Optavia Weight loss program Evaluation: What You Have to Know Earlier than Deciding



You might need lately seen buzz on social media a few eating regimen firm advertising meal replacements and weight reduction. Optavia is a program that claims it could actually show you how to undertake wholesome habits and apply them to your on a regular basis life. 

Based in 2002, Optavia is owned by father or mother firm Medifast, popularly recognized for promoting weight reduction and health-related merchandise, typically 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. Here 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 dwelling. The corporate’s message is that if you happen to be taught wholesome habits, you’ll be able to lead a wholesome life. 


Screenshot by Caroline Igo/CNET

Optavia first caught folks’s consideration on Instagram in 2018 when Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, shared his weight reduction success. In a post on his profile he wrote, “Lots of people have been asking me how I’ve slimmed down these days … I’ve used the Optavia program. I believe everyone is totally different and you must do no matter fits you however that is what I am doing and I am very pleased with the outcomes thus far!” He says he isn’t sponsored. 

Let’s bounce into how Optavia helped the Cake Boss drop extra pounds.  

How does it work?

The eating regimen firm depends on meal replacements known as “fuelings,” that are branded merchandise designed to maintain you full till your subsequent fueling. Irrespective of which meal plan you select, you may 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 might be a dish you make at house utilizing contemporary components. This system additionally recommends avoiding alcohol, sugary drinks and desserts, high-calorie condiments, starchy greens and complete grains.  

Every fueling product accommodates 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. In accordance with the USDA’s dietary guidelines for adults, girls ought to eat 1,600 to 2,400 energy per day, and males 2,200 to three,200 energy. 

This calorie deficit causes fast weight reduction firstly of the eating regimen. Well being professionals suggest a 500-calorie deficit for wholesome weight reduction. All the time seek the advice of along 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 claimed to be excessive in nutritional vitamins and minerals, probiotics and protein, and does not include any synthetic colours, flavors or sweeteners. The meal plan you select will decide what number of fuelings you may obtain. 

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

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 should not included in your meal package. Meaning further grocery purchasing 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 difficult, and it is even tougher if you happen to do it alone. A private coach will help to encourage and ease the stress of starting a weight reduction journey. You’ll be able to 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 offered by the corporate, you’ll be able to turn out to be a paid coach to newcomers. Whereas the coaching session that Optavia supplies appears to be in depth, coaches do not undergo skilled coaching. That is the place elements of its father or mother firm, Medifast, are available in — 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. 


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


I began my trial run of Optavia with one of many eight bars in my bundle. Out of the wrapper, one bar is concerning the measurement of my pointer finger. It accommodates 110 energy, 11 grams of protein, 3.5 g of fats and 25 nutritional vitamins and minerals. I assumed the bars tasted nice, just 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. In case 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 simple to organize (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 accommodates yogurt chips which was the tastiest a part of the fueling. It accommodates 110 energy, 11 grams of protein and eight grams of sugar.   


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


Caroline Igo/CNET

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


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Lastly, I attempted the honey mustard and onion sticks. They’re just like flavored pretzel sticks, and include 100 energy, 11 grams of protein and 1.5 grams of fats. It is laborious to contemplate 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 totally different from the opposite fuelings provided. They include greater quantities of protein and fats. These conventional protein eating regimen shakes include 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 just like chocolate milk and there wasn’t an awesome chalkiness like different protein shakes I’ve tried. You’ll be able to add further water to regulate thickness. You’ll be able to select different flavors together with mocha, caramel macchiato, vanilla, peanut butter and strawberry.

A day on the Optavia eating regimen 

Here 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 accommodates sufficient meals gadgets 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’ve 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 diet specialist and host of the podcast Practically Healthy by Dr. Melina, to additional perceive the protection of eating regimen packages corresponding to Optavia. 

“As a weight reduction physician, I fully perceive why folks flip to diets like this, as we’ve got to make a number of hundred meals and beverage choices every day,” Jampolis says. “So, making an attempt to ‘eating regimen’ can shortly result in resolution fatigue and go away folks making the flawed selections.”   

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

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

Nevertheless, Jampolis states her considerations with eating regimen packages which might be made up of extremely processed meals. “They is probably not as naturally satiating as complete meals nearer to their pure kind, and so they actually should not as wholesome,” she mentioned. As well as, most eating regimen packages “do not educate folks the best way to navigate their diets on their very own so as soon as they cease ordering the meals, they may merely return to their outdated methods.”

Alternatively, Jampolis factors to research. “Research positively exhibits that meal replacements do assist with each weight reduction and weight upkeep, so if folks wish to use this to kick-start their weight reduction they only want to ensure to use the rules for continued weight loss-weight upkeep. So, maybe, they may discover a more healthy meal (with complete grains and greens) to switch 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?


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Optavia has helped folks drop extra pounds, nevertheless it is not wholesome for everybody. Any eating regimen program can have devastating results like triggering disordered eating or yo-yo weight-reduction plan. Seek the advice of with a doctor earlier than beginning Optavia or another weight reduction program. 

You need to attempt Optavia if

  • You do not thoughts meal replacements corresponding to protein shakes
  • You are seeking to discover ways 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

You need 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 approach to hold weight off long-term

The data contained on this article is for academic and informational functions solely and isn’t meant as well being or medical recommendation. All the time seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier relating to any questions you could have a few medical situation or well being goals.

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