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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 5 of 14, 272 total comments)


I have been on optifast this past summer and lost 15lbs!!

I have now been on it since last week, and don't know why this time is SO MUCH HARDER. To add to it, since it was jsut my anniversary, my sister sent a HUGE breakfast for us, as she was not aware I was on this diet! I did not eat a thing!!!!!!! Frustrating!!!

I currently weigh 170 and wold like to lose 40lbs! I am going to be weighed on sunday, so can't wait to see.

During the day I am fine, it's when I'm home in the evening that I find the hardest.

I am only on the chocolate shakes, and am taking Vitamin D as well!!!!!!!

posted Apr 5th, 2011 1:20 pm


I started using Optifast a week and a half ago and I am down 9 pounds.
My doctor recommended that I also take phentermine and a b12 shot. I am only drinking the Optifast at lunch time and then eating a healthy breakfast/snacks and dinner.
I am happy so far with my results! I don't think I could do Optifast for each meal. I tried the chicken soup and it was awful! I really like the chocolate shakes.
I am 5'8 and started at 220.. I would like to weigh 170

posted Mar 30th, 2011 4:49 pm



Starting my optifastI'll be starting my optifast nextweek. I know it will be hard to go without food. Do anybody have any diet plan suggestions for me. I put a order in for the chocalet shakes,chocalete bars and chicken soup. I need a daily diet plan

posted Mar 24th, 2011 8:30 pm


I have been on Optifast for one wk as of yesterday. I have lost 18lbs!!! Although I have done well my first wk it's still very hard to stay on track at times. Some tips that I'm finding that's making it a lil easier are: I have a great support team. They don't mention food around me. They check in w/ me everyday. My husband is the absolute best b/c he's not an enabler this time. We discussed b4 I started the diet that I would become agitated at times etc... So if you can have an "accountability" partner that will be your best support system. 2nd I don't cook or be around food at all. I plan to do this until I'm sure that I can make healthier food choices in moderate amounts. 3rd I stay busy now. Not necessisarily working out but I just keep moving throughout the day. I have finally admitted to myself that I have an addiction to food. Unfortunately, I can't stay away from it forever so I have to learn to eat in moderation. My biggest problem was that I would go all day w/o eating and then over eat in the afternoon. So yes, Optifast does work but it's like any other diet. It's about a lifestyle change. I started Optifast b/c I was about to have gastric surgery. I have decided against surgery for now. I have never really dieted b4 & I want to give myself a fighting chance w/o surgery. Don't get me wrong, I have a LOT of wt to lose but I have a long life to live as long as I stay devoted to my wt lose. I have planned to stay on Optifast for a very long time even after I start training myself to eat healthier. I plan to have a drink for breakfast & lunch & a sensible dinner. Eventually, I plan to just have a shake for breakfast. Good Luck to you all & wish me Luck as well!!! We Can Do It!!!

posted Mar 23rd, 2011 12:28 pm


hey, I'm sandra I posted when I started the the whole optifast thing, and I swear I was on top of the world by the fifth week, I had dropped 15kg so quickly thin is, I never followed the programe I just had optifast shakes for three weeks straigh only, with water obviously the gradually I had tuna for lunch, eventually I had to get of optifast I did well for the first two weeks but then somehow I just piled the weight back on which made me feel depressed...but the positive side is I know now I have the will power to do something so hard like that, also I use optifast now for a quick fix, if I have a wedding coming up I jump on optifast so I learnt from all this opti fast doesnt keep the weight of 4 gud...so good luck....

posted Mar 2nd, 2011 7:18 am

Alexandra Rose


im always on and off this diet, but. i always take metamucil when i do the diet, and i feel like it really makes you feel better, adding extra fibre into the diet, idk about everyone else, but i feel terrible without fibre! just a little hint, who knows, maybe it could help you! plus, is really low calories and makes you feel quite full as it expands in your stomach.

posted Feb 21st, 2011 10:24 pm


Just starting this optifast diet today any helpful hints for me?

posted Feb 12th, 2011 6:57 pm


I have just finished my fourth week on optifast and have already lost seventeen pounds! I'm very happy with my success so far. For those that asked, yes it does work. And yes, you should do the whole program and not just buy the product. The meetings really help and help you feel both accountable and also you can share with people that are in the same boat as you. I think that support is really helpful

posted Feb 12th, 2011 6:32 pm

p kavitha

i too want to have this optifast program .will it really works

posted Feb 9th, 2011 8:33 am


I just started the Optifast program through Kaiser. I have been looking for a forum of Optifast users, but can't seem to find anything on the internet that is recent. I've started my own blog, and I have a weekly group meeting, but it would be nice to talk to folk that are further along or have completed the program recently. Does anyone know of such a forum or message board?

Also, you can check out my blog chronicaling the program:

posted Feb 8th, 2011 7:53 pm

James McIver

Okay I am already seeing a doctor for my cholesterol which includes EKG testing and weight monitoring when necessary. My doctor has the Optifast program listed in his office and has asked me to try it. But the cost would be way more then buying it from Amazon. About $800, for the program and food.

Would I be better off just buying it from Amazon when my doctor is already monitoring my health and cholesterol levels?

posted Jan 22nd, 2011 9:00 pm


This is first for ever I started myself being very confident in me, As i have lost almost 13 pounds in 4 weeks and still on my Optifast, first week i lost 5 pounds and gradually 2 pounds a week. I suggest people who are hesitating should deftly try .. and its easy no side effects..

posted Jan 11th, 2011 8:50 pm


I'm on my second day of optifast, I don't feel hungry, I do get kind of light headed, but the only hard thing is watching people eat around you, and I cook for my husband and it's so hard cooking and not being able to taste th food I'm making that mind you is delicous, clearly if I didnt have the will power I would have given up, I just had my first baby three months back, I weigh 80kg looking to lost 15kg, jope it works out for me.....

posted Dec 10th, 2010 12:47 am

m. courtney

how expensive is this plan? i need to lose 45 lbs. do you ever get to eat food or is it all liquids?

posted Dec 1st, 2010 12:17 am



I have been on Optifast for 12wks and lost close to 60lbs.This diet works great for those who are wanting and committed to making a change. We have all tried just about everything out there. Just commit and watch the weight melt.

posted Nov 12th, 2010 11:47 am


the shakes are good and I don't even mind the soup (with some salt free mrs. dash). I'm only on the first day, and I had to have a product every two hours. my stomach is hurting, but I am guessing that will pass.

posted Oct 16th, 2010 9:33 pm



day 26, 27ls down, feel good, give this a go if you have some will power, have lots of energy! :)

posted Oct 1st, 2010 4:53 am



day four and feel fantastic

posted Sep 24th, 2010 2:58 pm



Day 19, lost 21lbs, all good, only very slightly hungry, feeling full of energy

posted Sep 24th, 2010 8:14 am


Day 9 now lost 6 Kgs, 13lbs nearly a stone, not that hungry, 3 shakes a day, lots of water tea and diet soft drink and low jould lime with mineral water and low fat jellies and veg. First few days easy, 4/5th days the hardest for me, but once past that its OK.

posted Sep 13th, 2010 8:01 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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