You might need seen eating regimen program Optavia popping up on social media just lately. Whereas the corporate is a bit older, the eating regimen program has gained traction in the previous few years. Optavia says it may well assist you undertake wholesome habits and apply them to your on a regular basis life. 

Based in 2002, Optavia is owned by mother or father firm Medifast, identified for promoting weight reduction and health-related merchandise, usually by means of multilevel advertising and marketing. 

To study 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 emphasizes each good consuming and good dwelling. The corporate’s message is that in case you study wholesome habits, you’ll be able to lead a wholesome life. 

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Screenshot by Caroline Igo/CNET

Optavia first caught folks’s consideration on Instagram in 2018 when TV’s Cake Boss, aka 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 these days … I’ve used the Optavia program. I believe everyone is totally different and you need to do no matter fits you however that is what I am doing and I am very proud of the outcomes to this point!” He says he’s not sponsored. 

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

How does Optavia 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. Irrespective of which meal plan you select, you may be consuming 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 entire grains.

Every fueling product comprises round 100 to 150 energy. Optavia’s minimal-calorie eating regimen has purchasers 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 pointers 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 initially of the eating regimen. Well being professionals advocate a 500-calorie deficit for wholesome weight reduction. At all times 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

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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 would not comprise 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 equipment.

Optavia lean-and-green meals

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The meal plan you select will decide what number of lean-and-green meals you eat a day. Not like fuelings, these meals aren’t included in your meal equipment. Meaning 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, rooster, salmon or tofu) 
  • Three servings of nonstarchy greens (for instance, cauliflower, collard greens or broccoli)
  • As much as two servings of wholesome fats (for instance, avocado, eggs or nuts)

Private teaching with Optavia

Reducing weight is tough, and it is even more durable to do it alone. A private coach might help inspire you and ease the stress of starting a weight reduction journey. You may join with Optavia’s private coaches by means of textual content or e-mail, or in particular person if distance permits.

A majority of Optavia’s coaches have been purchasers themselves. After coaching offered by the corporate, you’ll be able to turn into a paid coach for newcomers. Whereas the coaching Optavia gives appears in depth, coaches do not undergo skilled coaching. That is the place points of Optavia’s mother or father firm, Medifast, are available, by means of multilevel advertising and marketing to usher in new purchasers 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 positive to pay particular consideration to style, texture, dietary worth, portion dimension and the trouble it took to organize 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 concerning the dimension of my pointer finger. It comprises 110 energy, 11 grams of protein, 3.5 grams 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 numerous flavors together with peanut butter, s’mores, chocolate mint cookie and raisin oat cinnamon. For those who’re not a fan of chocolate, there are many different flavors to strive.

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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 surely was bitter. The brownie comprises yogurt chips, which have been the tastiest a part of the fueling. It comprises 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 on the spot potatoes. I attempted the bitter cream and chive taste, though there are extra to select from. Every packet of potatoes comprises 100 energy, 11 grams of protein and 0.5 grams of fats.

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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 robust however not sturdy sufficient to cowl up the processed taste. The feel is just like selfmade mashed potatoes, however the consistency is simply too dry. 

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Caroline Igo/CNET

Lastly, I attempted the honey mustard and onion sticks. They’re just like flavored pretzel sticks, and comprise 100 energy, 11 grams of protein and 1.5 grams of fats. It is onerous 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 totally different from the opposite fuelings provided. They comprise larger 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.

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Caroline Igo/CNET

I attempted one of many chocolate shakes first. The drink tasted just 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. Different flavors embody 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. Understand that you’d eat each two hours.

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

Optavia pricing 

Every meal plan comprises sufficient meals objects for 30 days.

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

What do nutritionists say about Optavia?

I spoke with Dr. Melina B. Jampolis, a doctor vitamin specialist and host of the podcast Virtually Wholesome by Dr. Melina, concerning the security of eating regimen packages equivalent to Optavia. 

“As a weight reduction physician, I utterly perceive why folks flip to diets like this, as we’ve to make a number of hundred meals and beverage selections every day,” Jampolis stated. “So, attempting to ‘eating regimen’ can shortly result in choice fatigue and depart folks making the improper selections.

“Most individuals state that lack of time getting ready the precise meals is an element of their eating regimen failure, and consuming out could 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,” Jampolis stated. 

Weight loss plan packages 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 stated she is anxious with eating regimen packages which might be made up of extremely processed meals. “They is probably not as naturally satiating as entire meals nearer to their pure kind, they usually actually aren’t as wholesome,” she stated. As well as, most eating regimen packages “do not educate folks methods to navigate their diets on their very own, so as soon as they cease ordering the meals, they may merely return to their previous methods.”

However, Jampolis stated research present 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 simply want to ensure to use the rules for continued weight loss-weight upkeep. So, maybe, they may discover a more healthy meal (with entire 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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Caroline Igo/CNET

Optavia has helped folks drop pounds, but it surely is not wholesome for everybody. Any eating regimen program can have unintended results equivalent to 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 strive Optavia if:

  • You do not thoughts meal replacements equivalent to protein shakes
  • You are trying to learn to make easy-to-prepare meals
  • You desire 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 on the lookout for contemporary or prepackaged meals
  • You do not wish to pay for each a weight reduction program and grocery retailer journeys
  • You are on the lookout for a approach to preserve weight off long-term


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