Optifast, a weight loss program, aims to incorporate healthy lifestyles such as diet supplements, meal substitutes, medical clinics and more. The plan promises weight loss as well as a reduction in waist circumference. But, the benefits of ingredients like succralose or canola oil aren’t proven.
Our research team examined the claims of the program, as well as its medical monitoring and patient journeys. Our team compared Optifast’s published success stories with weight-loss contests with customer reviews to determine if this plan is right for you.
What is Optifast?
Nestle Health Sciences has created Optifast, a brand that offers weight loss programs to people with high BMIs (30 or more) who are overweight or obese. Optifast’s weight management program requires Optifast shakes as well as meal replacement foods like soups and bars. The programs are intended for people overweight, of all ages, teens and those who want to lose weight.
These programs are comprehensive and include the involvement of psychologists, doctors, and other health professionals in each participant’s weight loss journey. A Optifast meal plan includes a liquid diet and Optifast shakes.
The diet should be followed for at least 4 weeks. It is easy to follow because of the time frame. This eating plan is very low in calories and results in weight loss. For those who need immediate weight loss, Optifast offers VLCD options.
- International Journal of Obesity – Very-low-calorie diets promote weight loss, but research shows that consuming up to 1200 calories per day is just as effective as 800 calories per day – based on a comparison of a VLCD to a low-calorie diet.
- International Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism – If you’re looking for improvements to things like blood sugar and cholesterol, rapid weight loss tends to show more favorable results. People who lose weight slowly have a better body composition.
- International Journal of Behavioral Medicine – Overall, it appears that, as long as a person is considered healthy enough to adopt a strict diet and is being followed up by a healthcare professional, a very-low-calorie diet is an effective means of weight loss.
What does Optifast do?
People may lose weight quickly with the Optifast weight management program. There are programs that are specifically designed for those who need to lose weight. Optifast program participants must consume Optifast products in the main phase of their diet, which can last up to six weeks.
These are the three phases of Optifast:
- Active weight loss
Active Weight Loss
The doctor performs tests on the patient and creates a customized program. You’ll be following an Optifast complete meal replacement diet during the Active Weight Loss Phase.
Active 2 – You will consume the following:
- 3 OPTIFAST VLCD Products
- 2 cups low-starch vegetables
- One teaspoon vegetable oil
- Allowing less than 800 calories per person daily
Research from 1983 showed that very low-calorie diets, which were at or below 800 calories per day, were safe. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, weight maintenance should be addressed once goals have been achieved or if the dieter resumes a higher calorie diet.
The same research was published in 2017 The 2017 research was published in the European Review of Medical and Pharmacological Sciences.
In 2014, the International Journal of Clinical Practice published a study that examined a three-year outcome survey that “determines the effect of very low-calorie diet (VLCD) on long-term weight loss.”
According to the Journal of Gerontology, there is even research suggesting that a VLCD could be used as a treatment for obesity in the elderly population.
This phase lasts approximately 12 weeks. You will be monitored weekly. A weekly group meeting is another benefit.
The transition phase is also known as Active 1 Phase. It lasts approximately six weeks. Slowly, you will start to eat regular foods. You will continue to attend group sessions.
This phase will see you consume:
- 1 Optifast VLCD Product
- Two low-calorie meals each (approximately 500 calories each).
- Minimum 2 cups low-starch vegetables
- Two servings of fruit
- One serving of dairy
- providing 1000-1200 calories per day
Long-term Weight Management
All Optifast VLCD products that are considered Maintenance Level have been eliminated. The focus now is on weight loss.
Your daily dietary intake includes:
- Three low-calorie meals with approximately 400 calories each
- Two servings of fruit
- One serving of dairy
- plus low-starch vegetables
Dieters learn and practice healthy eating habits throughout the program. The dieters eat regular meals and Optifast meal substitute meals. Optifast also offers ongoing support.
Optifast offers many 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
Milk Protein Concentrate
There are many milk-based protein powders that can be used in Optifast shakes. However, research suggests that milk protein concentrate might not be the best option. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology (JFT), milk protein concentrate is not very solubil. Protein powders that are not properly dissolved can leave a grainy taste in the mouth.
Soy Protein Isolate
The journal Nutrients reports that soyfoods are a source of high-quality protein as well as healthy fat. Soy also has been found to improve mood and skin health. Although there have been concerns about the safety of isoflavone for some people due to the possible hormone-like effects, the authors state that side effects reported in animals are rare and most of the research on soyfoods supports its safety and benefits.
Maltodextrins (MDs), a group of carbohydrates (CHOs), are extracted from a variety of botanical sources. They are industrially manufactured by the enzymatic or chemical hydrolysis of starch followed by purification and drying,” according to Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. There are two types maltodextrin: one that is easy to digest and another that is more difficult to digest. We are unsure which type is used in Optifast shakes.
It could have a positive impact on the product’s dynamics if maltodextrin was added to it as a source or prebiotic.
Vitamins and Minerals
You might be concerned about buying a multivitamin that has more vitamins and minerals. These are used in meal replacement shakes to replicate the vitamins and minerals found in whole foods. It’s impossible to duplicate everything so it’s common to add a generic amount.
There have been some concerns about the Optifast products and programs. There are many key benefits to Optifast diet plans such as:
- Weight loss
- Support nutrition
- Easy to prepare meals
- Support for maintenance to ensure long-term success
The Optifast diet plans provide comprehensive support and nutritional counseling. They also offer meals. While other weight management programs may offer nutritional and medical counseling, they don’t provide the food the dieter actually needs.
When a dieter loses weight and improves their overall health and well-being, they are called Optifast. The Optifast program is not designed to improve your physical appearance or numerical weight. If a person has completed the program and shows signs of improvement in their health, it is considered a success.
Optifast Side Effects
The Optifast diet may offer more support than other diets. Regular visits with their doctor, psychologist, or dietitian will help Optifast dieters stay on track and reduce the risk of weight loss. There are some risks associated with a diet such as this:
- Get up stomach
- Irregular bowel movements
THE OPTIFAST DIET
What is the Optifast diet?
The Optifast diet is billed as the “serious solution to weight loss” and is suitable for both adults and teens with a BMI of 30 or higher. This program is medically monitored and is intended to aid in weight loss and overall health. This program typically lasts 26 weeks. It may also be combined with a weight loss surgery. It involves:
- Meal Replacement Diet
- Supervision of Medical Patients
- Lifestyle Education
- Ongoing personalized support
Because Optifast diet plans may not be the right fit for everyone, there will be different guidelines that each person must follow. Throughout the main phases of the diet, they will need to adhere to the recommendations made by their doctors and dietitians.
The majority of dieters consume five to six shakes per day, with a few snacks in between. However, the caloric allowance will vary depending on their weight and health.
What is the cost of Optifast?
The cost of the entire Optifast diet program may run upwards of a few thousand dollars. This price includes all visits to Optifast clinics and applicable tests. It also includes therapy sessions and nutritional counseling. Meal replacement products can also be priced differently.
An Optifast shake, for example, can be as low as $21 or $80. This is because the dieter cannot eat or drink Optifast products after the first phase. It can quickly get costly. Optifast also comes with additional costs. Reports indicate that there is a monthly fee, an initial fee and service fees.
The price of Optifast products varies depending upon the individual’s goals. Optifast products are not affordable for many. For more information on price, you can contact the company directly.
You can search for a clinic near to you on their website by entering your zip code. There you can also find out about possible costs.
Does Optifast Work?
Optifast takes a different approach to weight loss. It’s great for some people, but it can be difficult for others. The Optifast diet limits calories to a certain extent. This may lead to weight loss but some people find it difficult to adhere to such a low-calorie diet.
If a person is willing to begin the program and locates a clinic near them, the diet will still be very intense and may require that they take time away from work and school for appointments. This can be deterrent and could cause people to give up halfway through. Some ingredients in Optifast products may also be questionable.
Although they may not stop dieters from losing weight, that is their primary goal. Optifast user reviews are a great way to see if it works.
The Optiwin Study
The OPTIWIN clinical trial, which lasted 52 weeks, was randomized and controlled. It evaluated the safety of the Optifast weight management program.
The OPTIWIN study involved 135 participants, who were required to follow a 16-week total meal replacement program. The meals consisted of 40% carbohydrates, 40% protein, 20% fat, and were comprised of 40% carbohydrates, 40% proteins, and 20% fat. After 16 weeks, traditional foods were gradually introduced.
The group that was food-based consisted of 137 participants. They followed a low-energy diet and adhered to the Diabetes Prevention Program guidelines.
Each week, both groups exercised vigorously for 150 to 180 minutes. They also participated in behavioral counseling sessions.
The Optifast group lost two times as much weight than the food-based group. The Optifast group lost a mean of -12.4%, compared with -6.0% in 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
Your program is by far the best I have ever tried for weight loss. I have lost almost 40lbs, and I still have 30 pounds to lose. I tried everything before I found Optifast. Nothing has worked as well for me.
“I tried the new Optifast Extra Protein Coffee and it was revolting. “Why did you change it, when I loved the old one?
This product is not cheap so make sure to think about your goals before you click “Buy Now”. Taste – I like it! I bought strawberry and choco, and used them both alternately. It is effective – yes. But it takes discipline, and the right mindset. It includes a list of guidelines and food that you should eat.
The Bottom Line of Optifast
Optifast is one the few weight loss programs that has been medically supervised. Some studies and customer reviews support its effectiveness. There’s a good chance that you will lose weight if you adjust your diet, exercise, and supplementation.
Weight management includes diet, exercise, and supplementation. Support systems and apps for weight loss that fit your lifestyle are available.