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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 9 of 14, 272 total comments)


Can anyone tell me how many ounces are in the ready-to-drink boxes of Optifast 800?

posted May 29th, 2009 12:20 pm



i really need to know where to find these shakes without paying so much money. thank you

posted May 25th, 2009 2:22 am


Just started Optifast today. Reading all these reviews is very encouraging and motivating. I need to lose 60lbs to get back to normal-healthy weight.

posted May 20th, 2009 4:44 pm


I started Optifast 4/27/09 and so far I've lost 15 lbs or so. My weight loss is not what I was told it would be, but I can live with it. If I go back to when I start losing weight, then so far I've lost nearly 40 lbs., down from 212. I still have a long way to go and I intend to go until I get to my pre-baby weight of 120-125 lbs. I will admit that the program is expensive, but if you have insurance, it will pay for the doctor visit, just not the product itself. I've been on the Optifast 800 plan and they have the soups and bars and things at the CONCI center in Columbus, but I prefer the shakes only because it's easier to find cold water on the run than it is to find hot water. Crystal Light popsicles are great, as are diet orange pop and diet Hawaiian Punch and diet V8 Splash Berry Blend. All these can be consumed on the Optifast plan. It would be great if insurance paid for the product, but I guess it would make too much sense.

posted May 16th, 2009 11:25 am


In the US, are any of you able to find or order the Optifast chicken or tomato soup? I have heard they are out of stock, and havent been able to order any since Jan 09. If any of you know a supplier with soups, please help.

posted May 15th, 2009 2:13 am


I have been on this program for 2 weeks now and I have lost 13 lbs...the first week was really hard but now I am getting use to it...gotta have a very strong will to lose the weight or this diet is not for you..keeping busy also helps so I dont get too hungry.

posted May 5th, 2009 3:24 pm


I'm on my 2nd week and I've lost 18lbs. total, my cravings are almost zero at this point; these words are a great inspiration to me.
Hope it inspires you as well: )

posted May 5th, 2009 11:17 am



Amazing!!!! It works and I 100% recommend it. If you are tired of being overweight, want something with results, and are willing to stick with what they tell you to do - this is THE Program. I am 38 years old and grew from 125 pounds to 170 over the past 3 years! I tried EVERYTHING!! Optifast works and it works fast. I started the program a week ago and have already lost 5 pounds. I am certain this will get me where I need to be. I am NOT hungry since I am eating something every 3 hours. It works with my very busy schedule ( I travel a lot for business) and I don't have to think about it. The shakes are actually GOOD, the tomato soup tastes great and the bars do not have that vitamin taste - love them.

I will certainly keep everyone posted on my progress but am very excited to see these results and it's a HUGE motivator to stay with it.

posted May 1st, 2009 4:15 pm



I had just about given up on dieting, up to 236 this will be my last chance. Started the program 4/15/09 and have lost 8lbs. Not hungry very often, but favorite food flashes in my mind often. 49 years old and would like to feel good, and look good. I went on line to get inspired, and it worked. Thanks for the positive messages. I will keep going strong.

posted Apr 30th, 2009 6:58 pm


Way to go Carla, isn't it a wonderful feeling.
I packed my pounds on in 2 years, and got tired of being uncomfortable in my own skin, I feel in control of my body again. I'm on a schedule now, I don't give myself a chance to get hungry, in between shakes, I drink 2 quarts of water, 1 qt with a yummy Benefiber citrus punch drink mix, thats filling for me and it all seems to be working, I have more energy and clarity than i've had in years.

posted Apr 29th, 2009 9:28 am



I love this program. Nicole, it sounds like you and I have the same amount of weight to lose. I just completed my first week and am thrilled with my 10 lb. weight loss. It definitely will keep me motivated this week. Are you still feeling hungry at all?

posted Apr 28th, 2009 5:41 pm



I started Optifast on 4/20/09 and after one week, 4/27/09, lost 10 lbs.! I couldn't belive it. I was thrilled. I started this at 224 and now weight 214. My goal is 170 and I'm not going to quit!!! I'm looking forward to learning to eat healthy and sticking with this for the rest of my life. I want to do this for my health. At 51 years old, it's about time I lose this weight once and for all!

posted Apr 28th, 2009 10:59 am


Started Optifast on Monday 4/20, weighed in @204, today is Monday 4/27, I weighed in @ 190, the first day was a little trying but I got through it, piece of cake : ) after that, 40 more to go.

posted Apr 27th, 2009 2:37 pm


I tried tons of diets and exersices and non cut it. Ive been on this for 2 weeks and have lost 14lbs

posted Apr 27th, 2009 12:21 am


Has anyone had any success with Wonderslim products as opposed to Optifast products. I have an appointment next week to start an Optifast program and need some feedback on what to expect. Thanks

posted Apr 15th, 2009 11:40 am



Lost lots of weight. It was easy to do because it made eating simple.

posted Apr 6th, 2009 9:54 pm


Is anyone following this program without going to a clinic or a nutrionist/counselor? How important is the medical monitoring during this program? I can buy this product on line, but I was curious to know if anyone is using the product without medical supervision?

posted Apr 5th, 2009 7:43 pm



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


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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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