The OPTIFAST Program is a very low energy diet program, consisting of 4 levels. The program is designed to start on the Intensive Level (where you replace all 3 meals with OPTIFAST VLCD products) and move through the levels as desired weight loss is achieved.

Very low energy diet (VLED) programs are widely researched, showing clinical efficacy for safe and effective weight loss.1,2 OPTIFAST is used in over 80 clinical publications worldwide, demonstrating the positive effects and safe outcomes on weight management. This research includes comprehensive programs where individuals are transitioned through each level to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Program level recommendation and selection

Australian Obesity Management Algorithm for primary care recommends that obesity management pathways should be determined by a person’s anthropometry – body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC), and the presence and severity of obesity-related complications.3

OPTIFAST Program level recommendations within the OPTIFAST My Program app are provided based on the following:*^

  • BMI ≥ 30kg/m2, or ≥27 kg/m2 with comorbidities^4

· Intensive Level: Replace 3 meals a day for up to 12 weeks (<800 kcal/day)

  • Individuals who have completed the Intensive Level intervention and are ready to start transitioning onto regular meals,2those who have comorbidities which determine the Intensive Level to be unsuitable,5 or those who are overweight (BMI 25-29 kg/m2) where a reduced calorie diet is required but a VLED is not suitable.4,6

· Active Level 2: Replace 2 meals a day (~1000 kcal/day)

· Active Level 1: Replace 1 meal a day (~1200 kcal/day)

· Maintenance Level: calorie-controlled diet (~1500 kcal/day)

The OPTIFAST My Program App provides a selection of healthy meal options for individuals to choose from in accordance with their selected program level.

*In addition to the program level recommended, all individuals are presented with other less-restrictive levels which are also appropriate for their specified BMI and medical history. All users are recommended to speak to their healthcare professional for advice.

^Certain medical conditions and ages are not suitable for the Intensive Level of the Program, and these are considered in the App recommendations. Individuals should speak to their healthcare professional for further advice.

For more details on each phase of the OPTIFAST Program, see our advice here.


1. Brown, A. and A.R. Leeds. Nutrition Bulletin, 2019. 44(1): 7-24.

2. Delbridge, E. and J. Proietto. Asia Pacific Journal Clinical Nutrition, 2006. 15 (Suppl): 49-54.

3. Markovic, T.P., at al. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 2022. 16(5): 353-363.

4. NHMRC. Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, Adolescents and Children in Australia. National Health and Medical Research Council, 2013.

5. OPTIFAST Management of Complex Cases Protocol. Nestlé Health Science, February 2020.

6. Kim, J.Y. Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome, 2021. 30:20-31

7. Food Standards Australia New Zealand https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/F2015L00472

(accessed 20th November 2023)