What Is the Optavia Diet and Does It Work for Weight Loss?

However, the sustainability of weight loss after leaving the program and resuming a diet of whole foods is unlikely. Good luck with that; my source says that the program is ‘addictive’, not only because of the weight loss, but also the convenience of having pre-made meals. Hello, can you eat 1000 or fewer calories a day for weeks on end? Even 1300 calories a day, as is offered on the 4 and 2 and 1 program, is extremely difficult for most people to sustain. Aside from the emotional side effects such as guilt and shame around food, very low calorie diets can cause gallstones, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, metabolic slowing, obsession with food, and depression. They can also cause rebound weight gain, which Optavia appears to do.

“If you’re trying to be budget conscious, Optavia diet plans are not for you,” Newgent says. The Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan costs roughly $428 for 119 servings, averaging to $17 per day, plus any additional spending for the “Lean & Green” meal. A very low-calorie diet will not likely support an athlete’s rigorous training program.

PlateJoy is a meal planning app that offers custom meal plans and recipes to suit your preferences and goals, as well as those of your household. Not only is this not ideal for optimal health, but you’re also missing out on the variety of flavors and textures offered by whole foods. This is a cause for concern, as many of these items are highly processed. Highly processed foods contain less fiber and fewer beneficial nutrients than a balanced diet with a variety of whole fruits and vegetables. The Optavia diet includes specialized programs for vegetarians, people with diabetes, and people who are nursing.

The company’s co-founder and independent Optavia Coach, Wayne Scott Andersen, DO (a.k.a. Dr. A.), says a big reason why the program works for so many is that the focus isn’t just on food. After joining Optavia, you connect with a coach who works one-on-one with you and provide support as you learn lifestyle habits that’ll help you shed pounds and improve your health. Over and over again, I have seen solid weight loss from this program.

No mindfulness, no holistic focus, no appreciation for food, no education about how to self-manage. They even recommend low-fat margarine over butter in their meal plans. I started my trial run of Optavia with one of the eight bars in my package.

Available in three plans, this commercial diet program may indeed help with weight loss and maintenance. Yes, it’s created with the help of a credentialed advisory board. Yes, the meals (or, ahem, “Fuelings”) are designed to restrict calories while providing nutrients. But Optavia, in its structure, is very similar to Nutrisystem or the more modern Kettlebell Kitchen, in which the company ships you prepared meals and you eat those prepared meals. They also are to provide individualized support for the Habits of Health Transformation System. Encouraging client participation with the community is also one of the coaches responsibilities as is reporting any adverse reactions to the program or its products to nutrition support.

Caroline is a writer and editor with almost a decade of experience. From 2015 to 2019, she held various editorial positions at Good Housekeeping, including as health editor, covering nutrition, fitness, wellness, and other lifestyle news. She’s a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism and dreams of the day Northwestern will go back to the Rose Bowl. Plus, the FDA does not regulate dietary supplements like shakes and powders for safety and efficacy the same way it does for food.

The USDA also emphasizes grains and dairy products, which are not represented in Optavia’s 5&1 plan. Rachel Goldman, Ph.D., FTOS, is a licensed psychologist, clinical assistant professor, speaker, and wellness expert specializing in weight management and eating behaviors. Verywell Fit’s content is for informational turtle dove recipes and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. News and World Report currently ranks it #2 in its list of Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets, alongside the HMR Diet and trailed by the ever-popular Keto approach.

This article reviews the pros and cons of the Optavia diet, as well as its effectiveness, to help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. On the Optavia diet, you will eat a Fueling or Lean & Green meal every two to three hours. Below is an example of a three-day menu for the 5&1 Plan.

If you’re hungry, have an extra Fueling or a couple additional ounces of lean protein (e.g., 1 hard boiled egg, 1-1.5 ounce reduced-fat cheese stick, etc.). It’s better to have an extra Fueling than to go off your program entirely. Macros mean the number of carbohydrates, protein, and fat you should eat each day.

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