OPTIFAST FAQ

Who is OPTIFAST designed for?
OPTIFAST is designed for patients with a body mass index greater than 30, and is only recommended as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

How much does OPTIFAST cost?
The cost of the OPTIFAST program varies by city and by clinic and on the specific program that is right for your weight loss goals and individual medical situation. To get detailed information on the OPTIFAST program, patients attend a free, no-obligation consultation that takes about one hour.

Is medically monitored weight loss safe?OptifastBenefits
Clinical studies suggest medically monitored weight management programs are safe, effective and help individuals to address and modify behaviors to encourage long-term weight management.

Will I keep my weight off?
Patients who continue to use weight maintenance programs have a greater chance of keeping weight off than those patients who do not continue using weight maintenance programs. Fifty percent of patients assessed five years after completing the OPTIFAST Program kept enough weight off to improve their health long term.

How long does the OPTIFAST Program usually last?
The OPTIFAST Program usually lasts 26 weeks, utilizing a full meal replacement plan that transitions to self-prepared “everyday” meals in conjunction with comprehensive patient education and support.

How much weight will I lose?
Although individual results vary, the typical OPTIFAST patient loses over 50 lbs in 18-24 weeks.

Can I eat food while on the OPTIFAST Program?
The OPTIFAST Program consists of three phases – an Active Weight Loss Phase, a Transition Phase, and a Long-Term Weight Management Phase. During the 12-week Active Weight Loss Phase, you will consume a full meal replacement diet of OPTIFAST products. During the Transition Program, you will transition to eating self-prepared regular food. OPTIFAST programs vary slightly. Please consult with your OPTIFAST healthcare professional on what is appropriate for you.

Is OPTIFAST covered by insurance?
Insurance carriers are inconsistent in what they cover when it comes to weight loss and vary greatly by state. It’s important to contact insurance providers, prior to the program, to see if they cover a portion of it. Employee benefits and health care spending accounts are also options for reimbursement with some employers.

Is it true I can’t eat while I am on the OPTIFAST Program?
The typical OPTIFAST Program dietary protocol doesn’t include conventional food. A
key component of the program is a specially formulated full meal replacement diet (generally 800–1280 Optifast scalecalories/day), followed by a gradual transition to regular foods at
the completion of the active weight loss phase. The OPTIFAST products used in the diet provide high quality protein and 100% of the Daily Value for 24 vitamins and minerals in the recommended number of servings.

I read that as soon as you start eating regular foods all your weight comes back. Is this true?
While patients transition from their OPTIFAST Program diet to conventional foods, they generally continue to lose weight but at a slower rate. Some people may experience a slight transient weight regain during this time. In those people who do gain some weight, the amount is typically 2 pounds and tends to occur near the end of the transition phase when carbohydrates are added back into the diet. This small weight regain is due to two factors:

1) The weight of the solid food that is now present in the intestine, as well as
2) the weight of water retained as a natural response to the increased carbohydrate and sodium intake.

Will strict dieting ruin my metabolism?
Research by Wadden et. al.3 demonstrates that dieting does decrease resting metabolic rate (RMR). The stricter the diet, the more it depressed RMR. This is the body’s natural response to a food shortage.

The study went on to find that RMR increases as calorie intake increases; at six months after OPTIFAST Program participation, there was no difference in the RMR of people who lost weight using the 420 calorie/day OPTIFAST diet* and those who lost weight using a 1200 calorie/day reduced-calorie diet of conventional foods.

People who lose a significant amount of weight will have a slightly lower RMR than they did before dieting because they will lose some lean body tissue. It is important to recognize that as people gain weight they gain lean body tissue to help carry the extra pounds. When they lose fat they lose some of the associated lean tissue.

To help ease the transition to regular foods, the OPTIFAST Program includes a gradual return to higher calorie levels, which helps give the dieter’s metabolism time to increase. Regular exercise can also help maintain and increase a person’s RMR.
*The standard OPTIFAST diet now provides a minimum of 800 calories/day.

Can I lose weight and keep it off if I don’t exercise?
It is possible to lose weight and keep it off without exercise, but it is very rare. According to the National Weight Control Registry data, people who don’t begin an exercise program when they try to lose weight and/or stop exercising after losing weight, almost always regain whatever weight they took off.4 The NWCR has identified that successful long-term weight loss maintainers report high levels of regular physical activity.