OPTIFAST (Complete Meal Replacement Program)

OPTIFAST is a complete meal replacement program.  It combines the proven effectiveness of a calorie controlled diet with medical monitoring, support, and lifestyle education.  The result is safe, fast, and effective long-term weight loss.

The complete meal replacement program takes the guesswork out of patients’ diets. By using meal replacements patients are free from the need to count calories and measure portions.  Meal replacements allow patients to consume much fewer calories while providing all of the protein, vitamins, and minerals needed which could not be accomplished with food alone.  This vacation from food allows patients time to focus on the lifestyle changes needed for long term weight loss.

Initially, patients may feel unsure if they can follow this diet.  After 2-3 days on the program, the body adjusts to decreased calories, and patients should not experience hunger or fatigue.

Besides feeling better, patients can greatly improve their health.  A study of 20,000 patients that completed 22 weeks of the OPTIFAST program showed a 52 pound average weight loss, a 29% average decrease in blood glucose, a 15% average decrease in cholesterol, and a 10% average decrease in blood pressure*. Many people lose far more than the average 52 pounds with even greater impact in health.

What to expect from the OPTIFAST program?

Patients can expect a 3-5 pound weight loss each week**, depending on your starting weight.  The ability to lose a significant amount of weight safely and quickly allows patients to rapidly improve medical conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint pain, and diabetes.

Patients will meet with Dr. Auriemma weekly.  He will monitor their weight and adjust the doses of diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure medicine if necessary.  As a result of their weight loss, many patients are not only able to significantly reduce their medications, in many cases, patients are able to eliminate medications including insulin.

While visiting the clinic weekly, you will participate in group lifestyle education classes.  These classes are taught by a registered dietitian, an exercise physiologist, and a behaviorist.  They provide patients time to interact and learn from experienced professionals as well as their peers.


*Wadden TA, et al. A multicenter evaluation of a proprietary weight loss program for the treatment of marked obesity: A five year follow-up. Int J Eat Disord. 1997; 22:203-212.

**Saris, W. H.M. (2001), Very-Low-Calorie Diets and Sustained Weight Loss. Obesity Research, 9: 295S–301S. doi: 10.1038/oby.2001.134

**Very Low Calorie Diets – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders