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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 7 of 13, 255 total comments)


I started Optifast 1/12/09. I was 201.2 pounds (I'm 5'3"). On 9/15/09 I was down to 120 pounds. I've been on maintenance ever since. I go to my maintenance classes religiously. I still buy enough product so that I can have a shake for breakfast and a shake for dinner (I prefer a protein shake before I work out in the evening). I eat one healthy meal a day and two or three healthy snacks. I work out for one hour six days a week on an elliptical trainer. It's been over two months and I have maintained my weight at 120 pounds. I'm not always perfect and sometime find myself slipping but I use all of the tools I was given. Keep at it. You can be as successful as I have been. I know it's only been two months, but I feel completely in control.

posted Dec 6th, 2009 11:27 am


I have started the OptiFast diet two months ago. For the first month I monitored my eating habits and met weekly with psychologist. During this phase, I lost about 22 lbs. I have started the second phase -- solely using the OptiFast products for 12 weeks. I have lost about the same amount of weight so far that I lost during the first phase (where I ate my own food). Thus, I have lost a total of 46 lbs.

I'd be remiss if I did not state that in addition to OptiFast, I am walking 10,000 steps a day AND working out for 1/2 each day (sometimes more). This is and important part of the program and the most difficult part.

I only struggled the first few days on OptiFast but find the OptiFast products to be really good (how can it not be good given that Nestle make them!). I use a combination of all of the products daily. I typically have two ready-to-drink shakes, one powder, one bar and one soup. I also drink water, coffee, tea and Coke Zero everyday.

The best part so far is that I went from wearing a 40 waist to a 32 in just two months! I originally set out to lose 60 lbs and I am nearly there. However, I have decided to recalibrate my goal and lose an additional 25 lbs.

If anyone has any questions or needs support -- please respond to my post.


posted Nov 18th, 2009 7:15 pm


My name is Ruben and I am on week 5 of the Optifast Program. So far I lost 18 pounds. I did expect to lose more in this time but I realize I have not given this diet a chance to work 100%. I have stayed away from food but I would get a bag of popcorn every night I worked. I also put sugar and coffe mate in my coffee everyday. I decided to give my all to this diet to see what will happen. I will get my weigh in on Monday and will post the results.

posted Nov 5th, 2009 8:48 pm


I forgot to mention my first week weigh in I lost 11.5 lbs. Can't complain about that :0)

posted Sep 16th, 2009 7:04 am


Went for my second weigh in and lost 1 lb. Consultant said my yo yo dieting is coming back to haunt me,which makes sense. My body is waiting for the next binge. She said give it another week and I will start losing quickly....I agree. Im going to really focus on getting in a lot of excercise this week.

posted Sep 16th, 2009 7:03 am


I started the program 11 days ago and I lost 11 pounds. I hope to complete the entire program. Good luck to all of us.

posted Sep 15th, 2009 5:15 pm


I went into the office for a consultation on Tuesday, August 20th and my dr appt, ekg and bloodwork was on Thursday, August 28th. I then had a follow up with the dr on September 1 and started on September 2. Today is my first weigh in and group meeting.

posted Sep 8th, 2009 6:15 am


I went into the office for a consultation on Tuesday, August 20th and my dr appt, ekg and bloodwork was on Thursday, August 28th. I then had a follow up with the dr on September 1 and started on September 2. It's been one week, I go in for my first weigh in and group meeting today.

posted Sep 8th, 2009 6:12 am

Kelly Agler Meador

How soon after your initial consultation do you have bloodwork done and when do you actually start the program. I have my consult on sept.14 and very anxious to get going. Is there anything i can do to help prepare?

posted Sep 4th, 2009 8:17 pm


I'm on day 1, had my first supplement...vanilla mixed with coffee, very good. I have 120 lbs to lose, I pray this works. The only thing left is surgery.

posted Sep 2nd, 2009 6:34 am


Kaiser does not pay for the plan. You have to pay the full cost yourself.

posted Aug 25th, 2009 7:06 pm


Jerri, how did you get Kiser to pay for it all.

posted Aug 24th, 2009 11:34 am


I started optifast on August 14, 2009 and i have lost 7pounds! Of course, this was the first week and I broke down a few times in the middle of the night with twix bars, milky ways, pancakes, anything sweet. I will not do that next week and maybe more weight will come off.

posted Aug 23rd, 2009 10:55 pm


What is the SALT content of OPTIFAST??

posted Aug 12th, 2009 10:38 pm


Can anyone tell me what happens after you have lost the weight? Are you able to go back to eating regular meals? Are you able to eat regular food while on the diet? I am just asking because it would be impossible to drink shakes forever & just want to see how it is working for people coming off the diet. Thanks!!

posted Aug 11th, 2009 11:45 am


I just started Optifast 3 days ago. I weigh 165 but would like to get to a normal weight of 125. These last few days have been so hard. I find I get hungry more in the evening and start craving (a normal dinner). I actually "cheated" already and ate a very small, low calorie dinner in substitute for a shake. I'm so glad to see that so many of you have lost so much weight. I'm hoping I can do the same. Thanks for the motivation.

posted Aug 2nd, 2009 9:59 pm

Jeri Simpson

Sarah, If you are exercising for 1 hour every day, drinking 64 oz. of water, and sticking to the Optifast religiously, you will lose the weight. Also, only weigh yourself at the end of each week--not everyday. The speed in which you lose the weight also has to do with how much weight you have to lose. I had to lose 86 pounds. The first 10 weeks I averaged a 3 pound loss each week. The last 10 weeks I averaged a 2 pound loss each week. I am in my 25th week and am still averaging about 2 lbs lost per week and I have 26 pounds to go.

posted Jul 5th, 2009 5:18 pm


I have been on Optifast for 2 weeks now. During my 1200 calorie 'introductory' week prior to starting phase 1, I was able to lost 5 pounds on my own. I was disappointed that, even though I stuck to the diet, the 1st week on supplements, I only lost 1.8 pounds. I am nearing the end of the 2nd week on supplements and I have barely lost 1 pound.

I am doing EVERYTHING right. I just don't understand... I'm getting upset that I'm working so hard and not losing weight.

Thank you.

posted Jul 1st, 2009 2:05 pm


Help? I have been drinking optifast shakes for 30 days now. I have been on this before & only have enough for 3 more weeks. I don't have the food-transition information anymore (this time I was not medically supervised). If you have the info-please contact me...I know I'm getting close! I am on the "Optifast 70" 400 calories a day. Thank you-thank you!!!

posted Jun 27th, 2009 8:33 pm

Jeri Simpson

It is June 26, 2009. I started my weight loss and fitness journey on January 12, 2009 when I started the Optifast Program at Kaiser. On that date I weighed a whopping 201.2 pounds. Down only 7 pounds from my maximum weight of 208 (when I started Jenny Craig in January 2006). I had gotten down to a low of 168 in December 2006, went up to 172 and sustained that weight through August 2007. I quit Jenny Craig and slowing gain all of the weight back in 1 ½ years time.
I started Optifast with the intention that 2009 would be my year to lose the weight and then I??d slowing regain the weight in 2010. This has been my mentality for all diets that I??ve been on. But, for some reason, I changed my attitude rather quickly. I think it had everything to do with the Optifast Program and my instructor, Linda Roberts. All of a sudden something clicked inside my brain (finally). When I first started the program, I would get hungry by the end of the day. I??m sure it was because I was going from eating an average of 2900 calories a day down to a mere 800 calories a day. It took my body some adjusting. I went to bed hungry (and early) on several nights. But lo and behold about 4 weeks into the program, my body started adjusting to it. I am so glad I was committed to not cheating those first few weeks. 95% of the people in my Optifast class cheated and the class slowly devolved into just a few of us who stayed true by the end of the 20 week program. By giving myself the opportunity to ??detox? from food, I was truly able to finally forget about it. I never thought I??d see the day?
At the end of my first month on Optifast, I looked back at my food and fitness journal and saw another pattern that was typical for me: although I stayed true to the food plan, I was only exercising intermittently (even though I had an elliptical trainer plopped right in front of my new HD TV). I made a decision. If I was strong enough to consume only 5 shakes and 64 ounces of water a day, I was determined enough to exercise every day too. So there it began. I started doing 20 minutes a day, then 30, then 40, then 50, then 60 minutes a day. The only day I would take off was the day I had my Optifast class. So from February to the first of June 2009, I faithfully got on that elliptical and spent an hour on it. Wow. I??m so proud of myself.
By the end of the 20 week Optifast program, I had lost 50 pounds. My weight was 152.2. I went from a size 18 to a size 10!
I started Phase 2 of the Optifast program on June 9, 2009. It??s the same as the 20 week program only in 8 week increments until I lose the rest of the weight. I changed up my exercise program for Phase 2. I reduced the elliptical trainer workout to 30 minutes, 6 days a week, and added 10 minutes of stretching and 15 minutes of weight training in its place. So, now I work out 55 minutes, 6 days a week: cardio, stretching, strength training. Again, wow!
It is June 26, 2009. I am now down to 143 pounds having lost 7 pounds since starting on Phase 2. My goal is 115 (my old Weight Watchers goal weight that I??d achieved at one time). I??ve been consistently losing about 2 pounds per week for a few months now so I figure I??ll be down to my goal weight by the end of September (just in time for my trip to England).

So, what am I doing differently now that I??ve never done before? I??m planning for my maintenance phase. In my dieting history, I would lose the weight and then spend my ??maintenance? time gaining it back: ??I??m thin now therefore I can eat anything I want and I don??t even have to exercise.? That was my motto. Not anymore. Now I know that I must plan for my maintenance. I??ve purchased a whole slew of books: Eat This, Not That ?? Supermarket Survival Guide (great book, learned a lot), Eat This, Not That ?? The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution, Small Changes, Big Results, Volumetrics Eating Plan, Santa Monica Farmers Market Cookbook, and Cooking Light Complete Cookbook. I??m working my way through each book. I??ve also downloaded a ??Meal Plan? template to my computer. My plan is to plan out all of my meals one week in advance using shopping tips and recipes found in these books. Planning my meals way in advance will be my key to maintaining control over what I eat. I know I??m not the kind of person who can make smart decisions at the spur of the moment. I need a plan. The other thing I am planning on doing is attending maintenance support classes once I??ve lost all of my weight. I??ve had to admit to myself that I have behaved like a food addict most of my life. Therefore, I need to do what addicts do. I know I need support.
I made the decision to change my lifestyle so that I could feel healthy again. In 2008 I was diagnosed with a fatty liver (couldn??t they think of a better term to use when they came up with that?), gallstones, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. I drive a cute little Mercedes SLK350 and I was having trouble getting in and out of the car without my body getting stuck between the seat and the steering wheel. When I traveled my butt just barely fit the seat and I had to hold my arms in so as not to infringe on my seatmate. My walk was turning into a waddle. I needed to make significant changes. When I signed up for Optifast last December, a 20 week program seemed so long. Now here it??s been over 24 weeks and the time has flown by.
When I started this journey it had nothing to do with how I looked. But, boy, is it great to look fabulous. I threw out all of my old clothes and bought brand new size 10??s on ebay (I didn??t want to spend a ton of money since I??m planning to continue to go down in size). I feel great. I am committed to eating healthy and exercising for the rest of my life. I will be 85 and will still be able to move!!!

posted Jun 26th, 2009 4:00 pm


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