The OPTIFAST ® Program
at Tufts-New England Medical Center

The Tufts-NEMC OPTIFAST ® program is designed for people who are significantly overweight, or have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. It uses high quality meal replacement products in combination with a comprehensive lifestyle education program that is designed to help you lose weight, improve your health, and develop the skills needed to successfully manage your weight in the future.

What is Optifast?

The OPTIFAST ® Program includes three important components: medical, behavioral and nutritional. All three of these components are continuously monitored to assure that you remain in peak health.

Medical monitoring:

  • A thorough preliminary medical evaluation (history, examination and any necessary lab tests) by a physician who specializes in weight management is conducted to determine your health status and to determine if OPTIFAST ® is right for you.
  • Weekly medical monitoring of your progress by health professionals who specialize in weight management.
  • Communication with your primary care physician, as necessary.
  • To ensure proper utilization, these products are intended for use only under the supervision of a physician and/or other health care professional.

Lifestyle Counseling and Education:

  • Lifestyle change is the cornerstone of successful weight management.
  • OCC behavioral health professionals, who specialize in weight control, counsel OPTIFAST ® patients individually and in group settings.
  • Our program attempts to help you identify lifestyle factors, activity patterns and eating habits that have contributed to your weight gain, then helps you build a healthy new lifestyle that fits your food preferences and routine.

Nutritional Intervention:

  • People attempting to lose weight may be better able to manage the amount and types of food they consume if their choices for calories are controlled or limited. A diet that is portion-controlled, restricts calories, and minimizes the handling of food has been shown to improve adherence to a diet plan.
  • OPTIFAST ® diet products include drinks, soups and bars. These nutritional products are one of the "tools" patients can use to help control caloric intake and manage weight long-term.
  • The nutritional products cut calories not nutrients. When used as directed, our protocols each provide complete, balanced nutrition including at least 100% of the recommended daily intake for protein and all essential vitamins and minerals.

Why Should I consider OPTIFAST® ?

  • •Use of a product such as OPTIFAST ® can accelerate weight loss. On average, participants lose 2 to 4 pounds per week, which is approximately twice as much as with usual low calorie diets.
  • •Some people find it preferable to lose weight by consuming a completely planned diet where there is little room for choice.
  • Patients with diabetes or other health problems may experience significant benefit in their conditions from the accelerated weight loss obtained with OPTIFAST ® .

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the OPTIFAST ® Program?

  • Patients may consume OPTIFAST ® products for up to 12 weeks, after which there is a gradually transition back to food over 6 weeks
  • •Patients are expected to commit to the full 18 week program

When I am in the OPTIFAST ® program, how often will I be seen at the OCC?

  • OPTIFAST ® patients are seen weekly for behavioral groups, medical monitoring and/or lab tests.

Are there risks associated with the OPTIFAST ® program?

  • In general, the risks are minor and include dehydration, fatigue, constipation and intolerance to cold.
  • Other more serious risks may rarely occur and will be discussed at your initial visit after your medical status is reviewed.

What are the costs?

  • The cost for the program is $450 for the full 18 week behavioral and nutritional component and approximately $100 per week for the meal and snack replacements.
  • The medical and lab visits are usually covered by insurance.

For more information on Optifast , click here




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