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About Medically Supervised Meal Replacements

Medical Meal replacement programs are comprehensive, medically monitored weight loss programs designed to assist you to lose weight quickly and safely.

Medically Supervised Meal Replacements

Meal replacements come in shakes, soups, bars, and deserts. They are completely nutritionally balanced, and are backed by almost 40 years of scientific research.

The programs offered involve either:

  • Full meal replacements - all meals and snacks are replaced
  • Partial meal replacements - a combination of meal replacements and store bought foods

The only meal replacements recommended by Dale Health are Optifast and Cambridge Weight Plan products which are medically designed to maximise weight loss. They supply 100% of the recommended amounts of high quality protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins.

Meal Replacements give you a break from constant food choices, counting calories or worrying about portion sizes and enable you to produce rapid weight loss safely.

Importantly, research shows that as the variety of food choices decrease, caloric intake AND our hunger decreases (stimuli narrowing). Limiting food quantity, frequency and type also allows you to break some of the learned associations you may have developed between your emotions and eating. Your body (and your brain) learns to use food for fuel, rather than for the myriad of reasons that you may have been using food to date.

Medical meal replacement programs, when part of a comprehensive overall treatment program, are the most effective non-surgical weight loss treatments. They are the only programs that have been subject to rigorous ongoing clinical research and been proven as effective solutions.

Full Meal Replacements

The full meal replacement program is a safe and effective rapid weight loss program. As the name suggests, you replace all of your current meals and snacks with the proven weight loss formula recommended by Dale Health (i.e. Optifast or Cambridge Weight Plan products).

The length of the full meal replacement program varies. Some patients intersperse set periods of full meal replacements with periods of partial meal replacements. Other patients, might complete a 12 week course of full meal replacements before transitioning gradually to self-prepared foods.

While it can be daunting, full meal replacement programs are the most effective solutions for rapid weight loss for people with a large amount of weight to lose. Your hunger will naturally subside after the first few days on the program, as your mind and body get used to fewer choices, meal regularity, and your body begins to use its own fat stores for energy. Medications are also available for some people to assist with appetite control.

Partial Meal Replacements

As the name suggests, the partial meal replacement program is a less restrictive version of the full program. It involves replacing some of your meals and snacks with the meal replacement formulas recommended by Dale Health (i.e. Optifast or Cambridge Weight Plan products). For most people, this means replacing 2 meals and 2 snacks, and consuming one calorie controlled store-bought meal.

Partial meal replacements work particularly well for people who cannot commit to replacing all meals, people with smaller amounts of weight to lose, individuals with liver problems who need to lose weight more slowly, individuals who feel daunted at the concept of full meal replacements, or people simply prefer to eat one ‘normal’ meal per day.

The partial meal replacement program is still very effective. The formulas ensure that you receive all the nutrients you require in a calorie controlled way, have a low overall calorie intake, provide ‘stimulus narrowing’ and allow you to break the unhelpful associations you have between food and your emotions. Partial meal replacements also produce significant weight loss relatively quickly (although more slowly than the full program).

The length of the partial meal replacement programs vary.


For some people, medication can be a useful addition to their program.

Research has found that appetite suppressants such as Duromine can be particularly helpful for people on very low calorie diets, or full meal replacement programs. They can make the strict regime easier to stick to, and increase the likelihood of success. However, these drugs are not without side effects and are not suitable for everyone. During your assessment at Dale Health, our GP will explore the suitability of using Duromine with you.

Indicative Results

Medical Meal Replacement Programs have been the subject of over 100 clinical studies. Most of these studies have focused on Optifast, which was first developed in 1974. Optifast has been used by more than 1 million patients during its lifetime.

It has been subject to more than 80 peer-reviewed studies, with over 80,000 participants, and over and over again, it has been proven successful when used in conjunction with a comprehensive treatment program.

One study of 20,000 patients completing 22 weeks of Optifast treatment showed the following results:

This study also showed that five years after completing the program, the majority kept enough weight off to improve their health long-term.