugdispensary.com. I did some math and compared to ebay and other websites its cheaper. Good luck everyone!!

posted Jun 10th, 2010 8:30 pm



at weigh in on week 13, i had lost 52 pounds. my weight loss has slowed some, but that is to be expected and can be compensated for with exercise.

as for the costs, my doctor charged a one-time fee of $2000 and then the food is about $115 per week. i buy the ready to drink shakes, which cost a bit more than the powder but taste much better and are easier for an active life and full time job.

posted Jun 7th, 2010 12:46 pm


I was on optifast from november 2009 through january 2010. I lost about 60 pounds, but all of the sudden had to stop because of my insurance. I gained the weight back so fast! I gained 80 pounds from january to may. So awful.

I loved the shakes! So refreshing and theh diet was so easy. I never, ever felt hungry, and it was very easy to stick to. I have so many food addictions, I'm an emotional/nervous eater. But this diet was so easy.

Has anyone else done this diet and had the weight come back after stopping optifast? I am rejoining the program this week, and hopefully am able to go the distance through the education part and the slow reintroduction of food. I missed that part. I have to do something, I'm gonna explode! lol

posted May 22nd, 2010 11:11 pm


Will someone give me an idea of the cost? Initial cost and meal costs?

posted May 20th, 2010 12:51 pm



at week 9 weigh-in i had lost 38 pounds.
i am never hungry, and this is so easy to follow. you just have to understand that once you go back to regular food, you cannot pig out on junk every day, or you will get fat again.

posted May 10th, 2010 12:11 pm



wonerful, i take it 5 times a day no other food, not hungry after day 4.

posted Apr 21st, 2010 5:49 pm


site shuts down poorly managed

posted Apr 21st, 2010 5:33 pm



at week 6 weigh-in I had lost 26.5 pounds. that is an average of over 4.4 pounds per week----very good considering that i have a full time job and a family to take care of. if you do not cheat and you drink your water and exercise, you will lose weight on this plan.

posted Apr 21st, 2010 11:28 am



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 why.my 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


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