Optavia Weight-reduction plan and Hair Loss

Very low calorie diets might result in a variety of disagreeable and even dangerous unwanted side effects — from constipation to creating an unhealthy relationship with meals (1).

What’s extra, considerably decreasing calorie consumption might result in speedy weight reduction, which might set off hair loss.

The Optavia weight-reduction plan is a weight-reduction plan that restricts your calorie consumption to induce weight reduction. Some prospects have skilled unwanted side effects when following Optavia, together with hair loss.

This text explains what the Optavia weight-reduction plan is and why it could trigger hair loss in some folks.

Optavia is a well-liked weight-reduction plan that individuals observe to drop a few pounds. The 12-week Optimum Weight 5&1 Plan slashes calorie consumption to simply 800–1,200 energy per day with the intention to promote quick weight reduction (2).

As soon as the dieter reaches their “wholesome weight,” they then transition to the next calorie transition section with an consumption of not more than 1,550 energy per day for six weeks (2).

This seems to be far fewer energy than the typical American grownup takes in every day (3).

Relying on the calorie consumption, the load loss section of Optavia could be thought of a really low to low calorie weight-reduction plan.

Very low calorie diets (VLCDs) are diets that present between 600–900 energy per day, whereas low calorie diets (LCDs) present 1,000–1,500 energy per day (4).

Whenever you cut back your calorie consumption drastically, resembling if you’re following a really low to low-calorie weight-reduction plan like Optavia, you could expertise vital weight reduction as a result of your physique wants many extra energy with the intention to keep your physique weight.

Nevertheless, along with weight reduction, VLCDs and low calorie diets might result in adversarial unwanted side effects, together with hormone disruptions in your physique and hair loss.

Diets that considerably reduce energy, just like the Optavia weight-reduction plan, result in sudden and speedy weight reduction, which might set off hair loss.

Fast weight reduction and hair loss

Fast weight reduction that happens over a short while interval, resembling if you’re following a really low to low calorie weight-reduction plan like Optavia, has been linked to a situation known as acute telogen effluvium (TE).

TE is a dysfunction that causes extreme shedding of hair in your scalp. It’s one of the frequent causes of alopecia, the medical time period for hair loss (5, 6).

Fast weight reduction is a well-known set off of TE. It is because the cells that make up the a part of the hair follicle that produces hair rely on a gradual circulation of vitality. This makes your hair follicles extraordinarily delicate to calorie or nutrient deficiencies (7, 8, 9).

In acute TE, a triggering occasion like speedy weight reduction causes the hair to abruptly shift from a rising section to a resting section. When these similar hairs reenter their rising section, they shed.

Hair loss associated to acute TE normally happens round 3 months after speedy weight reduction, so folks following the Optavia weight-reduction plan might not expertise hair loss till after they’ve shifted into the “upkeep” section of the weight-reduction plan (6).

Acute TE associated to sudden weight reduction sometimes lasts lower than 6 months. Hair loss that lasts longer than 6 months is called continual TE (6).


Vital calorie restriction, resembling when following a really low to low-calorie weight-reduction plan like Optavia, might result in sudden, speedy weight reduction. This may set off hair loss.

A speedy and sudden drop in weight may cause hair loss, regardless of the reason for the load loss.

For instance, along with VLCDs, bariatric surgical procedure has additionally been linked to hair loss because of the sudden and excessive stage of weight reduction related to the process (10).

Should you expertise hair loss when following Optavia, it could be because of your vital weight reduction.

Dropping your hair could be distressing, however TE related to speedy weight reduction is commonly short-term.

In truth, research present that 95% of people that expertise acute TE bear remission. Most individuals will see hair regrowth inside 6 months (6).

Should you expertise hair loss that lasts longer than 6 months, that is thought of continual TE. Power TE could also be attributable to a number of various factors.

In both case, it’s a good suggestion to seek the advice of your physician when you’re experiencing hair loss.

Hair loss can have a variety of causes, a few of which can be severe and unrelated to weight reduction.

It’s vital to know that though hair loss related to weight reduction is usually short-term, you could keep away from this potential adversarial aspect impact by avoiding VLCDs, crash diets, and overly restrictive diets altogether.

Reducing weight in a slower, extra sustainable method by following a nutritious weight-reduction plan and lively train routine might assist cut back the dangers related to very low and low calorie diets like hair loss.


It’s a good suggestion to go to your physician when you’re experiencing hair loss as hair loss could be attributable to components unrelated to weight reduction. The hair loss related to speedy weight reduction is usually short-term and hair ought to begin to regrow inside 6 months.

Along with speedy weight reduction, there are a selection of different potential causes for hair loss, together with:

  • Nutrient deficiencies. Protein, vitamin, mineral, and fatty acid deficiencies can all result in hair loss. This is the reason following a balanced weight-reduction plan that consists of nutrient-dense meals is so vital (11).
  • Stress. Emotional and psychological stress can set off TE. For instance, stress associated to surgical trauma, blood loss, childbirth, or excessive fever have all been related to TE (6).
  • Well being situations. Sure well being situations, together with autoimmune illnesses and thyroid situations, may cause hair loss. A physician can rule out these potential causes by performing sure exams (6).
  • Medicines. Sure medicines together with contraception drugs, blood thinners, beta-blockers, antidepressants, and retinoids might set off hair loss in some folks (6).
  • Androgenetic alopecia. This frequent type of hair loss is attributable to genetic and environmental components and may happen in each women and men (12).

Different causes of hair loss embrace:

  • Trichotillomania: a situation that makes folks pull out their hair
  • Stress alopecia: repetitive stress in your hair (13).

As you possibly can see, hair loss could be attributable to many alternative components, so VLCDs and different diets like Optavia will not be the principle culprits for a thinning scalp. Nonetheless, vital weight-loss from crash diets might trigger short-term hair loss that you could be want to keep away from.


There are a lot of potential causes of hair loss, together with micronutrient deficiencies, medicine use, medical situations like thyroid illness, genetics, and extra.

The Optavia weight-reduction plan might trigger speedy weight reduction, which can set off acute TE. Acute TE is a kind of hair loss that sometimes lasts a number of months.

Although the hair loss related to speedy weight reduction is commonly short-term, you possibly can keep away from worrying about hair loss by dropping pounds in a slower, extra sustainable method.

Should you assume the Optavia weight-reduction plan is inflicting you to lose your hair, it’s vital to go to your healthcare supplier to rule out different potential causes of hair loss. Some causes of hair loss show extra severe than others, probably requiring medical consideration.

To scale back the chance of hair loss and different unwanted side effects associated to restrictive or low calorie diets, give attention to:

  • following a weight-reduction plan excessive in nutritious entire meals with loads of protein and fiber
  • decreasing your consumption of extremely processed meals and sugary drinks
  • getting extra train every day
  • getting sufficient sleep
  • decreasing stress as a lot as doable