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Optifast Review: Does it Work?

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

Top Rated Diet Shakes of 2017
What is it?

Optifast is a meal replacement shake offering 100% of 24 vitamins and minerals. It’s claimed to be an easy to mix formula, and they also offer a ready to drink liquid shake.

Their powdered shake has a combination of dry milk and calcium caseinate that equals 14 grams of protein. They currently offer three flavors in Strawberry, Chocolate, and French Vanilla. These shakes are meant to be drunk alongside the other meal replacement foods offered by the company. On their own, they’re said to be a nutritionally healthy choice. So are these shakes truly effective for weight loss? What kinds of ingredients are added, and are they wholesome? This Optifast review will help you discover the truth about this meal replacement.  To discover which meal replacements made it to the top 10 list, click here.

Do You Know the Best Diet Shakes of 2017?

Optifast Ingredients and Side Effects

Nonfat Dry Milk


Calcium Caseinate

Canola Oil (BHA/BHT)


Potassium Phosphate

Magnesium Oxide

Mono and Diglycerides

Choline Bitartrate

Potassium Chloride

Ascorbic Acid

Natural and Artificial Flavor

Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate

Ferrous Sulfate

Zinc Sulfate

Vitamin A Palminate


Copper Gluconate

Calcium Pantothenate

Manganese Sulfate

Vitamin D3

Color (Beta Carotene, Turmeric Oleoresin)

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride

Thiamine Hydrochloride


Chromium Chloride

Folic Acid


Potassium Iodide

Sodium Molybdate

Sodium Selenite

Vitamin K1

Vitamin B12



Nonfat Dry Milk: Dehydrated milk that is added to foods due to its naturally long preservation. 

This ingredient is often imported in from difference countries. There’s controversy over its use, due to a 2008 scandal where 300,000 people were contaminated from this ingredient.

It was found to be contaminated with melamine, which is added to help increase the protein content. This could also lead to kidney stones and renal failure.

A recall began in China after several people had debilitating illnesses.

Fructose: Fruit sugar that is absorbed directly into the bloodstream when digested.

It’s considered one of the worst sweeteners that can cause metabolism disorders, as well as raise the risk for obesity. The University of California, Davis performed a clinical study showing:

“increased consumption of fructose may be detrimental in terms of body weight and adiposity and the metabolic indexes”

“shown to induce visceral obesity, insulin-resistant diabetes, and hyperlipidemia”

This means it can cause issues with raising blood sugar, and it can increase the risk for weight gain. These kinds of effects have also shown a rise in obesity related illnesses.

Fructose when it’s extracted from fruits has been shown in many other clinical studies to be harmful to overall health.

Calcium Caseinate: Protein taken from the casein found in milk. It’s a cheap protein source often added to increase the amount of protein in foods.

Though it can lead to a sense of fullness, this ingredient is cheap to make, and isn’t as potent in amino acids as other protein sources.

The manufactures also fail to list the total amino acid profile. So it’s impossible to determine whether it has enough amino acids to help the body’s performance. When replacing meals it’s important to determine how much amino acids are provided, instead of solely looking at the total protein content.

You can discover the best shake brands for weight loss by clicking here.

Canola Oil (BHA/BHT): Oils made from the processed seeds of rapeseed. BHA and BHT are preservatives added to help fats from going rancid. Live Science has mentioned there are possible side effects. They listed studies in which this ingredient lead to:

“cancer in rats, mice and hamsters”

In California this ingredient has also been listed as a carcinogen.

Artificial Flavor: Man made synthetic ingredient used to help make food taste a particular way. It’s often added to help substitute natural flavors that would be harder to keep fresh.

It can be extracted from many different common allergens including soy, wheat, and corn. Though it’s not required for the company to list how they sourced this ingredient from. This could potentially lead to unwanted side effects.

Optifast Quality of Ingredients

Optifast has a total of 18 grams of sugar that comes from fructose, which is considered one of the worst sweeteners available. Multiple studies have shown it to potentially raise the risk for obesity. 18 grams of sugar is a significant amount as well, this can make weight loss harder.

Also, there are preservatives that have shown to potentially be carcinogenic.  Both BHA and BHT have been found in some studies to have a damaging effect that leads to cancer.

There is a high amount of protein at 14 grams, but it comes from cheap sources such as nonfat dry milk and calcium caseinate. Both of these can be purchased for much cheaper, though they’re not the best protein sources. The company also fails to list the total amino acid score, so it’s impossible to determine if the protein provided is well rounded enough.

There’s far too much calories as well at 160 per serving. The combination of high sugar, calories, and no fiber make this a very poor meal replacement shake. It can all make weight gain easier, instead of helping support a weight loss diet plan.  For your convenience, the top 10 meal replacements are available here.

EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this supplement with a proven meal replacement such as 18Shake for better results.

The Price and Quality of Optifast

The company fails to mention how much these shakes cost. They only offer sales for people who visit their clinics, and then they try to recruit people into their centers.

It’s important to be able to know how fairly this is priced. Though due to the high amounts of sugar, low quality protein, no explanation as to the amino acid content, and the 0 grams of fiber, this shake isn’t a well-rounded enough meal replacement. It’s unlikely to help people with appetite suppression.

Web MD advises to find a meal replacement that offers the following:

“3-5 grams of fiber per serving”

Without this, you aren’t getting enough fiber to help promote healthy digestion and appetite suppression. Since you aren’t getting enough fiber from this shake, it does not qualify as a proper meal replacement. You’d have to supplement with additional fiber sources to make up for the lack of quality.

Before considering any shake, it’s important to know exactly how much it costs. Since this meal replacement has poor ingredients, it shouldn’t be priced too high.

Business of Optifast

The Nestlé Health Science company makes this brand. They can be found via the following customer support information:

Phone Number: (800) 662-2540

Address: 445 State Street

                   Fremont, Michigan 49412

They fail to mention whether or not they offer money back return. There’s also a problem with controversies.

The company has also had to recall their products in the past due to contaminations.

The New York Times added that

“The Food and Drug Administration … was investigating and working with Nestle to pinpoint the source of the latest E.coli contamination”

This outbreak ended up harming several people, who had to be hospitalized. It’s unknown how this problem was handled to ensure it wouldn’t contaminate any future batches of their foods.

EDITOR’S TIP: For the best results with meal replacement shakes diet our experts recommend to use it at least 5 months. Save your money buying a few bags of meal replacement product.

Customer Opinions of Optifast

There aren’t many reviews on the shakes themselves. Here are a few of the limited customer reviews online:

“found I was always hungry”

“first three days were awful”

“struggling a bit”

There was the common opinion that this meal replacement failed to suppress people’s appetite. For many, it was shown to cause extreme hunger and many continued to have constant thoughts about food.

The company also fails to provide any testimonials or studies to show why this shake would be a proper meal replacement. Without much information available, it’s unknown if this is priced fairly, or if customers found it useful for weight loss.

The few reviews have all been negative towards the overall quality of these shakes.  The highest ranking meal replacements are available in this top 10 list.

Conclusion - Does Optifast Work?

When considering a proper meal replacement, it’s important to make sure there’s enough fiber with low amounts of sugar. Optifast has too much sugar added that’s from a sweetener shown in studies to potentially cause weight gain. Better options are available that have no preservatives, high quality protein, and all natural ingredients. Its customers have also reviewed this shake poorly.

When searching for a proper meal replacement, it’s important that customers reviewed it highly, and that it has a well-rounded nutritional profile. There’s simply not enough support for this meal replacement to rank it as one of the best.

The very best shake out of 2016 that offers all the mentioned benefits is 18Shake. There’s 5 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and just 90 calories added to this all-natural formula. Customers mention it’s great for reducing appetite, and that people have lost significant amounts of weight. Best of all, it’s made only with natural ingredients, and no fillers of any kind.

This meal replacement has many customer testimonials showing just how effective it truly is. People rave about its easy mix formula, its ability to suppress appetite, and how effective it is for weight loss. They also mention that it tastes great, which is important when using a meal replacement so you don’t lose track of your diet.

18Shake is supported by a great 30-day money back guarantee, which you can learn more about by clicking here. So you can use this shake with the knowledge that there’s no risk in giving it a try.  

How Does OPTIFAST Compare?
  • Product Name
  • User Rating
  • Has Good Appetite Suppressant
  • Has Only Natural Components
  • Good Taste
  • 39 /100
  • .

> Leave Feedback

User Feedback

(Page 2 of 14, 272 total comments)



I started the Optifast 800 program thru the Kaiser Wellness Center. I did to avoid becoming a diabetic. I think I fell into the worst catagory of "why I gained the weight". It' because my even my wifes "cooking mistakes" taste good but lately I've been so busy I just eat out a lot and just like the taste of good food. No emotional problems here. Just like good food.
So after my third week weigh in I've lost 28lbs. I'm not active. I'm 61 and a professional photographer. I might do some walking on location but no treadmills, no gym, no weights and forget running anywhere.
I like this program. The two soups are good...I jazz them up with curry powder, various salt free Mrs. Dash stuff. One in the AM and one in the PM. My other three shakes/day I spike with the little Meo water flavorings (Vanilla shake, ice cubes, H20 and three little squirts of Meo Orange/Tangerine and I challenge anyone to be able to tell it's not an Orange Julias from the old days).
Definitely in ketosis. But no cravings for food. Even shot three RenFaires and a wedding that was overflowing with food. Didn't crave Turkey Legs, cake, potatoe dishes etc. etc.

So far, so good.

posted Jun 25th, 2014 7:55 pm



I lost 80 kg on optifast four years ago. I maintained the loss for about three years and then got sick and put on 60kg. I have again started and am on week 10 of the intensive phase. I have lost 22kg. Its easy as long as you stick to it.

posted Mar 26th, 2014 9:33 am



I am so happy to start a regulated diet that will help me change my emotional eating habits just started

posted Feb 19th, 2014 3:26 pm



I started Optifast today... Feb 17th.. I hope I can do this!!! Need to lose 50 lbs!!!! before the summer!!!

posted Feb 17th, 2014 8:29 pm



This is my first day and I have no idea how I'm going to do this...I can't stand the taste of these shakes and they make me feel sick. The good thing is I don't Feel like eating.

posted Feb 8th, 2014 2:41 am



Today I'm entering week 10 of the Optifast900. I have lost 41.5 lbs and have not diverted from the program. At the Weight Management Clinic at the Ottawa Civic Hospital there is an excellent team that includes a behaviourist, nutritionist, exercise expert and two doctors + superb support staff. I'm committed to getting healthier and I'm sure that is why I'm following this to a T. I work 5 days a week and enjoy my weekends as I'm not cooking at the moment. I recommend this program.

posted Dec 12th, 2013 4:29 am

kim upchurch


I started the Optifast program because my blood pressure was out of control and I couldn't control my food intake. The program is stuff but if you get pass the first 2 weeks, it's a breeze. I've lost 11 pounds, have energy, and my blood pressure is almost normal. Be encouraged, you can do it.

posted Oct 20th, 2013 3:22 pm



It is much healthier, easier and cheaper to make my own juice, either fruit or vegetable or a combination of both, than it is to use Optifast. I have experienced equally impressive weight loss by doing this. I can juice in-season fruit and vegetables, have a nourishing warm miso soup or a vegetable or meat bone broth. All these give me real food that I have prepared myself from real food sources. No additives, colourings, flavourings, emulsifiers, soy etc. etc. The benefits of this mean I'm saving money, learning healthy eating habits that I can retain forever rather than just the expensive hiatus of Optifast that does nothing other than take my money and give me a transient weight loss.
All such products are questionable, not just Optifast.
It is important to learn good eating habits that involve preparing and eating real food, reconnecting with our own bodies and natural appetites that are now thrown out of balance by additives, enhancers, lo-fat everything, chemical sweeteners etc etc. Real food, prepared at home, will allow anyone to lose weight easily, simply and affordably. There is no magic instant weight loss plan that will keep weight off in the long term. This is because the habits that caused the weight gain need to be re-learnt. Once this is achieved the weight will take care of itself. Good luck on your weight loss journey - eat only real food you prepare yourself as much as possible.

posted Jul 3rd, 2013 6:35 am



I just love this product it's marvellous I was just 2 kgs over my weight but was very keen to lean down m be slim I did this course by replacing 2 meals a day n trust me I lost 6 kgs I m a hard core gym person after that I never took this product however haven't gained weight yet....just love it....results r the best....I wud recommend this to everyone who wanna loose weight look pretty n feel confident as I feel very confident after loosing so much of weight....n the best part is I m nt a foodie so it's not a difficult task fr me to follow the diet....love optifast thoroughly

posted May 9th, 2013 6:04 pm


Both my husband and I are on this program. We both miss food but the results are great. In the two weeks we have been on the program he has lost 15 pounds and I have lost 10. My only issue is, I wish I could lose weight as fast as him.

posted Apr 19th, 2013 12:39 am



That is great. I will start 04/18/2013.

posted Apr 11th, 2013 7:58 pm


I will start OPTIFAST on 4/18/2013. I will post by results

posted Apr 11th, 2013 7:55 pm



I started optifast on March 23 and I have lost 22 pounds in 8 days this stuff is awesome. However I do have a lot of indigestion. I am constantly burping but its worth it

posted Mar 31st, 2013 9:18 pm



I started Optifast on Jan 29 2013 - if you ask anyone around me my first week of the intensive phase was hell....in a good way. Weighing in at a heavy 149.9kgs I convinced myself to stick with it. In my first week I had dropped 8.3kgs. It has now been almost 8 weeks and I have have managed to lose 20kgs! My hard work and discipline has paid off thus far & I can't wait to see how many more kilos drop as I progress further into the program. Best decision I ever made!

posted Mar 27th, 2013 9:28 am



How much does optifast cost? I'm thinking about contacting Dr. Goldfarb to discuss this diet. I see that you are both having success on it, congratulations, it must feel great! I was wondering if you could tell me how often you have to see him and if the appointments are usually pretty on time. I'm a mother to infant twins and I will have to bring them with me and I'm nervous about how long it will take each time I go there. I would really appreciate your input. Do you find it terribly expensive? I'm sure its worth it though. Many thanks!

posted Mar 4th, 2013 4:17 am



I have been on optifast with Dr. Godlferb for six weeks now and so far I am extremely pleased. I lost 26 pounds and even though I miss the home cooking I no longer crave solid food. This program is great for anyone that is motivated to loose weight and get healthy.

posted Feb 27th, 2013 10:57 pm



I start Optifast on Jan. 17, 2013, so far I have lost 14ib in 13 days, its great, I hope it continue, so far no cheating, because after this drink I feel full, yes, I do miss the taste of food, but in-order to reach healty life style, not a big deal. I am 52 year old. So far very please with Dr. Goldferb services. Hoping to loose 100 Ib, and I was 303Ib.

posted Jan 30th, 2013 12:30 am



Hi my name is Zoe and I have been on optifast for 5 days and I have lost 2 kgs, I am very pleased with the product and loving it ..hate the soup yukkkk!! Love the new improved coffee ........and love the chic berry muesli bar yummy! So good luck guys I've got 7 kgs to lose in 12 days for pre op for gastric sleeve, I hope I get there, love optifast!!!!

posted Jan 29th, 2013 11:37 am



I've been on the Opti diet for 3 months, tomorrow. It's been pretty easy. The shakes are delicious. Keep me satisfied. So much so, that I sometime only have 3 shakes a day because I'm too full which is not good but there are always bad days, right? I've lost 53 lbs total thus far. I expected more, but to be honest, I've had 2 cheat days during the 3 months. I also sometimes snack on a small amount of Naturally More PNut Butter and Sunflower Seeds. I know Bad Bad Bad! I'm only human. I have 50lbs more to lose to be at my ideal 130lb weight. I know I can do it. This plan works. I didnt workout first 3 months too much, I am now doing the TurboFire now and spinning 5 days a week. I'm hoping it falls off even quicker now. Keep on carrying on... It works!

posted Jun 7th, 2012 4:01 am


I just wanted to leave a simple comment to state your web site was wonderful. I came across it on google search just after going through many other information that had been not really relevant. I thought I might find this much sooner thinking about how excellent the content is.

posted May 5th, 2012 11:39 am


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QUICK FACTSQUICK 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

Do You Know the Best Diet Shakes of 2017?


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 MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

optyfast, opti fast, optifast progarm

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