Banner image

OPTIFAST® program


Good nutrition is key to losing weight and making the most of your life. But with so much conflicting advice out there, how can you choose the best healthy diet for weight loss? OPTIFAST® from Allina Health is a total meal replacement program that makes it simple to lose weight quickly, safely and for the long term.  

The OPTIFAST® plan includes: 

  • Nutritious meal replacement products 
  • Consultation and regular check-ins with a care team including doctors, nurse practitioners and dieticians 
  • Education opportunities including free classes 
  • Ongoing support to build healthy, lifelong habits.   

Learn more

What is Optifast?

OPTIFAST® is a weight-loss program that includes meal replacement foods—soups, protein bars, weight loss protein shakes and more—plus medical supervision from an experienced, compassionate team. Meal replacement products are formulated to provide complete nutrition for weight loss by providing all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs each day.  

OPTIFAST® includes three phases: 

  1. Active weight loss (typically months 1-4): Begin a diet of OPTIFAST® full meal replacement products 
  2. Transition (typically months 4-6): Gradually add self-prepared foods back in to your diet 
  3. Maintenance (typically months 6-24): Continue to attend support sessions to maintain weight loss long-term 

OPTIFAST® how and why 

What’s the OPTIFAST® program all about? Does it work? Will I keep the weight off? Find out in these short videos. 

You must have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher to enroll in the OPTIFAST® program. The cost is similar to or even less than what an average person spends on groceries and eating out in restaurants each week. 

Optifast can help treat

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can help treat and reduce your risk of: 

  • type 2 diabetes 
  • high blood pressure 
  • sleep apnea 
  • arthritis 
  • heart disease 
  • high cholesterol 
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) 
  • infertility 
  • headaches 
  • back and joint pain  

If you are postponing knee, hip or other surgery because your doctor has recommended you lose weight before surgery, OPTIFAST® may be a solution. 

Health benefits of OPTIFAST®

In this short video, a dietitian explains the video icon Multiple benefits of the OPTIFAST® program  |  Multiple benefits of the OPTIFAST® program video transcript

What to expect from Optifast

Initial consultation. When you come for your first visit, you will review your health history and goals with your OPTIFAST® provider. You will be able to share your motivation for losing weight and ask any questions you have about the program.  

Designing a plan. Your care team will be the same throughout the OPTIFAST® program so they can truly get to know you and help you reach your individual goals. Together you will design a weight loss plan that’s specific to your health needs and goals.   

Replacement meals and more. You will purchase OPTIFAST® meal replacement products in the Allina Health clinic where you have your medical appointments. You are also strongly encourage to attend our free educational classes. 

Paul’s OPTIFAST® journey 

How does it feel to lose weight with OPTIFAST®? Get a firsthand perspective from our patient Paul, who kept a video journal of his OPTIFAST® journey.   

How it works

In a series of short videos, a dietitian  discusses how OPTIFAST® works, how much you can expect to lose and more.

Contact us about Optifast

To enroll in the OPTIFAST® Weight Management program:

Complete the health history form. The health history form allows the provider to review your medical, surgical and weight history. The Weight Management staff will review your form and call you to schedule an appointment.

Email, mail or fax your health history form to:

Mail: Weight Management Referral Specialist
Mercy Specialty Center
11850 Blackfoot St. NW, Suite 130
Coon Rapids, MN 55433
Fax: 763-236-2044

If you have any questions or would like the health history form sent to your Allina Health account, please call 763-236-0940.

Related links

Reviewed by: Deborah Vanderhall, MHA, RN; Manager, Bariatrics & Weight Loss Operations and Clinical Programs

First published: 12/20/2018
Last reviewed: 1/26/2021