What is the Optavia Diet, and Can It Help You Lose Weight?

The Optavia diet is a low-calorie and reduced carbohydrate program that is a combination of packaged foods, homemade meals and personalized coaching for weight loss. The diet designed by Optavia Company claims to focus on lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables to induce weight loss. This diet claims to focus on five key areas including hydration, exercise, sleep, mindfulness and surroundings.

Moreover, it offers one-on-one coaching to achieve a healthy weight. But, is this diet really helpful for weight loss? Let us discuss foods that are allowed and not allowed in this diet and what are the different versions of this Optavia diet. These factors will help you decide wisely whether the Optavia diet is made for you or not.

What is the Optavia Diet?

For people who don't have a lot of time for cooking, or who aren't interested in cooking but wish to achieve a healthy weight, this diet program provides several diet plans. These plans are inclusive of Optavia fuelings and homemade lean and green meals.

The Optavia diet uses calorie-controlled meals to create a calorie deficit to induce weight loss. Followers are permitted to consume a certain number of fuelling plus one homemade meal per day which results in calorie reduction and weight loss.

Optavia comes with a mobile application that allows followers to track their food intake and activity. Followers can also schedule weekly calls with an Optavia coach who helps them to determine the right plan for the respective goals. This personalized support may encourage people in their weight loss journey. Let us see what the versions of this diet are and what Optavia fuelings are.

Versions of the Optavia diet

The Optavia diet has two weight loss plans and one weight maintenance plan. Apart from these three programs, there are some additional tools like text messages, community forums, weekly support calls, meal reminders and tracking food intake and activity.

  • Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan − This is the most popular plan and includes five Optavia fuelings and one balanced Lean and Green meal per day.

  • Optimal Weight 4&2&1 Plan − This plan may be ideal for people who need more calories or flexibility in food choices. It includes four Optavia fuelings, two lean and green meals and one snack each day.

  • Optimal Health 3&3 Plan − This plan is designed for weight maintenance and includes three Optavia fuelings and three balanced Lean and Green meals each day.

The company provides specialized diet plans, weight loss and weight management programs for older adults, teenagers, people who are nursing and people with medical conditions like diabetes or gout. Even though Optavia offers specialized diet and weight plans, it's not clear whether the diet is safe for people with other medical conditions.

Optavia Fuelings

Optavia Fuelings are products specially made by the Optavia Company that are low in carbohydrates and high in protein. These products have probiotics which are friendly bacteria to boost your gut health. These fuelings use sugar substitutes, whey protein powder and soy protein to create food items.

Followers can choose from more than 60 Optavia Fuelings from bars, shakes, cookies, puddings, cereals, pasta or soups. The portion sizes are decided by the company and are as per the required programs.

Some of the Optavia Fuelings include −

  • Essential Golden Chocolate Chip Pancakes with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of sugar-free maple syrup

  • Essential Drizzled Berry Crisp Bar

  • Essential Jalapeño Cheddar Poppers

  • Essential Home style Chicken Flavoured & Vegetable Noodle Soup

  • Essential Strawberry Shake

How to follow the Optavia diet?

Once you sign up for Optavia, the process begins with talking with an Optavia Coach. In this phone call, you can choose an Optavia diet plan, set your weight loss or weight management goals and familiarize yourself with the program. People who are aiming for weight loss generally begin with the Optimal Weight 5&1 plan.

Optavia 5&1 Plan

In this plan, you are instructed to eat 5 Optavia fuelings and 1 Lean and Green meal per day. This is an 800-1000 calorie regime which claims to help you drop at least 5.4 kg (12 pounds) weight over 12 weeks.

The program recommends eating a meal or Fueling every two to three hours and incorporating 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. This plan also includes one optional snack per day which should be approved by your Coach. You can choose snacks from the options such as three celery sticks, 60 grams (1/2 cup) of sugar-free gelatine or 14 grams (1/2 ounce) of nuts.

Lean and Green Meal

Lean and Green meals are homemade meals which are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Optavia can also help you how to order a Lean and Green meal when you are dining outside. This meal may include options like two servings of healthy fats, three servings of non-starchy vegetables or five to seven ounces (145 to 200 grams) of cooked lean protein. The foods which are allowed in this meal plan are as follows −

  • Low carbohydrates vegetables like spinach, celery, cabbage, peppers, eggplant etc.

  • Sugar-free snacks like ice pops, gelatine, mints etc.

  • Eggs

  • Fish and shellfish

  • Meat

  • Tofu

  • Vegetable oils

  • Healthy fats like olives, almonds, avocado etc.

  • Sugar-free beverages like tea, coffee, water and unsweetened almond milk

  • Condiments and seasonings

Is the Optavia Diet Effective for Weight Loss?

The Optavia diet claims to promote weight loss by reducing calories and carbohydrates through portion-controlled meals and snacks. The research on this diet provides mixed reviews. Some studies may indicate greater weight loss with these meal replacement plans compared to other traditional calorie-restricted diet plans. However, some studies also claim that this diet may create a nutrient deficiency, reduce athletic performance and develop hunger.

Experts have claimed that this diet plan deviates from health and nutrition guidelines set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Optavia diet plans restrict your calorie intake this extreme calorie restriction may cause fatigue, brain fog, headaches or menstrual changes. The USDA suggests a daily intake of 2000 calories for adults, but Optavia's 5&1 plan permits the followers to consume only 800 to 1000 calories per day. The other two programs (3&3 and 4&2&1) may supply 1,100 and 2,500 calories on daily basis and hence, some experts claim that these programs can be appropriate for longer periods.

Furthermore, Optavia's programs provide 80 to 100 grams of carbohydrates daily which represents 40% of daily calories consumed. The USDA recommends a diet which comprises 45% to 65% carbohydrate intake per day. Optavia plans also limits foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains which provide essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. This may result in nutrient deficiency and cause health conditions.


The Optavia diet may promote weight loss, but whether that weight loss will stick once you go off the diet is unclear. You may get tired if you rely too much on packaged food like Optavia Fuelings and this could develop cravings for other foods. The best diet is always the one that is balanced according to your lifestyle. If weight loss is your goal, you need to make an informed decision that works on your nutritional needs, budget, lifestyle and sleep.

Updated on: 09-Mar-2023


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