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Optifast Diet Review 2020 - Rip-Off or Worth To Try? Here is Why..

Optifast Diet Review
7.3 Total Score
Reading Time: 4 minutes
  • Weight Loss Technique: Liquid based diet
  • Weight Loss Short-term: Good
  • Weight Loss Long-term: Poor
  • Safety: Can be unsafe
  • Price:$150/week
  • Better Alternative: Tap Here to See..

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 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. I could not find this company name under the Better Business Bureau registered businesses.

Reasons Why People Start Optifast

  • The patient is needing to lose a large amount 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
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How Much Does Optifast Cost?

Optifast usually costs around $150 per week. The generic answer would be, that it varies based on which clinic you attend and which program they assign to you. However, most clients end up being on the program for at least 18-26 weeks which equates to about $2,700-$3,900 total.

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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 $2,500+, 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.

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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.

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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.

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Optifast Side Effects

  • In women, the formation of gallstones can result from rapid weight loss.
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
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Bottom Line: Is Optifast a Rip-Off or Worth to Try?

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.*

7.3 Total Score
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*Please keep in mind that with any diet or weight loss program, individual results will vary.

This content is strictly the opinion of ConsumersCompare.org and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither ConsumersCompare.org nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

Read full Medical Disclaimer here.


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  1. Help…? I am 100 lbs overweight and desperate to lose. However, I do not want to do surgery unless I feel like I have nothing left in me to fight anymore. It is a daily struggle, but I believe it can be done. I would like to try Optifast but it seems there is a vast difference between the 800 & the 900, and that a doctor’s supervision is required. Apart from Brenda whose son was on the diet without the surgery, has anyone else tried this product without the surgery? Looking for any assistance anyone can offer. Many thanks.

  2. Been a tad over 2 months for me, at my half way point on my shakes. I am using half old formula and half new formula to cut sugar way back. I have lost as of today 40 pounds in 2 months THAT IS HUGE I need to lose another 35 and Im done!! I have thinning hair too, and looked up the vitamins needed to curb that. Hoping it works. I use Sugar free Jello if get hungry, even sneak in some Trader Joes Organic low sodium chix broth helps when I get really hungry. I do water walking in my pool 3-5 x a week. This diet is NOT for the weak for sure. BUT SO easy, no shopping or cooking or cleaning, I use my Ninji bullet and rinse it and put it back in fridge. I use coffee with my chocolate shake and sugar free root beer syrup in my vanilla shake, Strawberry, I add banana extract. So many things you can do with extracts or sugar free things, Best of luck you all.

  3. Reply
    Cheryl Mercer Campbell July 17, 2019 at 11:50 am

    I started the Optifast program two weeks ago today. Not finding a lot of current information or support groups on the internet. Lost 10.4 the first week and will be getting weighed again later today.

  4. Reply
    Gilbert Desgranges July 17, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    I have lost 103.5 pounds on the Optifast 900 program under the supervision of my family doctor, the program doctor and, many wonderful people working within the program(support, dietician, nutririonist, psychologist, etc). went from a 54 waist to 35 waist. I looked really funny wearing baggy pants and constantly making holes in my belt!!! It took about 3 1/2 months(Aug – Dec and yes through the Holidays!) however please note i was on the Optifast 900 and NOT on the Optifast 800. That meant 4 shakes of 225 calories each per day. Daily 2 hour walks and the program worked wonders! I had no real difficulties but I must say I was determined like no other!! I never once deviated from the program even refusing free samples of chocolate, candy, foods at various Trade shows, Costsco, etc. I did not even mind the hair loss, the constant feeling of being cold and having to get a completely new wardrobe. That was in 2011. I kept it off until I stopped writing my daily journal. I thought I could do without it as I knew all the calories in everything I was eating. Imperceptibly, the portions started increasing and 5 years later I have gained 60 Lbs. I am writing this so you know that the program does work however there is a requirement to “keep it up” through portion control and daily walks (not necessarilly exercise unless you want to) and keeping up with the good habits developped throughout the weight loss phase. I have started again to be careful and although I am limited in so far as walks go (I am caring for an aging aunt 24/7) I do my best to go up and down the stairs many times a day and I will be on the stationary bike an hour at least per day bike as soon as I get it; it is on it’s way.

  5. I was so tired of eating and needed a break. The liquid part of this diet was the easiest thing I ever did. After the first few weeks, I felt great, had tons of energy and really enjoyed the diet. I added calorie free flavored syrups to my shakes such as peanut butter banana, caremel, coffee and many more. Did nothing but liquid for 4 months and loved it. I lost 110 lbs in 9 months. Unfortunately, if you don’t do the diet correctly, there is a big chance of developeing gallstones where I ended up having to have my gallbladder removed.

  6. 4.5

    Over the past 3 months I have put on a huge amount of weight do to an accident (elbow reconstruction) leaving me unable to exercise for a couple of months and still with a huge amount of restrictions on what Im allowed to do. Im male, 1.74m tall and before I started the Optifast diet I weighed 93kg.

    I’ve been on Optifast just over 2 weeks ago with a daily plan of 3 meals which consist of shake for breakfast, shake or bar for lunch with low carb vegetables 1 cup (so no potatoes, peas etc) and dinner consisting of shake plus 2 to 3 cups of vegetables (low carb) and about 1.5 to 2lt water daily. And importantly, no carbs.

    After the first couple of days of withdrawal (potato and bread the hardest to give up), some headaches and irritable stomach things settled down and Im now enjoying the vegetable diet with the shakes. Don’t feel overly hungry and have good energy levels. Im getting to the gym 3 days a week for an hour on the treadmill (mix jogging/walking) and have so far lost 5.3kg which im rally happy with.

    My plan is to lose a further 10kg to bring my total weight down to a respectable 78kg. Im expecting to hit that weight sometime in December.

    After that, I will move to a keto based approach to eating going forward with some intermittent fasting that I hope will keep me in the 78 to 80kg range. Naturally, I will be bringing back into my life alcohol (wine primarily) and occasional carbs (yep bread and potato) but in strict moderation…

    Do I think Optifast is worth it… For me, yes… Im not bothered about the support groups as its obvious to me that I need to drop the weight to get healthy and for future quality of life!

    Good luck on your own personal weight loss journey!

    + PROS: gives you structure to your weight loss program Shakes/bars/deserts give you the boost of nutrients etc that you otherwise are stripping from your food intake
    - CONS: No real support if you cant manage to keep yourself motivated (apart from website)
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