The OPTIFAST VLCD Program is suitable for those with a Body Mass Index:

  • BMI > 30
  • BMI > 27+ risk factors, poor mobility or the need for weight reduction prior to surgery

Risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides, high blood sugar levels, family history of heart disease, sleep apnoea, or over 45 years of age with a BMI of >27

Your waist circumference measurement can also be used as a suitability indicator. At risk: Male > 102cm, Female > 88cm.

For a BMI of 25-30, you may consider starting the program at the Transition phase, combined with physical exercise, to achieve your desired results.

Medical supervision is always advised when following a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) Program, especially if you have a risk factor. Click here to find an accredited Healthcare Professional near you


Normal weight



Children under 18 years

Presence of porphyria

Recent myocardial infarction

Severe/Advance renal or liver failure

Normal weight (BMI <25kg m2)

A Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) or the Intensive phase should never be used by normal weight individuals because it may lead to excessive loss of lean body mass. If your BMI is under 25kg m2 we would recommend that you consult an Accredited Practicing Dietitian for a suitable weight management plan or consider following either the transition or maintenance phase.


OPTIFAST VLCD Program is not recommended during pregnancy for a number of reasons. The low carbohydrate content is designed to induce ketosis (fat breakdown) which leads to ketones in the blood. Although the level of ketones is fairly low, the effect on the fetus is unknown. In addition, the OPTIFAST VLCD Program is not designed to meet the increased nutrient requirements of pregnancy (e.g. protein, iron and some B group vitamins).


The Intensive phase of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program (replacing all 3 meals with OPTIFAST VLCD products) is not recommended for women who are breastfeeding as it is not designed to meet the increased nutritional demands of lactation. If you are breastfeeding, you may start on the Maintenance phase (i.e. with replacing one meal per day with an OPTIFAST VLCD product). You can gradually increase the amount of meals replaced once your baby has started to wean off breast milk and is also consuming a reasonable quantity of solids. Fatigue is obviously a problem when you're breastfeeding so reducing your calorie intake too much can make this worse as well as affect your milk supply.

Children under 18 years of age

VLCDs are not recommended for still growing; however, there may be children in whom severe obesity is resistant to other treatments. In such individuals the risks associated with obesity should be weighed against the risks of using a VLCD and should only be prescribed and monitored by a qualified healthcare professional.

Presence of porphyria

Porphyria is the umbrella term for a group of rare disorders that involve a particular molecule called ‘haem’. Haem contains iron and is used in metabolic processes throughout the body. Porphyria occurs when the body cannot convert naturally occurring compounds (called ‘porphyrins’) into haem. While all tissues have haem, those that use it the most are the red blood cells, liver and bone marrow. Porphyria can affect the skin, nervous system and gastrointestinal system, depending on the specific type. Porphyria is contraindicated with OPTIFAST VLCD as extreme calorie restriction can provoke an acute attack.

Recent myocardial infarction (Heart Attack) or unstable angina (Chest Pain)

If you have recently suffered from a Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack) or have been diagnosed with Unstable Angina (Chest Pain) we recommend that you consult your doctor or cardiologist to determine whether the OPTIFAST VLCD Program is suitable for you.

Severe/Advance renal or liver failure

Persons with advanced liver or renal disease are not suitable for the OPTIFAST VLCD Program, as they may require altered intakes of electrolytes and nutrients.


What is your weight?

What is your height?

You have a BMI of ##RESULT##
The next step for you...

As your BMI is less than 30 and you have no risk factors you can still follow the OPTIFAST® VLCD™ Program however you may consider starting at the Transition or Maintenance phase.

Under 18.5 Under weight
18.5 - 24.9 Healthy
25.0 - 29.9 Overweight
30 and over Obese

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