What Is the Optavia Food regimen, and How Does It Work?

Should you don’t get pleasure from cooking or have time to make meals, chances are you’ll be thinking about a weight loss program that minimizes your time within the kitchen.

The Optavia weight loss program does simply that. It encourages weight reduction by a mixture of low calorie, prepackaged merchandise, a number of easy home-cooked meals, and one-on-one help from a coach.

Nonetheless, chances are you’ll wonder if it’s protected and if it has any downsides.

This text opinions the professionals and cons of the Optavia weight loss program, in addition to its effectiveness, that can assist you resolve if it’s match for you.

Score Rating Breakdown

  • General rating: 2.25
  • Quick weight reduction: 4
  • Lengthy-term weight reduction: 1
  • Straightforward to comply with: 3
  • Diet high quality: 1

BOTTOM LINE: The Optavia weight loss program has been proven to end in short-term weight reduction, however analysis is required on its long-term effectiveness. The load loss plan has restricted meals choices and depends closely on prepackaged, closely processed meals and snacks.

The Optavia weight loss program is owned by Medifast, a meal substitute firm. Each its primary weight loss program (additionally referred to as Medifast) and Optavia are low calorie, lowered carb applications that mix packaged meals with do-it-yourself meals to encourage weight reduction.

Nonetheless, in contrast to Medifast, the Optavia weight loss program contains one-on-one teaching.

When you can select from a number of choices, all of them embody branded merchandise referred to as Optavia Fuelings and do-it-yourself entrées often known as Lean and Inexperienced meals.

Optavia Fuelings comprise over 60 objects which are low in carbs however excessive in protein and probiotic cultures, which comprise pleasant micro organism which will increase your intestine well being. These meals embody bars, cookies, shakes, puddings, cereals, soups, and pastas (1).

Though they could appear fairly excessive in carbs, Fuelings are designed to be decrease in carbs and sugar than conventional variations of the identical meals. To perform this, the corporate makes use of sugar substitutes and small portion sizes.

Moreover, many Fuelings pack whey protein powder and soy protein isolate.

For these not thinking about cooking, the corporate offers a line of pre-made low carb meals referred to as Flavors of Residence that may change Lean and Inexperienced meals.

Variations of the weight loss program

The Optavia weight loss program contains two weight reduction applications and a weight upkeep plan:

  • Optimum Weight 5&1 Plan. The preferred plan, this model contains 5 Optavia Fuelings and one balanced Lean and Inexperienced meal every day.
  • Optimum Weight 4&2&1 Plan. For many who want extra energy or flexibility in meals selections, this plan contains 4 Optavia Fuelings, two Lean and Inexperienced meals, and one snack per day.
  • Optimum Well being 3&Three Plan. Designed for upkeep, this one contains three Optavia Fuelings and three balanced Lean and Inexperienced meals per day.

The Optavia program offers further instruments to assist weight reduction and upkeep, together with ideas and inspiration through textual content message, group boards, weekly help calls, and an app that lets you set meal reminders and monitor meals consumption and exercise.

The corporate additionally offers specialised applications for nursing moms, older adults, teenagers, and folks with diabetes or gout.

Though Optavia affords these specialised plans, it’s unclear whether or not this weight loss program is protected for individuals with sure medical situations. Moreover, youngsters and breastfeeding moms have distinctive nutrient and calorie wants that might not be met by the Optavia weight loss program.


The Optavia weight loss program is owned by Medifast and contains pre-purchased, portioned meals and snacks, low carb do-it-yourself meals, and ongoing teaching to encourage weight and fats loss.

Whatever the plan you select, you begin by having a telephone dialog with a coach to assist decide which Optavia plan to comply with, set weight reduction targets, and familiarize your self with this system.

Preliminary steps

For weight reduction, most individuals begin with the Optimum Weight 5&1 Plan, which is an 800–1,000 calorie routine stated that can assist you drop 12 kilos (5.Four kg) over 12 weeks.

On this plan, you eat 5 Optavia Fuelings and 1 Lean and Inexperienced meal day by day. You’re meant to eat 1 meal each 2–Three hours and incorporate 30 minutes of reasonable train most days of the week.

In whole, the Fuelings and meal present not more than 100 grams of carbs per day.

You order these meals out of your coach’s particular person web site, as Optavia coaches receives a commission on fee.

Lean and Inexperienced meals are designed to be excessive in protein and low in carbs. One meal affords 5–7 ounces (145–200 grams) of cooked lean protein, Three servings of non-starchy greens, and as much as 2 servings of wholesome fat.

This plan additionally contains 1 non-compulsory snack per day, which have to be authorized by your coach. Plan-approved snacks embody Three celery sticks, 1/2 cup (60 grams) of sugar-free gelatin, or 1/2 ounce (14 grams) of nuts.

This system additionally features a dining-out information that explains order a Lean and Inexperienced meal at your favourite restaurant. Remember the fact that alcohol is strongly discouraged on the 5&1 Plan.

Upkeep section

When you attain your required weight, you enter a 6-week transition section, which entails slowly growing energy to not more than 1,550 energy per day and including in a greater variety of meals, together with complete grains, fruits, and low fats dairy.

After 6 weeks, you’re meant to maneuver onto the Optimum Well being 3&Three Plan, which incorporates Three Lean and Inexperienced meals and three Fuelings day by day, plus continued Optavia teaching.

Those that expertise sustained success on this system have the choice to turn into educated as an Optavia coach.


The Optavia 5&1 weight reduction plan is low in energy and carbs and contains 5 prepackaged Fuelings and one low carb Lean and Inexperienced meal per day. When you obtain your objective weight, you transition right into a much less restrictive upkeep plan.

The Optavia weight loss program is designed to assist individuals shed pounds and fats by decreasing energy and carbs by portion-controlled meals and snacks.

The 5&1 plan limits energy to 800–1,000 energy per day divided between 6 portioned-controlled meals.

Whereas the analysis is combined, some research have proven higher weight reduction with full or partial meal substitute plans in contrast with conventional calorie-restricted diets (2, 3).

Research additionally reveal that decreasing general calorie consumption is efficient for weight and fats loss — as are low carb diets, no less than within the brief time period (4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

A 16-week examine in 198 individuals with extra weight or weight problems discovered that these on Optavia’s 5&1 Plan had considerably decrease weight, fats ranges, and waist circumference, in contrast with the management group (9).

Particularly, these on the 5&1 Plan misplaced 5.7% of their physique weight, on common, with 28.1% of members dropping over 10%. This may increasingly recommend further advantages, as analysis associates 5–10% weight reduction with a lowered danger of coronary heart illness and kind 2 diabetes (10, 11).

The one-on-one teaching could also be useful as properly.

The identical examine discovered that people on the 5&1 weight loss program who accomplished no less than 75% of the teaching periods misplaced greater than twice as a lot weight as those that participated in fewer periods (9).

But, you must take into account that this examine was funded by Medifast.

All the identical, a number of different research reveal a major enchancment in short- and long-term weight reduction and weight loss program adherence in applications that embody ongoing teaching (12, 13, 14, 15).

At the moment, no research have examined the long-term outcomes of the Optavia weight loss program. Nonetheless, a examine on an identical Medifast plan famous that solely 25% of members maintained the weight loss program for as much as 1 yr (16).

One other take a look at confirmed some weight regain through the weight upkeep section following the 5&1 Medifast weight loss program (17).

The one distinction between the 5&1 Medifast weight loss program and the 5&1 Optavia Plan is that Optavia contains teaching.

General, extra analysis is required to evaluate the Optavia weight loss program’s long-term effectiveness.


The Optavia weight loss program’s low calorie, low carb plan incorporates ongoing help from coaches and has been proven to result in short-term weight and fats loss. Nonetheless, its long-term effectiveness is unknown.

The Optavia weight loss program has further advantages which will increase weight reduction and general well being.

Straightforward to comply with

Because the weight loss program depends totally on prepackaged Fuelings, you’re solely chargeable for cooking one meal per day on the 5&1 Plan.

What’s extra, every plan comes with meal logs and pattern meal plans to make it simpler to comply with.

When you’re inspired to prepare dinner 1–Three Lean and Inexperienced meals per day, relying on the plan, they’re easy to make — as this system contains particular recipes and a listing of meals choices.

Moreover, those that aren’t thinking about cooking can purchase packaged meals referred to as Flavors of Residence to interchange Lean and Inexperienced meals.

Could enhance blood stress

Optavia applications might assist enhance blood stress by weight reduction and restricted sodium consumption.

Whereas the Optavia weight loss program hasn’t been researched particularly, a 40-week examine in 90 individuals with extra weight or weight problems on an identical Medifast program revealed a major discount in blood stress (13).

Moreover, all Optavia meal plans are designed to supply lower than 2,300 mg of sodium per day — though it’s as much as you to decide on low sodium choices for Lean and Inexperienced meals.

Quite a few well being organizations, together with the Institute of Medication, American Coronary heart Affiliation, and United States Division of Agriculture (USDA), advocate consuming lower than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.

That’s as a result of greater sodium consumption is linked to an elevated danger of hypertension and coronary heart illness in salt-sensitive people (18, 19, 20).

Affords ongoing help

Optavia’s well being coaches can be found all through the burden loss and upkeep applications.

As famous above, one examine discovered a major relationship between the variety of teaching periods on the Optavia 5&1 Plan and improved weight reduction (8).

Moreover, analysis means that having a way of life coach or counselor might assist long-term weight upkeep (11, 21).


The Optavia program has further advantages, because it’s straightforward to comply with and affords ongoing help. By limiting sodium consumption, it might additionally assist decrease blood stress in some people.

Whereas the Optavia weight loss program could also be an efficient weight reduction technique for some, it has a number of potential downsides.

Very low in energy

With simply 800–1,2000 energy per day, the Optavia 5&1 program is kind of low in energy, particularly for people who’re used to consuming 2,000 or extra per day.

Whereas this speedy discount in energy might end in general weight reduction, analysis has proven that it could actually result in important muscle loss (22).

Moreover, low calorie diets might lower the variety of energy your physique burns by as a lot as 23%. This slower metabolism can final even after you cease limiting energy (23, 24).

Calorie restriction can result in the insufficient consumption of important vitamins, together with nutritional vitamins and minerals (25, 26).

Because of this, populations with elevated calorie wants, equivalent to pregnant ladies, athletes, and extremely energetic people, ought to take particular care to satisfy their nutrient wants when decreasing their calorie consumption.

Lastly, analysis signifies that low calorie diets set off elevated starvation and cravings, which might make long-term adherence tougher (27, 28).

Could also be troublesome to stay with

The 5&1 Plan contains 5 prepackaged Fuelings and one low carb meal per day. Because of this, it may be fairly restrictive in meals choices and calorie rely.

As chances are you’ll tire of counting on prepackaged meals for many of your meals, it might turn into straightforward to cheat on the weight loss program or develop cravings for different meals.

Whereas the upkeep plan is way much less restrictive, it nonetheless depends closely on Fuelings.

Will be pricey

No matter your particular plan, the Optavia weight loss program may be costly.

About Three weeks’ price of Optavia Fuelings — round 120 servings — on the 5&1 plan prices $350–450. Though this additionally covers the price of teaching, it doesn’t embody the worth of groceries for Lean and Inexperienced meals.

Relying in your price range, chances are you’ll discover it cheaper to prepare dinner low calorie meals your self.

Could also be incompatible with different consuming patterns

The Optavia weight loss program contains specialised applications for vegetarians, individuals with diabetes, and breastfeeding ladies. Moreover, about two-thirds of its merchandise are licensed gluten-free. Nonetheless, choices are restricted for these on particular diets.

For instance, Optavia Fuelings will not be appropriate for vegans or individuals with dairy allergic reactions as a result of most choices comprise milk.

Moreover, the Fuelings use quite a few substances, so these with meals allergic reactions ought to learn the labels fastidiously.

Lastly, the Optavia program just isn’t really helpful for pregnant ladies as a result of it can not meet their dietary wants.

Could result in weight regain

Weight regain could also be a priority after you cease this system.

At the moment, no analysis has examined weight regain after the Optavia weight loss program. Nonetheless, in a examine on an identical, 16-week Medifast weight loss program, members regained a mean of 11 kilos (4.Eight kg) inside 24 weeks of ending this system (13).

One potential reason behind weight regain is your reliance on packaged meals objects. After the weight loss program, it might be troublesome to transition to buying and cooking wholesome meals.

Moreover, as a result of dramatic calorie restriction of the 5&1 Plan, some weight regain may be on account of a slower metabolism.

Optavia Fuelings are extremely processed

The Optavia weight loss program depends closely on prepackaged meals objects. The truth is, you’d eat 150 prepackaged Fuelings every month on the 5&1 Plan.

This can be a trigger for concern, as a lot of these things are extremely processed.

They comprise giant quantities of meals components, sugar substitutes, and processed vegetable oils, which can hurt your intestine well being and contribute to persistent irritation (29, 30, 31).

Carrageenan, a standard thickener and preservative utilized in many Fuelings, is derived from crimson seaweed. Whereas analysis on its security is proscribed, animal and test-tube research recommend that it might negatively have an effect on digestive well being and trigger intestinal ulcers (32, 33).

Many Fuelings additionally comprise maltodextrin, a thickening agent that has been proven to spike blood sugar ranges and injury your intestine micro organism (34, 35, 36).

Whereas these components are doubtless protected in small quantities, consuming them regularly on the Optavia weight loss program might enhance your danger of uncomfortable side effects.

This system’s coaches will not be well being professionals

Most Optavia coaches have efficiently misplaced weight on this system however will not be licensed well being professionals.

Because of this, they’re unqualified to supply dietary or medical recommendation. Subsequently, you must take their steering with a grain of salt and discuss to your healthcare supplier you probably have any issues.

You probably have an current well being situation, it’s additionally essential to seek the advice of a medical supplier or registered dietitian earlier than beginning a brand new weight loss program program.


The Optivia weight loss program severely restricts energy and depends closely on processed, packaged meals objects. As such, it may be costly, troublesome to take care of, and dangerous to your well being. Moreover, its coaches will not be certified to supply dietary recommendation.

On the Optavia 5&1 Plan, the one meals allowed are the Optavia Fuelings and one Lean and Inexperienced Meal per day.

These meals consist principally of lean proteins, wholesome fat, and low carb greens with a really helpful two servings of fatty fish per week. Some low carb condiments and drinks are additionally allowed in small quantities.

Meals allowed in your day by day Lean and Inexperienced meal embody:

  • Meat: rooster, turkey, lean beef, recreation meats, lamb, pork chop or tenderloin, floor meat (no less than 85% lean)
  • Fish and shellfish: halibut, trout, salmon, tuna, lobster, crab, shrimp, scallops
  • Eggs: complete eggs, egg whites, Egg Beaters
  • Soy merchandise: solely tofu
  • Vegetable oils: canola, flaxseed, walnut, and olive oil
  • Further wholesome fat: low carb salad dressings, olives, lowered fats margarine, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, avocado
  • Low carb greens: collard greens, spinach, celery, cucumbers, mushrooms, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini, broccoli, peppers, spaghetti squash, jicama
  • Sugar-free snacks: popsicles, gelatin, gum, mints
  • Sugar-free drinks: water, unsweetened almond milk, tea, espresso
  • Condiments and seasonings: dried herbs, spices, salt, lemon juice, lime juice, yellow mustard, soy sauce, salsa, sugar-free syrup, zero-calorie sweeteners, 1/2 teaspoon solely of ketchup, cocktail sauce, or barbecue sauce


Do-it-yourself meals on the Optavia 5&1 plan embody principally lean proteins and low carb veggies, plus a number of wholesome fat. Solely low carb drinks are allowed, equivalent to water, unsweetened almond milk, espresso, and tea.

Aside from carbs within the prepackaged Optavia Fuelings, most carb-containing meals and drinks are banned whereas on the 5&1 Plan. Sure fat are additionally restricted, as are all fried meals.

Meals to keep away from — except included within the Fuelings — embody:

  • Fried meals: meats, fish, shellfish, greens, sweets like pastries
  • Refined grains: white bread, pasta, biscuits, pancakes, flour tortillas, crackers, white rice, cookies, muffins, pastries
  • Sure fat: butter, coconut oil, strong shortening
  • Complete fats dairy: milk, cheese, yogurt
  • Alcohol: all varieties
  • Sugar-sweetened drinks: soda, fruit juice, sports activities drinks, power drinks, candy tea

The next meals are off-limits whereas on the 5&1 Plan however added again through the 6-week transition section and allowed through the 3&Three Plan:

  • Fruit: all contemporary fruit
  • Low fats or fat-free dairy: yogurt, milk, cheese
  • Complete grains: complete grain bread, excessive fiber breakfast cereal, brown rice, complete wheat pasta
  • Legumes: peas, lentils, beans, soybeans
  • Starchy greens: candy potatoes, white potatoes, corn, peas

Throughout the transition section and three&Three Plan, you’re particularly inspired to eat berries over different fruits, as they’re decrease in carbs.


You’re alleged to keep away from all refined grains, sugar-sweetened drinks, fried meals, and alcohol on the Optavia Food regimen. Throughout the transition and upkeep phases, some carb-containing meals are added again in, equivalent to low fats dairy and contemporary fruit.

Right here’s what at some point on the Optimum Weight 5&1 Plan might appear like:

  • Fueling 1: Important Golden Chocolate Chip Pancakes with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of sugar-free maple syrup
  • Fueling 2: Important Drizzled Berry Crisp Bar
  • Fueling 3: Important Jalapeño Cheddar Poppers
  • Fueling 4: Important Homestyle Rooster Flavored & Vegetable Noodle Soup
  • Fueling 5: Important Strawberry Shake
  • Lean and Inexperienced Meal: 6 ounces (172 grams) of grilled rooster breast cooked with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of olive oil, served with small quantities of avocado and salsa, plus 1.5 cups (160 grams) of combined cooked veggies like peppers, zucchini, and broccoli
  • Elective snack: 1 fruit-flavored sugar-free fruit pop


Throughout the Optimum Weight 5&1 Plan, you eat 5 Fuelings per day, plus a low carb Lean and Inexperienced meal and an non-compulsory low carb snack.

The Optavia weight loss program promotes weight reduction through low calorie prepackaged meals, low carb do-it-yourself meals, and personalised teaching.

Whereas the preliminary 5&1 Plan is pretty restrictive, the three&Three upkeep section permits for a higher number of meals and fewer processed snacks, which can make weight reduction and adherence simpler to maintain in the long run.

Nonetheless, the weight loss program is pricey, repetitive, and doesn’t accommodate all dietary wants. What’s extra, prolonged calorie restriction might end in nutrient deficiencies and different potential well being issues.

Whereas this system promotes short-term weight and fats loss, additional analysis is required to evaluate whether or not it encourages the everlasting way of life modifications wanted for long-term success.

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