Virtual Visits

This program is now being run virtually with visits conducted via video through the UC Davis MyChart app.  Patients will still come to clinic to pick up their product a few times per month however the video visits now provide more flexibility for our patients living in outlying areas.

The serious solution for weight loss™

Non-Surgical Weight Loss Program – Getting off to a good start!

We at the UC Davis Bariatric Surgery Clinic are pleased to offer an optional non-surgical weight loss program called Optifast®.  This program is for 18+ year olds, with BMI greater than 30. This is a week to week program that uses Optifast® meal replacement products to provide a very low calorie diet. The program’s educational sessions will support the lifestyle changes needed to promote weight loss and long term weight maintenance.

Download the Optifast® application (PDF)

Patients will need to request a referral from their Primary Care Physician for: OPTIFAST NON SURGICAL WEIGHT LOSS                                                                                                                                                                   

Benefits of Optifast®

  • Appropriate calorie level to promote weight loss
  • Appropriate macronutrient balance
  • High-quality protein
  • Essential nutrients provided by products
  • Medical monitoring

Our program consists of:

  • 12 weeks of full meal replacement; 5-8 products per day* 
  • Time frame of full product weeks will be determined at consultation 
  • 3 weeks of transition 
  • Personalized support with weekly educational sessions with a registered dietitian

*Depending on starting weight, and desired weight loss

This program is only offered for patients with a UC Davis primary care physician.

If you have further questions about the program, please call our coordinator: 
Elizabeth Martinez (916) 734-2858

Contraindications to a 960 calorie diet

Patients will not be admitted into the OPTIFAST® Program if they have had:

  • Recent myocardial infarction (3-6 months).
  • History of cerebral vascular accident (stroke).
  • Diabetes mellitus with a history of severe ketoacidosis.
  • Chronic use of steroids, greater than 20mg daily.
  • Bleeding peptic ulcer (unless there is radiological evidence of healing 6 months prior to program entry).
  • A psychiatric history that includes suicide attempts.
  • Active thrombophlebitis (or any other condition where decreased blood volume would put the patient at risk).

In addition, the program will not accept patients who are pregnant, and will remove patients from active treatment at the first suspicion of pregnancy.

Relative contraindications to the Optifast® Program

Patients with the following conditions may be appropriate for the OPTIFAST® Program, based on the physician’s judgment.

  • History of transient ischemic attack.
  • History of thrombophlebitis.
  • Patients on lithium carbonate.
  • Occupational hazards (any job requiring a person to be alert at all times, e.g., surgeons, pilots, bus drivers, truck drivers, window washers).
  • History of liver or kidney disease.
  • Use of drugs with potent gastrointestinal side effects, e.g., alka-butazolidin.

Patients with psychiatric history

All patients taking psychotropic drugs will require a letter from their psychiatrist, as well as their primary care physician. 

Patients on certain drugs may require extra monitoring and blood tests.

These guidelines should be followed:

  • The patient’s personal psychiatrist should agree to his or her participation in the program.
  • Psychiatric condition should be stable, i.e., not in crisis.
  • Patient should be familiar and comfortable with side effects of psychotropic medication.

Financial Commitment & Product Policy & Procedures

Financial Commitment:  Week to Week
$500 Start Up Kit (non-refundable)
Medical Visit Copay: Dependent on Insurance (total of 3 visits)


Daily # of Products

Cost Per Week













See the Financial Commitment & Product Policy & Procedures  (PDF)

  1. How do I get in touch with the dietitians? Send an email or call the number listed on the business cards.
  2. After the first week of full product, I want to change my food order, how do I do that? Email or fax your product order to one of the dietitians by Friday of the week before your next product pick up time.
  3. I am not able to make my usual product pick up time, what should I do? Call or email the dietitian to arrange an alternate product pick up time.
  4. I am experiencing some diarrhea what should I do? This could be due to intolerance to lactose. First try using the ready-to-drink (RTD) protein shake instead of the protein powder. If this does not solve the problem then use an OTC product like Lactaid taking one to two tablets with each product. If this is not effective, then add fiber to your program which helps by giving the stool more bulk. One can use OTC Imodium AD one to three capsules per day which will slow intestinal movements. You should let us know if the diarrhea is severe or lasts more than a couple of days. Watch for hidden sorbitol (in sugar-free gums) that can cause diarrhea as well.
  5. I am experiencing some constipation what should I do? Drink plenty of water and be physically active. Add fiber as the products do not contain much. Consider OTC products, which include both soluble and insoluble fiber, and take as directed (typically one tablet twice a day or one heaping teaspoon three times a day). For stubborn constipation, you can use a dose of a laxative such as OTC Miralax for relief (usually not necessary).
  6. I am feeling a little light headed what should I do? Increase your fluid intake. If it persists, contact us to discuss this further and we may consider using a soup for additional salt or medication adjustment if applicable.