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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
  • .

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User Feedback

(Page 4 of 14, 272 total comments)


I am going in for my first Optifast meeting and to pick up my food tonight. I am very excited about getting started. Ulitmately, I want to lose around 120 pounds. I will keep you posted on my progress.

posted Sep 6th, 2011 10:41 am


Finished week 12 - down 40 lbs.! Today I start the next 6 week phase of the diet. Feel much better, more energy, feel younger already - I'm much more active now - feel great.

posted Aug 31st, 2011 1:22 pm


I am 9 days into this diet and I am not a religious person but Im about to say something "" Im thanking god everyday I found this diet.. I have not put one piece of food into my mouth and I feel damn awesome,, I have lost 10 lbs and I have tried everything out there I have spent thousands on CRAP and this WORKS,, dont let anyone tell you it doesnt because I would go to bat for this company whatever is in it WORKS,, I am NOT hungry in the least,, I feel fantastic I have energy I am alert and wide awake I cant stress enough how glad I am I found it,, and its worth the 110 I spend a week ,, If i wasnt spending it on this,, I'd be spending it on FAST FOOD AND JUNK,, so the price is a very small PRICE to pay for my life thank you optifast 900 :o)

posted Aug 30th, 2011 8:46 am


Depending on your insurance, you probably will have a Doctor's appointment co-pay/ per visit. The meals come 7 in a box and a box typically costs $25-28 - so for a week supply of meals you would need 5 boxes = $125-140 generally - at least that what I have experienced. If you stick to it, the Diet definitely works and it works fast. I find it quite satisfying and I'm not hungry. The weight loss is very motivating. Good luck!

posted Aug 26th, 2011 1:53 pm


I am considering the Optifast program but am confused about the cost. I have seen people posting costs ranging from $500 up to $1000 per month. Can anyone tell me an approximate cost to expect at my upcoming seminar?

posted Aug 22nd, 2011 3:03 pm


I have been on Optifast for the last 7 weeks. Went in for my weigh in this morning and lost a total of 4.4 pounds for the week. In 7 weeks, I have lost a total of 27.6 pounds! I'm excited about the weight loss. For the first 4 weeks, I did strictly the ready to drink shakes and mixed in a couple of tablespoons of benefiber so that I wouldn't experience any constipation. In week 5, I reduced down to 4 shakes and incorporated a chocolate or peanut butter optifast bar. I've been making sure to get all of my water intake. It is critical to drink the water. I started out at 254.4 and am now down to 226.8! I am hoping to get down to 165. I feel great and look forward to sharing my weight loss success with all of you!

posted Aug 17th, 2011 3:46 pm


I'm on week 10 of Optifast 800 and have lost 37 lbs. so far. Went through a little plateau around week 6 and quit drinking diet drinks and caffeine (mostly water and herbal ice tea now) and that helped. I have tried many diets in the past but this diet surpasses them all - the shakes are good and I am not hungry and most importantly I'm losing weight and it keeps coming off. The first few weeks I had some muscle cramps and light headedness but that went away and I started exercising. Now I have a lot more energy and have the confidence that I really can lose the weight and reach my goal finally. I would like to lose about 60 more lbs. - but I break it up into mini goals, so it doesn't seem like Mt. Everest. Next goal is to lose 25 lbs., then 25 lbs. and finally work on the last 10 or so. These blogs have helped me stay motivated. If anyone has any advice or questions - please don't hesitate to comment/ask. Keeping motivated!

posted Aug 16th, 2011 6:11 pm


I will be starting the opti-diet next monday I have 125 lbs. to lose. It blows my mind, how I got to this weight.. well the time is over ,, time to quit whining to myself and feeling sorry for me, its time to step up so I am and Im gonna knock t his out of the park,, Ill keep posting on here too, all my updates.

posted Aug 14th, 2011 12:22 pm


This my second challenge with OPTIFAST 900. The first time I lost 40 lbs. I get back all the weight last winter. This is my second challenge, but very difficult. Can you image, since one week, I did not loose a pound!
I am continuing. But need encoragement.
Thank you,

posted Aug 10th, 2011 1:17 pm



I've been on it for exactly 2 months now, I lost 41.5 lbs and I am more active in my life now, I am doing more since I don't feel tired like before, but I am worried about putting weight back after the meal replacement program is over.

posted Jul 25th, 2011 6:07 pm

joshua dial


I started optifast today, I am doing the 5 servings a day, i dont feel hungry at the moment and I do find myself drinking lots of water, but it helps subsides the hungry urge, i currently weigh 298 and I would like to lose 75lbs, So encouragement from others would be great. I look forward to my weight loss and sharing it with you guys.

posted Jul 11th, 2011 4:54 pm



Worked well for me. Lost 55lbs.

posted Jul 8th, 2011 12:51 pm


I lost 86 pounds on Optifast between January 2009 - September 2009. I went from 208 lbs to 120 lbs. It changed my life.

This message is for those of you who are close to your goal weight or at your goal weight.

Once you have lost all of the weight, sign up for Weight Watchers online or in person. Then follow Weight Watchers for your maintenance. I strongly advise this because Optifast does not have a satisfactory maintenance program and you WILL start putting the weight back on if you do not have a formal maintenance program. Kaiser allows optifast graduates to continue to go to free meetings every week (which is wonderful) but those meetings do not help you manage your daily eating habits. YOU DO NOT MAKE GOOD EATING CHOICES WITHOUT WATCHING YOUR CALORIES OR FOOD EXCHANGES ON A DAILY BASIS.

The other thing I would suggest that you do is that now that you are free from the high sugar, high fat, high alcohol habits (because after you've been on Optifast a while you lose ALL your previous cravings), DO NOT start eating foods that are triggers for you. You no longer have cravings after Optifast, but one taste when you are on maintenance and it's all over. It's like a drug addict who has been clean for a year and then takes one hit of a drug. He's hooked again. You will be too if you do not stay away from your triggers once you are in maintenance.

Good luck to you all. Optifast is the easy part. Maintenance is tough. But with the right methods you can keep it off!

posted Jul 1st, 2011 4:46 pm


I have been on it for 8 days and have lost 8 pounds. I was told the first three days would be the hardest - but it was very easy. I had however done low carbs for 2 weeks before starting this and think that helped. How much water a day is everyone drinking on top of the opti fast shakes?? Is there a certain amount recommended?

posted Jun 24th, 2011 10:10 am


The diet has been a Godsend for my wife and I. We're both more than 100 pounds overweight and until recently were rather blase about it all. It took some straight talk from our GP to get us on optifast and we've really appreciated it. The weight loss has been great so far, but more importantly we've got some great advice and tools to help us in the future.
The support from group members is one of the most important parts for us. And learning to exercise (together...first time ever!) has made all the difference. Writing down goals, keeping track of everything we eat, is a habit now. We're not far off finishing the diet, but we're really looking forwrad to starting our healthy eating futures.
The first week is hard, and that's the truth. I felt tired and grouchy and I cheated by going to McDonalds...I was ready to quit. Luckily we learnt about not giving up and my wife was a real strength (its been great, we take turns urging eachother on). Now I wouldn't dream of cheating, I can sit in burger king with others eating their fries and burgers, and I'm not even tempted. Honestly. I've never had that will power when it comes to food, but I do now. I feel more energetic, I look better, I can do yard work and walk for long distances at a time. I can play outside with my son...wow, I'm gettin' all teary, here.
Optifast has worked for us. It's started us on our way to the rest of our lives.

posted Jun 15th, 2011 10:25 pm



I am finishing my first month on Optifast, and am happy with my weight loss, the support, and the medical oversight. There are many blogs with success stories. My own Optifast journey is at www.optifastblog.com. I have 12 weeks to go and expect great things, both for weight loss and overall health, including lower blood pressure.

posted Jun 12th, 2011 10:04 am



I am on my second day and very weK, is that normal?

posted Jun 4th, 2011 4:51 pm

principal potter


only temporary weight loss

posted May 28th, 2011 6:36 pm



Hello Everyone. Today is my first day of OptiFast and although I'm nervous about the journey, I am very excited about making this lifestyle change. My personal trainer recommended the program as one of his clients followed it and was successful and has kept the weight off. For me I'm looking forward to the behavioral modification and finding out through group why I over-eat. Being overweight is such a silly problem to have because I don't have to be, and quite frankly tired of the yo-yo'ing. I'm confident I'll get thru this and willing to take the healthy steps necessary to lose the weight, keep it off, and maintain a healthier lifestyle. I wish everyone on their journey the best! :-)

posted May 20th, 2011 7:35 am


The program includes shakes, bars and soups. I have lost over 70 pounds in the program and loved the food. The entire program consisted up check up with you MD and Dietian as well as support groups once a week. And please don't forget the exercise, that is what really helped me. Thanks OPTIFAST

posted May 18th, 2011 10:01 pm


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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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