WHAT IS OPTIFAST?
Optifast is a meal replacement plan which relies on specially-formulated milkshakes to curb hunger and promote weight loss. The shakes come in two formulations: premixed and ready-to-mix. These milkshakes are also the brainchild of Nestle Global (the company behind Toll house, Friskies, and Coffee Mate).
These meal-replacement shakes come in three flavors: French vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. For best results, Nestle advises clients to mix and match these shakes with its other weight loss products to achieve better results. Each shake, according to Nestle, provides 100 percent of your daily value for more than 24 vitamins and minerals. In addition to large amounts of dried milk and calcium caseinate, every shake contains 14 grams of protein.
So, are these claims true? Are these shakes effective weight loss tools? Are these products tasty as well wholesome? Let’s find out.
OPTIFAST INGREDIENTS AND SIDE EFFECTS
While these shakes have many wholesome ingredients, such as vitamins K1 and B12, they also contain the following:
- Nonfat Dry Milk: Dehydrated milk added to foods because of its long shelf life. Most of the dried milk in the United States is manufactured overseas. Consequently, this led to 300,000 people falling ill after a shipment contaminated with melamine hit US shores.
- Fructose: This is a fruit-based sugar that quickly absorbs into the bloodstream. A study by the University of California Davis concluded that consumption of this ingredient can lead to: weight gain, insulin-resistant diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. Furthermore, Fructose has also been linked to numerous metabolic disorders.
- Calcium Caseinate: A protein extracted from cow’s milk. It’s an inexpensive ingredient used to increase the protein content of many foods. While it can make you feel full, calcium caseinate lacks key amino acids.
- Canola Oil: This is a common cooking oil made from the rapeseed. Companies often add BHT and BHA to preserve the resulting liquid. The state of California also lists this ingredient as a carcinogen.
- Artificial Flavors: Man-made ingredients added to change the taste profile of a food. These typically act as a substitute for hard-to-find natural ingredients. Companies often extract these flavorings from common allergens..
Finally, each serving contains scale-crushing 160 calories. When you couple that with the dangers posed by fructose and low fiber, these shakes might promote weight gain.
OPTIFAST CONTACT INFORMATION AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
As mentioned earlier, this product is the responsibility of Nestle’s health science branch. You can reach this company by:
Phone: (800) 662-2540
Snail Mail: 445 State Street, Fremont, Michigan 49412
The Optifast website does not mention whether refunds are available. Furthermore, Nestle has struggled with a variety of contamination-related controversies in recent years. The New York Times once said, “The Food and Drug Administration … was investigating and working with Nestle to pinpoint the source of the latest E. coli contamination (with Nestle).” Nestle never expanded on the steps taken to prevent such issues in the future.
EDITOR’S TIP: Our experts believe it takes at least 5 months of continuous use to see results with meal replacement shakes. Buy in bulk to save time and money.
CUSTOMER OPINIONS OF OPTIFAST
Few reviews are available for the shakes themselves. We pulled some snippets from what we managed to find:
“Found I was always hungry.”
“First three days were awful.”
“Struggling a bit.”
BENEFITS OF THE OPTIFAST MEAL REPLACEMENT PLAN
- -Each shake provides your daily requirements for 24 different vitamins and minerals.
- Every shake provides 14 grams of protein.
- Milkshakes come in strawberry, chocolate, or French vanilla. –
DRAWBACKS OF THE OPTIFAST MEAL REPLACEMENT PLAN
- The shakes contain zero fiber. WebMD asks people to pick meal replacement shakes which have at least “3-5 grams of fiber per serving.”
- Each serving clocks in at 160 calories. Many of these are derived from sugar and empty proteins.
- Ingredients list include products linked to increased risk for obesity and various cancers.
- -Many customers criticize this diet for its inability to suppress hunger.
- -Little information is available about the effectiveness of this product.
- Price per bottle far exceeds weight loss value per bottle.
- -Any attempts to ask about pricing results in a sales pitch and invitation to an Optifast weight loss center.
CONCLUSION – DOES OPTIFAST WORK?
A proper meal replacement shake needs two things: plenty of fiber and low amounts of sugar. Optifast has neither. Better options on the market offer shakes free of preservatives, full of high-quality protein, and an all-natural set of ingredients. Better yet, many of these alternatives give greater clarity on the customer experience.
Our favorite meal replacement plan happens to be 18 Shake. These shakes are full of fiber, low in sugar, all-natural, and delicious. Dozens of customers echo our sentiments. If you don’t believe us, feel free to check out 18 Shake’s customer testimonial page.