Founded in 1974 by the Novartis Medical Nutrition Corporation, Optifast is a liquid-based diet aimed at people who need to lose a significant amount of weight, and it is best known to help people who are gearing up for a gastric bypass surgery. With that being said, this program is not for everyone, as it recommends doctor supervision and weekly counseling sessions. The bulk of their business comes from the meal replacement shakes, yet they offer a variety of other products such as vitamins, soups, bars, and fiber replacement pills.* The customer service representative was friendly, but could only give me so much information because this program requires medical supervision to even become qualified to join their program. They are not looking to sign people up for a quick sale, as the rep was informational telling me about why the Optifast product is good for only a certain number of people out there today.
Reasons Why People Start Optifast:
- The patient is needing to lose a large number of weight to be eligible for a gastric bypass surgery
- They are 20-50 years old, with health complications involving obesity
- Patients are gearing up for a Bariatric Surgery
Do Dieters Lose Weight With Optifast?
Yes. Optifast shakes take drastic measures to ensure the patient will lose weight immediately. This program is once again not for everyone, as the patient will need to be under medical supervision. In the long term, I would not put my faith in Optifast as a fix for weight problems, but it can get you on the right path.* This is a short-term solution to a lifelong journey of finding health. It is pricey, and one can spend nearly $2,000, depending on the clinic with Optifast.* Any time a large amount of weight is lost in a short period of time, there are going to be certain risks. Due to the constraints of a low-calorie diet, there have been side effects reported.* Many first time users have been said to feel light headed, and hungry as this is obvious when starting a program such as this.
The Phases of Optifast:
- The Screening Phase: The chosen health physician the patient visits will do a health screening to make sure the diet will not impose any health risks to them. During this time period they will meet their support staff such as nurses, lab technicians, counselors, and psychologists.*
- The Active Weight Loss Phase: This phase lasts four to six weeks once cleared by the screening phase. The patient is only allowed to drink the liquid Optifast Shakes, which will amount to 800 calories a day. The patient will meet several days a week with their physician and psychologist.*
- The Transition Phase: This phase lasts another four to six weeks. The patient will stop drinking the shakes, and they will meet with a nutritionist to educate them on healthy food choices and portion control. They will also be put in a support group with other patients so that they can have support from others going through the same program.*
- The Maintenance Phase: This is the final phase of the program where the patient can practice the healthy eating and lifestyle habits they have learned. They meet with their physician, and are provided support classes to attend. Exercise is recommended in this final phase.*
All of the medication dosages are prescribed based on the person’s weight during their time with Optifast. What may be the right dosage in the beginning could drastically change throughout the program, causing potential overdoses. This is one of the main reasons the patients need to be supervised.
Is Optifast Easy To Follow?
No. Many people who are required to start Optifast have a long road ahead of them. Many times, the patient’s need to drop weight in order to get ready for a gastric bypass surgery (which also has its separate recovery and health processes). When taking Optifast, you are drinking their shakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You are required to follow a complete liquid diet to see the weight come off quickly. This is not an easy process, as many people experience severe withdrawal symptoms, and it can also affect them mentally.* Because this is such a drastic program, a doctor has to supervise you weekly. The timeframe can vary from person to person, depending on how long they need to stay on Optifast, and it can be life and death for some of the patients.
- In women, the formation of gallstones can result from rapid weight loss.
Obviously, this program is not for everyone. It is not your normal diet, because you don’t get to choose if you want to start it or not. A medical professional has to clear you, as it can be an intense process of simply drinking liquid for months at a time.* You can’t just order the product online and have it shipped to your home without a consultation first. This is a completely different diet program than most, and needs to be reviewed with a different mindset. Their Facebook community is rather small and unsupportive. The last post was nearly one year ago with hardly any community activity. To sum it all up, this is not a program to merely experiment with, as many people are using Optifast to save their lives from obesity. If all else fails, they offer a 180-Day Money Back Guarantee.*
*Please keep in mind that with any diet or weight loss program, individual results will vary.
- “Optifast.” About Optifast. Web.
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My name is Megan Smith, senior contributor at ConsumersCompare.org and several other reputable, health and nutrition publications. I have been in the health industry for over a decade and have gained a lot of information on health and physical conditioning as an athlete who competed at a professional level. In this review I’ve conducted thorough research to verify the validity of product claims, read all the feedback from trusted online sources. If contact information was provided, I called the company and asked important questions to help me write this review. I’m eager to hear your feedback about the this review, so please call 208-375-7482, email [email protected] or use this form to contact.
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*Individual results will vary.
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