Optavia Review: Is it a Healthy Way to Lose Weight?

Optavia is super-popular these days and is going around social media like wildfire. The Optavia diet program gained immense popularity when Buddy Valastro (TLC’s Cake Boss star) claimed that the program helped him lose over 35 pounds in 2018.

But many people are still suspicious of such claims since they have already tried dozens of popular weight loss programs with zero results to show.

In fact, we have been reviewing different weight loss programs and what makes Optavia different? Will it help me lose stubborn pounds? If you are confused about how Optavia can help you lose weight effectively, you have come to the right place.

Keep reading this Optavia review to find out what the diet is, how it works, and how much weight you can expect to lose with their program.

What is the Optavia Diet?

a selection of food and snacks from the OPTAVIA menu

The Optavia Diet Program is a holistic health and wellness program that comprehensively approaches weight loss as no other weight loss program has ever done.

RELATED: Optavia Cost: How Much is it Every Month?

It helps people lose weight fast by way of healthy habit creation, individual coaching, and clinically proven diet plans and weight loss products.

Optavia is a reduced carb and low-calorie program that combines homemade meals, packaged foods, and personalized coaching to help you lose weight fast and effectively.

It’s focused on 6 major areas for maintaining optimal health and wellness including food, hydration, weight, motion, sleep, and mindset.

You can choose from the 10 different weight loss plans offered by the company based on your needs and personal preferences.

There are also specialized plans for seniors, teens, nursing mothers, and individuals with health conditions like diabetes and gout.

These meal plans involve a combination of prepackaged Fuelings & homemade meals or Lean & Green meals.

The Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan is the most popular plan offered by Optavia right now. It consists of 6 small meals per day with 5 of them being Optavia Fuelings meals to help you lose weight fast and effectively.

How Does Optavia Meal Delivery Program Work?

The Optavia Diet Program requires weight loss enthusiasts to purchase pre-packaged meals also known as Optavia Fuelings, which have a daily calorie intake of 800 to 1,000 calories.

These meals consist of everything from cereals, bars, shakes, and crunchy snacks to pasta, soups, and more. These meals are specially designed by dietitians, scientists, and physicians for effective weight loss.

You can choose from over 50 different Fueling meal options that are nutrient-dense and portion-controlled.

Optavia Fuelings feature 24 different vitamins, minerals, high-quality proteins, and BC30 probiotic cultures to support your digestive health and prepare the body for effective weight loss. Optavia claims that Fuelings are 100% free of artificial flavors, colorings, and sweeteners.

When you are determined to lose weight by following the Optavia Diet Program, you should stay away from sugary drinks, solid shortening, and high-calorie desserts at the beginning.

Even though these foods are limited at the start of the program, they will be gradually re-introduced later on.

So, you don’t have to worry about not having to indulge in your favorite foods – at least once in a while – when you opt for the Optavia Diet Program.

How Does The Coaching Work?

a coaching health checklist

Optavia differs from other popular weight loss programs in the market due to the robust support element of the company. As per the company, weight loss coaches are the lifeblood of the entire program.

Over 90% of the coaches working for Optavia started as clients of the diet. They are using their transformation to motivate others to do the same and lose weight fast. The coach assigned to motivate you will check in with you the day before you start the program.

They will be with you for the first 4 days of the program and connect regularly with you via your preferred mode of communication including phone or email.

The Optavia program approaches weight loss by helping you create healthy habits through small changes on a daily basis. Hence, the Optavia Diet Program is also known as a Habits Of Health Transformational System,” which is why it is so effective and stands out from the rest of the popular weight loss programs out there.

It addresses eating habits, exercise, hydration, sleep habits, mindfulness, and surroundings to help you lose weight quickly and effectively. In fact, healthy habit creation in all areas of your life will most probably lead to effective weight loss over time. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight are two things.

Most people find it difficult to maintain a healthy weight throughout their lives even when they have been able to lose weight by following a good weight loss program.

Their diet program can help such individuals.

Optavia’s comprehensive approach to weight loss not only helps you lose weight but maintain a healthy weight for the rest of your life.

The main goal of an Optavia coach is to support his/her clients along their Optimal Health and Wellness journeys to lifelong transformation. They should follow the Optavia Coaching Guidelines and answer whatever questions their clients may have. Here is how Optavia coaching works:

  • The coach needs to provide the necessary guidance related to Optavia meal plans, exercise, product choices, and general direction to clients to ensure lifelong transformation.
  • Offer one-on-one support to clients based on the Habits of Health System.
  • Offer nutrition support and check adverse reactions to meal plans/ products.
  • Encourage the client to participate in the Optavia Community – through webinars, events, calls, etc.,
  • The coach should encourage the client to seek professional help for specific exercise program prescriptions, specific medical recommendations, specific medication adjustment recommendations, and specific behavioral counseling related to psychological/psychiatric issues such as binge eating disorder, bulimia, anorexia, and emotional issues.
  • Offer medical nutrition therapy as defined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Meal Plan: What Foods Do You Get To Eat?

two meals from their lean and green menu

At least 50% of any Optavia diet consists of its “Fuelings.” Depending on the meal plan you choose, you get to eat between 2 and 5 of the company’s Fuelings or pre-made meal replacements per day. You also get to eat 1 to 3 of your own low-calorie meals consisting of lean protein and non-starchy vegetables, which are known as Lean & Green meals.

Lean Proteins

The homemade “Lean and Green” meals should include a 5 to 7-ounce portion of cooked lean proteins. As per the company, you can choose between lean, leaner, and leanest proteins using the following example:

  • Lean – Pork chops, salmon, lamb
  • Leaner – Chicken breast, swordfish
  • Leanest – Egg whites, shrimp, cod

Optavia Fuelings

Optavia pre-packaged Fuelings are nutritionally equivalent and portion-controlled. They provide the user with the same nutrients whether you decide to have red bean, a granola bar, or vegetable chili. Hence, you can consume the Fuelings interchangeably and choose from more than 50 different products including bars, soups, shakes, cookies, and pretzels.

Healthy Fats

You can use up to two servings of healthy fats from flaxseed, walnut oil, olive oil, and avocado to prepare the homemade Lean and Green meal.

Non-Starchy Vegetables

The popular Optavia 5 & 1 program lets you consume up to two non-starchy vegetables alongside the lean protein and green meal. The veggies are categorized into lower, moderate, and higher carbohydrate densities as per the following example:

  • Low Carb – Salad greens
  • Moderate Carb – Summer squash, cauliflower
  • High Carb – Peppers, broccoli

Low-Fat Dairy, Whole Grains, And Fresh Fruits – Once you reach your ideal weight, the Optavia Diet lets you add servings of whole grains, fruits, and low-fat dairy including greek yogurt, cottage cheese, apples, berries, bananas, high-fiber cereals, and whole-grain bread.

Low-Calorie Condiments

The Optavia Diet allows you to add certain low-calorie condiments to your homemade meals including lime, vinegar, mustard, spices, lemon, salsa, and herbs.

The Optavia Diet doesn’t place any restrictions on your favorite foods. But sweets are strongly discouraged at least for a couple of months at the beginning of the program. Sugar cravings are discouraged, and you should try your best to avoid ice cream, cookies, and cakes at the beginning of the program. After the initial phase, low-calorie sweets including flavored yogurt and fresh fruits can be added to your diet. Here are some of the other foods that you should try to avoid at the beginning of the program:

  • Sugary BBQ sauces
  • Mayonnaise
  • Wine
  • Spirits
  • Soda
  • Sweetened coffee beverages
  • Butter

The Menu

The popular Optavia Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan consists of 6 small meals per day with 5 of them Optavia Fueling meals including 100-calorie shakes, oatmeal, bars, pancakes, soups, pudding, brownies, and cheese puffs. Here is what you should expect to have during a typical day:

  • Breakfast – Old-fashioned maple & brown sugar oatmeal
  • Snack – Creamy chocolate shake
  • Lunch – Spinach pesto Mac & cheese
  • Snack – Frosted cinnamon spice crisp bar
  • Dinner (Lean & Green) – Puffed ranch snacks, 5 ounces of baked salmon seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon juice as well as 1½ cups steamed asparagus.
  • Dessert – Chewy chocolate chip cookie

There are different Optavia Diet menus for you to choose from depending on your personal preferences. Here are some of the popular snacks offered by the program:

  • 1 fruit-flavored sugar-free popsicle
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 dill pickles spears
  • 1/2 cup serving sugar-free gelatin such as Jell-O
  • 3 pieces of sugar-free gum or mint
  • 1/2 ounce of nuts such as walnuts (7 halves), almonds (10 whole), or pistachios (20 kernels)

Main Optavia Plans & How Often You Get To Eat?

The Optavia Diet Program has three main plans:

The Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan

This is the most popular plan in the entire program. It includes 5 Optavia Fuelings and 1 Lean and Green meal per day. The Lean and Green meal is a balanced meal prepared at home.

Eating 6 small meals a day is the first healthy habit you will develop when you decide to try out the Optavia program. It helps your body enter into a gentle but efficient fat-burning state while retaining muscle mass in the process.

There are over 60 nutritionally interchangeable and scientifically-designed Optavia Fuelings for you to choose from in this plan.

You will be learning another healthy habit in this plan: how to make a healthy Lean & Green meal for you and your family. In fact, healthy eating becomes second nature to you when you know what optimal nutrition looks like.

The Optimal Weight 4 & 2 & 1 Plan

This plan helps you achieve a flexible meal plan to lose weight fast. If you need flexible food choices are more calories at the same time, this is the plan for you.

This plan consists of 4 Optavia Fuelings, 2 Lean and Green meals, and 1 snack per day.

You have more than 60 delicious, scientifically-designed, and nutritionally interchangeable Fuelings to choose from.

You will prepare two healthy and balanced Lean and Green meals and 1 snack every day with this plan.

The Optimal Health 3 & 3 Plan

This plan is specially designed for optimal weight maintenance. It includes 3 Fuelings & 3 balanced Lean and Green meals per day.

Following this scientifically designed and nutritionally balanced plan is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight in the long run.

You should consume one Fueling or meal every two to three hours as part of a healthy lifestyle.

The program offers additional tools to aid your weight loss and maintenance goals. For example, they send inspirational tips to motivate you via text messages, weekly support calls, community forums, as well as an app that lets you set meal reminders and track your food intake.

On the other hand, if you are suffering from conditions like diabetes or gout, the company has specialized weight loss programs for you.

Does The Optavia Diet Plan Food Taste Good?

a woman tries a bar from the 4 & 2 & 1 Plan

It depends on what you mean by good taste. For the most part, the Optavia Fuelings taste good. For example, the bars are pretty tasty and the chocolate shake is better than what you expect for a water-mix drink.

Although the savory snacks are a bit bland, you won’t have any problem consuming them. In fact, for diet food, Optavia meals taste good.

But you should go into the program with the right expectations, it is microwavable diet food after all.

How Much Weight Can You Lose?

If you stick to Optavia’s Fuelings and supplement them with balanced Lean and Green meal per day, you will stay full and nourished throughout the day.

You won’t have any sugar cravings like other people. On the other hand, you won’t be losing muscle mass since you are consuming lots of protein, fiber, and key nutrients with fewer calories.

The average caloric intake is around 800 to 1,000 for adults. You can expect to lose about 12 pounds in 12 weeks on the Optavia Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan.

Optavia Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easy To Follow – You are responsible for cooking only one meal a day (5 & 1 Plan) since the program relies on prepackaged Fuelings. Each plan has sample meal recipes and meal logs to make it easy for you to follow the program. The Lean and Green meals are simple to prepare. For example, you need to prepare only 1 to 3 Green meals per day depending on the Optavia plan you choose. The program includes a list of recipes and food options to choose from.
  • Improves Blood Sugar And Cholesterol Levels – Effective weight loss comes with two potential health benefits such as healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The latest studies link fast weight loss with greater improvements in both lipid and glycemic profiles (1).
  • Reduces Obesity Risks – When you lose weight fast, you tend to lose more weight and maintain a balanced weight over time (2). Being obese increases your risk of a number of diseases including high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and more.
  • Ongoing Support – You have the support of Optavia coaches throughout your weight loss journey. In fact, the latest research shows the connection between losing weight effectively and having the support of a lifestyle coach or counselor (3). That way the Optavia Diet program is one of the best weight loss programs for you to lose weight fast and effectively.

Cons

  • Low In Calories – The Optavia 5 & 1 plan is very low in calories with just 800 to 1,200 calories per day. It may not go well with someone who is used to consuming 2,000 calories or more per day.
  • Might Be Difficult To Stick With – Especially, the 5 & 1 plan can be difficult to stick with since it’s quite restrictive in food options and calorie count.
  • Expensive – The Optavia Diet program can be expensive regardless of your chosen plan.

Summary

The Optavia Diet program promotes fast and effective weight loss with low-calorie prepackaged foods, low-carb homemade meals, and one-on-one coaching.

It has 3 main plans with a host of recipes for you to choose from. While the most popular 5 & 1 Plan is fairly restrictive, the 3 & 3 Maintenance plan allows for a wider variety of food and fewer processed snacks.

All in all, the Optavia Diet program is one of the most effective weight loss programs on the market today.

Sources

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29201070/
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12529-010-9092-y
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6151211/
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