Optifast is a weight loss program that tries to include all aspects of a healthy lifestyle, like diet supplements, meal replacements, medical clinics, and more. The plan promises weight loss and a decrease in waist circumference. However, ingredients like sucralose and canola oil haven’t been shown to do have any of those benefits.
Our research team looked into the program’s scientific claims, “patient journeys,” and medical monitoring. In the end, our team compared Optifast’s published success stories and weight-loss contests to the customer reviews to see if this is the plan for you.
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What is Optifast?
Optifast is a company brand created by Nestle Health Sciences that provides weight loss programs for people who have a high BMI (30 or greater) are obese or overweight. The Optifast weight management system requires the use of Optifast shakes and meal replacement foods such as bars and soups. Their programs claim to be for those who are overweight, people of most ages, teens, and people who plan to undergo weight loss treatments.
The programs are also comprehensive, which means that doctors, psychologists, and other health professionals are involved in the weight reduction journey of each person enrolled in the Optifast system. An Optifast meal plan consists of a liquid diet including Optifast shakes.
Typically, you’ll follow the diet for at least four weeks. The timeframe makes it easy for almost anyone to follow. Weight loss from this eating plan results from eating a very low-calorie diet (VLCD). Optifast is a VLCD option for those seeking immediate help with their body weight.
This is how much it costs to start on the respective program. We always recommend trying a product before making a large investment.
= Initial product cost is less than $5
= Initial product cost is between $6 and $50
= Initial product cost is between $51 and $150
= Initial product cost is $151 or more
What Does Optifast Do?
The Optifast weight management system may help people lose weight in a short period. Programs geared toward different age ranges are available as well as programs created specifically for people undergoing some weight loss treatments. Dieters on any one of the Optifast programs are required to consume primarily Optifast products during the main phase of the diet, which may last over six weeks.
The three Optifast phases include:
Active weight loss
Active Weight Loss
The patient visits the clinic where the doctor run tests and prepares a custom program. During the Active Weight Loss phase, you’ll follow an Optifast full meal replacement diet.
Active 2-In this phase you will consume:
3 OPTIFAST VLCD products
2 cups of low starch vegetables
One teaspoon of vegetable oil
providing less than 800 calories per day
This phase lasts about 12 weeks. However, you’ll receive weekly monitoring.
An additional benefit is the weekly group meeting.
The second phase (also known as Active 1 Phase) is the transition phase. It lasts about six weeks and slowly begins adding in regular foods. You’ll continue to attend group sessions.
The dieter exercises and practices good eating habits learned throughout the program. Dieters eat regular food and Optifast meal replacement meals and a benefit is ongoing support from Optifast.
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Optifast offers several different products. However, the Optifast Method relies on meal replacement shakes more than other pre-packaged foods. Some Optifast ingredients include:
Milk Protein Concentrate
Soy Protein Isolate
Some concerns regarding the Optifast programs and products have surfaced from time to time. However, there are some key benefits to using Optifast diet plans including:
Easy prepared meals
Maintenance support for long-term results
Optifast diet plans are some of the only comprehensive diet plans that provide medical support, nutritional counseling, and meals. Other weight management systems may provide medical and nutritional counseling, but they won’t provide the actual food that the dieter needs to eat.
Optifast results occur when the dieter lost weight and improved overall health and wellness. The Optifast programs are primarily for health purposes and not just physical shape or numerical weight. A person who has gone through the program and has signs of improved health is considered a success.
Optifast Side Effects
The Optifast diet plans are may be more supportive in many ways than other diet plans. By checking in with their physician, psychologist, and dietitian frequently, Optifast dieters are more likely to stay on track and avoid any risks associated with weight loss. However, the risks that may occur whenever a person starts a diet like this include:
Irregular bowel movements
The Optifast Diet
What is the Optifast Diet?
The Optifast Diet is boasted as “the serious solution for weight-loss” and claims to be suitable for both adults and teenagers with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. Basically, this is a medically supervised program that’s intended to help with weight reduction and overall health. It typically lasts for 26 weeks and may be partnered with a weight-loss surgical procedure. This program involves:
Meal Replacement Diet
Ongoing Personalized Support
Since Optifast diet plans aren’t the same for everyone, each person will have different directions that they need to follow. They’ll need to follow the guidelines established by their physicians and dietitians over the course of the main dieting phases.
Most dieters consume around five shakes per day and maybe even a few snacks, but the caloric allowance will depend on the weight and health of the user.
What is the Optifast Cost?
The cost of the entire Optifast diet program may run upwards of a few thousand dollars. The cost includes visits to Optifast clinics, applicable tests, therapy sessions, and nutritional counseling. Also, meal replacement products vary in cost as well.
For example, an Optifast shake can cost between $21 and $80. Considering the dieter is only allowed to eat or drink Optifast products during the first phase, this may get expensive fast. There are also additional costs associated with the Optifast. There are reports of a monthly fee, a starting fee, and service fees.
Moreover, the price varies depending on the goals of the person. However, some consider Optifast products not budget-friendly. You can contact the company directly for specifics relating to price.
On their website, you can find a clinic near you by entering your zipcode. From there, you may be able to learn more about potential costs.
Does Optifast Work?
Optifast uses a non-traditional approach to weight loss. While great for some; it’s a challenge for others. The Optifast diet restricts calories to a certain degree. While this may cause weight loss, some find it difficult to follow such a very low-calorie diet.
Assuming a person is ready to start the program and finds a clinic nearby, the diet is still very intensive and will require a lot of time off of work or school for medical appointments. This may also be a deterrent to success and may cause people to quit halfway through. Some of the ingredients used in Optifast products are also questionable.
But, they may not prevent the dieter from losing weight, which is the main purpose of the program. Perhaps the best way to get a better idea of whether Optifast works is to take a look at some Optifast user reviews.
The Optiwin Study
The OPTIWIN study is a 52-week open-label, randomized, controlled clinical trial that assessed the safety and efficacy of the Optifast weight-management program.
In the OPTIWIN study, the Optifast group was comprised of 135 participants who followed a total meal replacement plan for 16 weeks. The meals were made up of 40% carbohydrates, 40% protein, and 20% fat. Traditional foods were introduced gradually after 16 weeks.
The food-based group was comprised of 137 participants who followed a reduced energy diet that adhered to the Diabetes Prevention Program guidelines. Both groups exercised vigorously for 150-180 minutes each week. They also attended behavioral counseling sessions.
The Optifast group lost twice as much weight as the food-based group. The mean weight loss for the Optifast group was -12.4% compared to -6.0% for the food-based group. Optifast participants saw greater reductions in fat mass(30%-64% vs. 12%-42%) and waist circumference(p=0.011 vs. p=0.0011) as well.
What Users Are Saying
“I’ve lost 80 lbs since January 2018. I look great. I feel great. My cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and blood sugar have all improved. I am diabetic and my A1C has dropped to a good level–while taking less medication. I have way more energy and am more mobile. I’ve been able to do more things (woodworking, home repair, decorating) that require getting up and down from the floor. I am about 7 lbs from my goal weight, which is a BMI of 30. That’s still overweight, but no longer obese, and as I said, I feel great.”
The Bottom Line on Optifast
Optifast is one of the few medically-supervised weight loss programs shown to work. Aside from customer reviews, there are studies that show its effectiveness. Once you dial in your diet, exercise and supplementation, there’s a chance you’ll lose weight.
Weight management incorporates diet, supplementation, and exercise. When it comes to supplements, there are alternatives to fit your lifestyle changes.
We're all about exercise for a healthy, long life, but there's more to weight loss than burning calories. There's a place for supplements in some people's daily regimes, and supplement efficacy is growing.
Among the best supplements we've seen this year is called Burn TS. The formula is made up of four ingredients, and research shows the ingredients may support metabolism, improve hunger control, and promote increased weight loss. The makers didn't just pick the ingredients out of a hat – hundreds were reviewed, and only the best of the best made the cut.
How you take Optifast products based on your individualized program.
Who makes Optifast Shakes?
Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition makes Optifast.
Is Optifast covered by insurance?
This depends on the insurance company you use and the level of coverage you have. Contact your provider prior to beginning the program to find out what they cover.
Can I eat food while on Optifast Shakes?
Opti is a three phase program. During the first 12-weeks – the active weight-loss phase – you will consume full meal replacements with Optifast products. During the transition program, you move to eating regular food you make yourself.
Is Optifast right for me?
Optifast is best for patients with a BMI of over 30. It is recommended only as part of a comprehensive treatment program.
Optifast is a total program aimed at weight management. It combines educational material related to lifestyle and the regular monitoring of medical issues with a diet focused on meal replacement. More details about the Optifast program can be obtained via a one hour consultation with a professional at a clinic in your area.
Is Optifast gluten free?
To date, Optifast has not been tested for the presence of gluten. However, it is noted that quite a few of the products are comprised only of gluten free ingredients. As such, they are appropriate for individuals who have an intolerance to gluten or have been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease.
What are the ingredients in Optifast?
Some of the more notable ingredients in the Vanilla version Optifast are: Potassium Chloride, Whey Protein Concentrate, Magnesium Oxide, Milk Protein Isolate, Cellulose Gum, Maltodextrin, Calcium Phosphate, Canola Oil, Dipotassium Phosphate, Salt, Dextrose, Sunflower Oil, and Potassium Citrate.
How many calories are in an Optifast shake?
There are 207 calories in a vanilla shake made by Optifast. Other nutritional components in 5 grams of total fat and 0 grams of sugar.
What is the HMR Diet?
An HMR Diet is extremely regimented in order to facilitate the weight lost process. A Weight loss plan that makes of HMR associated foods will use these meals and snacks in deference to other choices available on the market in order to eliminate the guesswork out of choosing what to eat. HMR foods include snack bars, multigrain hot cereal, pudding, various entrees, and shakes.
What can you eat with Optifast?
There is actually quite a variety of allowed vegetables and food that you can eat when in on the Optifast program. Some of the more notable vegetables that are allowed include green beans, alfalfa sprouts, eggplant, bean sprouts, cucumbers, bok choy, celery, cauliflower, carrots, capsicum, brussel sprouts, and cabbage.