| |

Home > Diets > Meal Based Diet Navigation    
User Rating


of people who tried this diet like it

Tried it? Rate it!
out of 100
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

> Leave Feedback

User Feedback

(Page 9 of 13, 255 total comments)


I started the Optifast Program 2/18/09. I first weighed in at 192.5 lbs. As of 3/25/09 (5 weeks later) I weigh 167.5. I have lost 25 lbs!!!! I of course was sceptical before starting this program, and after seeing results already I am THRILLED that I took this step to getting back to me!!!! I so wish I would have done it sooner!!! I am soooo much more happy than I was before I started this program! I feel good, I'm looking better, I have energy, I'm not hungry, and with having a 10 and 2 year old in the house I've gotta be on my feet!!! My clothes are now falling off of me and I LOVE IT!!!! I have my meals equally spaced out so I don't get hungry. I have a shake at 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, and at 9pm I have one chocolate bar they also offer. I like to save the chocolate bar until the end of the night ~ it's my treat for the day! Plus it's something to chew! ;) I like my coffee and I'm allowed 2 cups a day. I use 1 packet of Splenda, and liquid flavoring (vanilla bean or hazelnut- there are plenty more to chose from) but... SUGAR FREE!!! And it tastes great! Water is also Extremely important, so I get the off-brand (help save $) Crystal Light packets to put in my water and it's not a problem b/c it tastes like kool-aid! I go to the meetings and in the 1 1/2 hr. that I'm there, I weigh in, give my "order" of what shakes, etc..that I want for the next week, see the doctor, and participate in the group meetings. It doesn't take that much time out of my day and it's another motivational boost to keep on going!!! I have been walking more, I got an exercise ball that I've been working on (not much unfortunately), but I just got my YMCA membership today, and I plan on starting Zumba and Kick-boxing ASAP!! Summer is coming and for the first time in 4 years I'd like to feel comfortable enough to wear shorts. To anyone that is hesitant about this program ....believe me I WAS YOU!!!! And I wouldn't change my decision for anything!!!! The best thing is you actually see results RIGHT AWAY!!! That is what I needed for my motivation! I'm a numbers person, if the scale isn't moving I'm NOT happy. So far it keeps moving in the right direction and has given me every motivation I need to keep this weight off! SOOO HAPPY I did this! Good Luck to all!!!

posted Mar 31st, 2009 12:38 pm


The Optifast Program works and it works fast. I've have been on the program since January 13, 2009. It is now March 21, 2009 and I have gone from 201.7 lbs. to 170 lbs. I have never veered from the program: 5 shakes a day (or 4 shakes and 1 soup). I drink one shake every 3 hours consistently. Just when I start to get hungry and I can have a shake. It's that easy. My success has everything to do with the program PLUS I am exercising on my elliptical 60 minutes 6 days a week. I am 52 years old an have never been active. I have been a "sometimes" exerciser. I finally committed to diet and exercise because it started affecting my health. In order to motivate myself to exercise, I bought a beautiful HD TV, planted my elliptical in front of it in my bedroom and vowed that I would only watch that television while i was on the elliptical. Since I have been a lifelong avowed couch potato, I knew that if I couldnt watch my favorite TV shows unless I was on the elliptical, I would commit to it. I never thought in my life that I could exercise for 1 hour a day. I drink my Optifast shake right before I start exercising. If i wait too long after I have a shake, my blood sugar tends to drop dramatically and I feel hungry. As long as I drink the shake first, I'm okay. I have attended several parties since I've started the program and I've really been fine. Just have the shake before I go. I am in an Optifast class of about 40 people. I would say that the majority of the people in the class have lost more weight than I have because they had more to lose. However, several of them have not been totally faithful to the program (but have still lost the weight). I never thought I could do something like this because I love to eat (and chew). The first month is hardest, I really missed chewing on something (you can chew gum but we know it's not the same as chewing food). Once the first few weeks are over, its really pretty easy. I'm committed to finishing the 20 week program at the end of May and then doing an additional 8 weeks to get the last few pounds off. After that, I will be on maintenance. That's the scary part!

posted Mar 21st, 2009 3:57 pm


Do you find that the Optifast makes you constipated?

posted Feb 9th, 2009 11:17 am


I would like to try this. My sister had great results and so did a co worker....but they both lost their hair in about month 2 and each had to have gall bladders removed after leaving the program

posted Feb 9th, 2009 10:27 am


Im in Australia and, like New Zealand, its available over the counter in chemists and for about $45.
When I was younger I used to do Optifast constanly on and off when I wanted to drop a few kilos in a week or 2 weeks... would usually lose about 3kgs a week without exercise (which is excellent considering I used to weigh only about 55-57kg)...
Have now gained alot of weight and am looking to lose about 15-20kg... so am now on day 4 of Optifast and hopefully I can pull it off! :)

posted Feb 5th, 2009 12:51 am


I am doing this optifast because I have to do it before I can do gastric bypass surgery I am a mom of 3 zand before them I weighed 135 lbs now I weigh 267lbs can someone tell me if I lose the weight am I gonna gain it back in 1 month after?

posted Feb 4th, 2009 10:20 am


I had always been in sports and always active! I had my daughter 2 years ago. I weighed 135lbs. when I got pregnant, I didn't eat "a lot" b4, but was forced to eat 3 meals a day (at least) while pregnant or I was consistantly sick. (My doc. thought I was having twins-what a confidence boost!). My daughter is 2 years old now, and I still weigh what I did after I had her...200lbs. Talk about not wanting anyone to see you! I had a lot of probs. after I had her and wasn't physically able to exercise. Being this large I am now on a "mission" to lose this weight! I am at the point that I HATE food! No, really I barely eat! And I can't lose anything. I've always been athletic, skinny, but ever since I had my daughter, this fat is "stuck" on me! I'm depressed and can't stand for anyone including my husband to look at me, let alone do anything else with me...My first session is 2/18/09 and I am hoping this will help, I would do anything! If I had the money I'd have everything nipped ,tucked, and sucked out of me. I have read the success stories...I HOPE I am one!!!

posted Feb 2nd, 2009 1:39 pm


I did a similar program at a clinic. It is great because you can treat food addiction by abstaining from it while learning new eating behaviors in class & groups. The re-gain rate is high IF you do not attend a maintenance program for a year or two after stopping the shake phase. I work with people who did Weight Watchers or TOPS after the shake phase b/c these programs are less expensive. Both have kept off 60lbs+. You are not hungry at all after the first 4 days. Best plan I've ever done.

posted Jan 18th, 2009 4:53 pm


I have been on the program for two weeks now, my first week I lost 6.3 lbs waiting for my next weight in every Monday. I also encourage the attaining the group sessions very informing. It's a very motivated program, you have to have the will power. I have my first shake at 9AM, Noon, have a piece of fruit at 3PM and dinner at 6PM with my last shake at 9PM plus taking my vitiams, calcium & fiber in the morning. Good luck to eveyone..

posted Jan 16th, 2009 7:06 pm


Yes, my insurance pays for the program without it I would had to try a different source. I just pay for the product and Doctor visits as required.

posted Jan 11th, 2009 5:17 pm


I just started it today and I have a big headache right now but I am sure by day 3 ill be good as rain :)

posted Jan 7th, 2009 1:27 am


Does anyone's insurance cover the costs? I am considering starting the program, but the costs kind of concern me...

posted Jan 2nd, 2009 11:23 am


I heard the shakes taste like yoohoo's? Is that true?

posted Dec 30th, 2008 3:56 pm


I lost 65 lbs using Optifast from August 07 - December 07. As of today (Dec 30, 08) I have gained 40 lbs of it back. I start again at the top of the year. Once off the fast this time, I plan to begin a workout regimen.

posted Dec 30th, 2008 5:59 am


2day is day 8 on this stuff.i need to lose 50lbs for hernia far so good miss eating alot,even went grocery shopping with a friend(that was hard) and had a breakfast meeting at work..thank you black coffee..havent weighed since start but feel okay...we will see

posted Dec 10th, 2008 9:13 pm


I have lost 45 pounds in a matter of 2 months I due the optifast 2 shakes and bars and a healthy meal for dinner

posted Dec 9th, 2008 9:35 am


The Optifast diet will help you lose weight, but in the end it is up to each individual to change eating patterns and behaviors. I was on the Optifast program for about 5.5 months and lost 35 pounds. The first week was horrible, depressing and everywhere i went all i saw was food. After my first weight in i lost 13 pounds, i was so motivated. After the second weight in i lost 2 pounds, i was angry. I followed the plan exactly as my doctor said but i was losing 4 pounds there 3 pounds here. I still kept with it though and the weight loss allowed me to start excercising again. It wasn't only about the weight loss, my whole attitude about food and eating changed. I use to walk by my favorite restaurants and wouldn't even notice them. I missed eating real food so much that when i did start eating again i had no problem eating vegetbales and other "healthy" foods. Unfortunately i gained all the weight back because i stopped goign to my doctor and did not finish the program. It got to the point where it was either optifast or rent and gas money. My doctor would charge $70 every visit just for the weekly weigh in. He charged about $50 for the phentermine and $20 for the laxatives. It got to be too much money. I place the blame on myself for gaining my weight back because i fell into my old traps again and i didn't make time to excercise. If you are really overweight and need to lose a lot of weight, this diet will help you but it is very expensive and mentally challenging. If i could find a less expensive doctor or avenue i would def go back to it again to lose what i gained back. Good luck to all!

posted Dec 2nd, 2008 10:15 pm

Dr. Primack

When using Optifast as formulated and directed, you should not need any other supplements (such as potassium or magnesium). It is already added to the shakes and soups.

One of the benefits of seeing a physician for weight loss is as these or other concerns arise, you have a knowledgeable souce for information.

posted Nov 19th, 2008 10:39 am

wo fat

the first time i did it i lost 35 pounds in 6 weeks, over the next 2 years i put the weight back on so did it again, same great results .
here in spain the product can be purchased over the counter.
when i did it in america the first time the price was obscene with the doctor as a middleman.
i think there were some online sites , so unless you have a medical condition other than being fat i recommend doing it yourself
remember to drink lots of water
i also take a multimineral as the water depletes your body of some of these.
another thing to remember is once you start a liquid diet and flush yout your digestive tract you will have lost about 8 kilos which is the amount of gunk we constantly carry with us
good luck

posted Nov 19th, 2008 6:43 am

Mrs Jones

So far I've lost 30+ lbs in 10 weeks.

posted Nov 11th, 2008 1:57 pm


Leave Feedback

Skip the moderation queue by becoming a MyDIR member.

Already a member?

Need to sign up?
It’s free and only it takes a minute.
There are two ways to join:

Or, proceed without an account