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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 2018?

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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(Page 6 of 14, 272 total comments)



On day 5 lost 3kgs/ appx. 7lbs, drinking loads of water ,tea, green tea and diet soft drinks - waterfords and diet rite also having low joule jellies and carrotts broccoli and home made veg soups and jols and low sugar lollies its hard but need to loose 15kg in a month. Give it a go, but be prepared to struggle sometimes and know you will, but be strong and keep your results on your calendar. Good luck!

posted Sep 10th, 2010 5:54 am

Scott T.


I did not like the food.

posted Sep 2nd, 2010 2:09 pm

jodie straughan


I'm 23 female and I have a bmi of over 30

posted Aug 27th, 2010 5:38 pm


[b]Wow 96%[/b]

posted Aug 22nd, 2010 4:38 am

Des Moines

I began Optifast August 2008. During the initial phase of 18 weeks, I lost about 60 lbs. I transitioned to regular food during the last 6 weeks with the help of the registered dietician and lost a total of 140 lbs. by the end of the 10th month. I have kept the weight off for over a year and feel like a different person. The whole program works. You can't just drink the shakes and expect to learn new eating habits that ultimately determines long-term success. I continued to go to weekly classes even though I had technically graduated from the "full-formula" phase after the first 12 weeks. The medical care, class with the behavioral therapist class with the exercise therapist, and meeting with the registered dietician is the best way to get your head on straight and make life-long changes for better health. It was the best thing I have ever done for myself! To me, it was well worth the money - about $3900.00 for the complete program. I can continue to attend class or call any of the support staff, free forever.

posted Aug 3rd, 2010 11:22 pm



I have completed Week 1 out of the shorter 9 week program. I lost 6.6 lbs out of 53 lbs total that I need to lose. I got over the food cravings after just 2-3 days. I have been drinking twice the recommended water but I only exercised a total of 90 minutes over 7 days.

posted Jul 16th, 2010 12:14 pm

Heather Cotter


Optifast helps you kick start a good program. If you go off and gain the weight back it means you have gone back to your bad eating habits. Whether it is Optifast, or other weight loss programs, if you don't modify your diet at the end the weight will come back. And fast.

I use diet orange, fresca, cream soda, to blend my powders with. It's like a creamsicle with the orange and very tasty. I also do crystal light mixed in water and added to vanilla. You can make so many variations it never gets boring. IUse your imagination. t is easy because I don't have to think about what to eat. When I get absolutely crazy I do eat a huge bowl of lettuce with Walden Farms no calorie balsamic dressing. It fills the void. I have only been on the optifast for 4 days and lost 7 lbs but I know it is mainly water. But it is an incentive to keep going. Every 4 hours is the key. I am on optifast 900 and I have it at 8, 12, 4 and 8. It has been working well. I have 100 lbs. to lose but doctor happy with 50. We will see what happens at that point but I plan on being there at Christmas. That's realistic. Good luck everyone. But remember, when you go off Optifast modify your life style and do not go back to eating like you were that made you fat in the first place. That is something I want to learn along the way.

posted Jul 1st, 2010 8:13 am

Stephanie Baker


Can someone please list the directions for the optifast diet, I think for the first and second month its shakes and bars only and then the third month, you get to eat one healthy meal a day, is this correct? thanks!!

posted Jun 27th, 2010 8:37 am

Sandy Eggo

I am going to a OptiFast orientation mtg. next week. My dilemma is whether it is wise to start it immediately knowing that I am going on a cruise (read food fest) within a month. Has anyone worked the program with vacation/holiday breaks? If so, when you resume the program is it like starting at day one?

posted Jun 18th, 2010 7:53 pm


I'm on my 2nd day of Optifast. I have lost 5 lbs already! I'm walking for 30 minutes everyday and doing vigorous exercise for 20 minutes. The powered shakes are really good. I only bought chocolate. I'm not hungry at all, but the only thing I'm struggling with is missing the TASTE of food. Especially when my boyfriend cooks ......man oh man that gets hard. I think I might buy the soups just so I can have something else to taste besides chocolate. If anyone is trying to find a good website to buy optifast for a good price. I bought mine from drugdispensary.com. I did some math and compared to ebay and other websites its cheaper. Good luck everyone!!

posted Jun 10th, 2010 8:30 pm



at weigh in on week 13, i had lost 52 pounds. my weight loss has slowed some, but that is to be expected and can be compensated for with exercise.

as for the costs, my doctor charged a one-time fee of $2000 and then the food is about $115 per week. i buy the ready to drink shakes, which cost a bit more than the powder but taste much better and are easier for an active life and full time job.

posted Jun 7th, 2010 12:46 pm


I was on optifast from november 2009 through january 2010. I lost about 60 pounds, but all of the sudden had to stop because of my insurance. I gained the weight back so fast! I gained 80 pounds from january to may. So awful.

I loved the shakes! So refreshing and theh diet was so easy. I never, ever felt hungry, and it was very easy to stick to. I have so many food addictions, I'm an emotional/nervous eater. But this diet was so easy.

Has anyone else done this diet and had the weight come back after stopping optifast? I am rejoining the program this week, and hopefully am able to go the distance through the education part and the slow reintroduction of food. I missed that part. I have to do something, I'm gonna explode! lol

posted May 22nd, 2010 11:11 pm


Will someone give me an idea of the cost? Initial cost and meal costs?

posted May 20th, 2010 12:51 pm



at week 9 weigh-in i had lost 38 pounds.
i am never hungry, and this is so easy to follow. you just have to understand that once you go back to regular food, you cannot pig out on junk every day, or you will get fat again.

posted May 10th, 2010 12:11 pm



wonerful, i take it 5 times a day no other food, not hungry after day 4.

posted Apr 21st, 2010 5:49 pm


site shuts down poorly managed

posted Apr 21st, 2010 5:33 pm



at week 6 weigh-in I had lost 26.5 pounds. that is an average of over 4.4 pounds per week----very good considering that i have a full time job and a family to take care of. if you do not cheat and you drink your water and exercise, you will lose weight on this plan.

posted Apr 21st, 2010 11:28 am



What I will say is that I lost 30 Kilos (66 pounds) 4 years ago and have kept it off.

The key to this program and related meal replacements is:

1. Stick to it and it's not expensive, it's considerably cheaper than normal eating.

2. Do the maintenance and stabilisation plans.

3. Do light exercise and get ready to build it up to compensate for the slow reintroduction of other foods.

Yo Yo dieting occurs on any diet EVER if you go back to eating crap every day. I have treat days and drinking nights haha, but I keep my weight because I used the program the way it was designed and learnt some key lessons from it.

posted Apr 19th, 2010 12:55 am



I started the Optifast diet 8 month ago. i have lost 80 pounds so far with 10 pounds to go to reach my goal. No diet is easy, but I found I was able to stick with this one.

posted Apr 15th, 2010 8:52 am



at five week weigh-in i had lost 22.5 pounds. i am never hungry and the program is so nutritionally sound, that i have no cravings. the medical monitoring/bloodwork/ekg makes me feel safe.

posted Apr 14th, 2010 11:16 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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