Optavia Weight loss program Overview: What You Must Know Earlier than Deciding



You might need not too long ago seen buzz on social media a few eating regimen firm advertising meal replacements and weight reduction. Optavia is a program that claims it could enable you to undertake wholesome habits and apply them to your on a regular basis life. 

Based in 2002, Optavia is owned by dad or mum firm Medifast, popularly recognized for promoting weight reduction and health-related merchandise, usually by means of multilevel advertising. 

To be taught extra about Optavia’s weight reduction plans and choices, I examined the merchandise and spoke with a nutritionist. This is what I discovered. 

What’s Optavia?

Optavia is a eating regimen firm that sells bars, shakes, snacks and easy-to-prepare recipes. It locations emphasis on each good consuming and good residing. The corporate’s message is that in the event you be taught wholesome habits, you may lead a wholesome life. 


Screenshot by Caroline Igo/CNET

Optavia first caught individuals’s consideration on Instagram in 2018 when Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, shared his weight reduction success. In a put up on his profile he wrote, “Lots of people have been asking me how I’ve slimmed down recently … I’ve used the Optavia program. I feel all people is completely different and you must do no matter fits you however that is what I am doing and I am very pleased with the outcomes up to now!” He says he’s not sponsored. 

Let’s soar into how Optavia helped the Cake Boss drop some weight.  

How does it work?

The eating regimen firm depends on meal replacements referred to as “fuelings,” that are branded merchandise designed to maintain you full till your subsequent fueling. Regardless of which meal plan you select, you will be consuming a meal each 2 to three hours, leading to six meals a day. Nevertheless, one to a few (relying in your plan) meals shall be a dish you make at house utilizing contemporary substances. This system additionally recommends avoiding alcohol, sugary drinks and desserts, high-calorie condiments, starchy greens and complete grains.  

Every fueling product incorporates round 100 to 150 energy. Optavia’s minimal-calorie eating regimen has shoppers consuming about 800 to 1,100 energy a day, relying on the plan and variety of selfmade meals. Based on the USDA’s dietary tips for adults, girls ought to devour 1,600 to 2,400 energy per day, and males 2,200 to three,200 energy. 

This calorie deficit causes fast weight reduction at first of the eating regimen. Well being professionals suggest a 500-calorie deficit for wholesome weight reduction. At all times seek the advice of together with your physician earlier than making adjustments to your eating regimen to make sure you’re consuming sufficient energy.

Optavia meal plans

Optavia provides three meal plans:

  • Optimum Weight 5-and-1 Plan (5 fuelings and one lean-and-green meal a day)
  • Optimum Weight 4-and-2-and-1 Plan (4 fuelings, two lean-and-green meals and one snack a day)
  • Optimum Well being 3-and-3 Plan (three fuelings and three lean-and-green meals a day)

Optavia fuelings



Optavia’s fuelings are the majority of each meal plan — they embody bars, shakes, brownie and pancake combine, snack sticks, cereals, pasta, potatoes, soups and pudding. Every product is alleged to be excessive in nutritional vitamins and minerals, probiotics and protein, and would not comprise any synthetic colours, flavors or sweeteners. The meal plan you select will decide what number of fuelings you will obtain. 

Whereas not all fueling merchandise can be found in each meal plan, you do have the choice to customise your fuelings equipment.  

Lean-and-green meals



The meal plan you select will decide what number of lean-and-green meals you eat a day. Not like fuelings, these meals usually are not included in your meal equipment. Which means further grocery buying and cooking is required, however every meal is totally as much as you. Optavia does present recipes. 

Every lean-and-green meal you put together by yourself should embody:

  • 5 to 7 ounces of lean protein (for instance, hen, salmon, tofu) 
  • Three servings of nonstarchy greens (for instance, cauliflower, collard greens, broccoli)
  • As much as two servings of wholesome fats (for instance, avocado, eggs, nuts)

Private teaching

Shedding weight is tough, and it is even tougher in the event you do it alone. A private coach can assist to inspire and ease the stress of starting a weight reduction journey. You may join with Octavia’s private coaches by means of textual content, e mail or in individual if distance permits.

A majority of Optavia’s coaches have been shoppers themselves. After coaching supplied by the corporate, you may change into a paid coach to newcomers. Whereas the coaching session that Optavia offers appears to be intensive, coaches do not undergo skilled coaching. That is the place points of its dad or mum firm, Medifast, are available — multilevel advertising to usher in new shoppers and coaches. 

Is Optavia meals any good?

I used to be despatched eight bars, two snack sticks, 4 shake packets, 4 potato packets, 4 pancake mixes and one field of chocolate brownie combine (containing seven packets). This was a small pattern of what to anticipate in both the Optimum Weight 4-and-2-and-1 Plan or the Optimum Weight 5-and-1 Plan. 


Caroline Igo/CNET

I am not knowledgeable meals critic, however I did put myself within the footwear of somebody on the Optavia eating regimen. I made positive to pay particular consideration to style, texture, dietary worth, portion sizes and the hassle it took to arrange the meals.   


I began my trial run of Optavia with one of many eight bars in my package deal. Out of the wrapper, one bar is in regards to the dimension of my pointer finger. It incorporates 110 energy, 11 grams of protein, 3.5 g of fats and 25 nutritional vitamins and minerals. I assumed the bars tasted nice, much like cereal bars I’d eat as a child. There are additionally numerous flavors together with peanut butter, s’mores, chocolate mint cookie and raisin oat cinnamon. When you’re not a fan of chocolate, there are many different flavors to attempt.    


Caroline Igo/CNET

I wasn’t as impressed with the opposite fuelings within the field. Though the brownie was straightforward to arrange (add water and microwave), it did not have a lot taste and was fairly dry. It had the consistency of chocolate cake, but it was bitter. The brownie incorporates yogurt chips which was the tastiest a part of the fueling. It incorporates 110 energy, 11 grams of protein and eight grams of sugar.   


Caroline Igo/CNET

Mashed potatoes are one other widespread fueling in each Optimum Weight meal plans. I solely wanted so as to add water and microwave them, like making Idahoan on the spot potatoes. I attempted the bitter cream and chive taste, though there are extra to select from in the event you’re choosy. Every packet of potatoes incorporates 100 energy, 11 grams of protein and 0.5 grams of fats.  


Caroline Igo/CNET

As pictured above, the portion is small. Nevertheless, I feel the potatoes are filling as a result of quantity of protein. As for style, the chive taste is robust however not sturdy sufficient to cowl up the processed taste. The feel is much like selfmade mashed potatoes, however the consistency is just too dry. 


Caroline Igo/CNET

Lastly, I attempted the honey mustard and onion sticks. They’re much like flavored pretzel sticks, and comprise 100 energy, 11 grams of protein and 1.5 grams of fats. It is laborious to think about them a fueling, as a result of they give the impression of being extra like snacks to me. The honey mustard sticks have been bland, dry and closely processed. 


Shakes are thought-about a fueling, however they’re very completely different from the opposite fuelings provided. They comprise increased quantities of protein and fats. These conventional protein eating regimen shakes comprise round 100 energy, 14 grams of protein and 0.5 to 1 gram of fats.  


Caroline Igo/CNET

I attempted one of many chocolate shakes first. The drink tasted much like chocolate milk and there wasn’t an amazing chalkiness like different protein shakes I’ve tried. You may add further water to regulate thickness. You may select different flavors together with mocha, caramel macchiato, vanilla, peanut butter and strawberry.

A day on the Optavia eating regimen 

This is an instance of a day’s meals on the 5-and-1 Plan. Remember that you’ll eat each 2 hours.

  • Golden chocolate chip pancakes
  • Wild strawberry shake
  • Homestyle chick’n noodle soup
  • Honey mustard and onion sticks
  • Salmon, broccoli with lemon, thyme, and ginger (lean-and-green meal)
  • Creamy double peanut butter crisp bar


Every meal plan incorporates sufficient meals objects for 30 days.

  • Optimum Weight 5-and-1 Plan: $378.25 (contains 17 bins of important fuelings)
  • Optimum Weight 4-and-2-and-1 Plan: $423 (contains 18 bins of important fuelings and two bins of snacks)
  • Optimum Well being 3-and-3 Plan: $20.75 field/$249 case (you will have the choice between a field and a case of two fuelings or two shakes)

What do nutritionists say?

I spoke with Dr. Melina B. Jampolis, a doctor vitamin specialist and host of the podcast Virtually Wholesome by Dr. Melina, to additional perceive the security of eating regimen applications reminiscent of Optavia. 

“As a weight reduction physician, I utterly perceive why individuals flip to diets like this, as we have now to make a number of hundred meals and beverage choices every day,” Jampolis says. “So, making an attempt to ‘eating regimen’ can rapidly result in resolution fatigue and depart individuals making the flawed decisions.”   

She went on to notice, “Most individuals state that lack of time getting ready the proper meals is an element of their eating regimen failure and consuming out may be very difficult as portion sizes are typically a lot bigger than wanted, and also you truthfully don’t know what goes into recipes when consuming out.” 

Weight loss program applications try to simplify this course of by offering easy-to-make meals with built-in portion management, so that you needn’t guess how a lot fats, protein or fiber you want every day. 

Nevertheless, Jampolis states her issues with eating regimen applications which might be made up of extremely processed meals. “They is probably not as naturally satiating as complete meals nearer to their pure type, they usually definitely usually are not as wholesome,” she mentioned. As well as, most eating regimen applications “do not train individuals easy methods to navigate their diets on their very own so as soon as they cease ordering the meals, they might merely return to their outdated methods.”

Then again, Jampolis factors to research. “Analysis positively reveals that meal replacements do assist with each weight reduction and weight upkeep, so if individuals wish to use this to kick-start their weight reduction they only want to verify to use the rules for continued weight loss-weight upkeep. So, maybe, they might discover a more healthy meal (with complete grains and greens) to interchange lunch or dinner every now and then or have a smoothie or protein bar for breakfast or a snack to construct in portion management.”

Potential drawbacks

Is Optavia for you?


Caroline Igo/CNET

Optavia has helped individuals drop some weight, but it surely is not wholesome for everybody. Any eating regimen program can have devastating results like triggering disordered consuming or yo-yo weight-reduction plan. Seek the advice of with a doctor earlier than beginning Optavia or some other weight reduction program. 

It is best to attempt Optavia if

  • You do not thoughts meal replacements reminiscent of protein shakes
  • You are seeking to learn to make easy-to-prepare meals
  • You need a program that provides you entry to a neighborhood of individuals additionally on a weight reduction journey

It is best to search different weight reduction choices if

  • You are searching for contemporary or prepackaged meals
  • You do not wish to pay for each a weight reduction program and grocery retailer journeys
  • You are searching for a solution to maintain weight off long-term

The data contained on this article is for academic and informational functions solely and isn’t supposed as well being or medical recommendation. At all times seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier concerning any questions you’ll have a few medical situation or well being targets.

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