Diet Plan With Fuelings


What is the Diet Plan With Fuelings? This diet plan takes the best elements of well-established diets and combines in a clear, easy to follow program that delivers on its promise. Dieting doesn’t have to be hard. Dieting doesn’t have to be frustrating. Dieting doesn’t have to feel like you’re depriving yourself of food all day. You can eat real meals. Your family won’t even notice. You will lose weight because you are eating less calories than your body needs while being satisfied.

What Is the Optavia Diet? A Dietitian Reviews the Plan and Food List

optavia diet

Optavia is a well-known weight-loss program from Medifast Inc., the multilevel marketing organization that was fined $3.7 million for deceptive advertising in 2012. The name “Optavia” may sound similar to a life-insurance company or even a sophisticated eyeglasses brand.

The Optavia program, which Google experts named as one of the top trending diets back in 2018, has since gained the support of a famous devotee. Buddy Valastro, a former Cake Boss contestant most known for his sugary creations on television, credited the show for helping him lose a significant amount of weight in the same year.

Nothing on the diet is formally off-limits in terms of constraints. But it’s also not exactly a walk in the park. In order to lose weight, the program prescribes calorie limitations and suggests that participants purchase specialized “fuelings.” Although Optavia programs have a reputation for being a quick fix for weight loss, they aren’t always praised for their methodology. For instance, according to U.S. News & World Report, Optavia is now ranked #27 for Best Diets Overall (FYI: that’s really low! ), and the meal plan “scored notably poorly for healthy eating,” even though you might lose weight quickly with it.

According to Jaclyn London, M.S., R.D., CDN, a Registered Dietitian, consultant, and author of Dressing on the Side based in New York City, “the calorie restriction on Optavia is far too extreme for most people — especially those who are choosing it as the first step in establishing a healthier eating pattern and lifestyle on the whole” (and Other Diet Myths Debunked).

“Although community and accountability are essential elements of any behavior change program, behavior modification with restrictive eating patterns puts some of us at risk for disordered eating behaviors and tendency to restrict-binge-restrict.”

What is the Optavia Diet?

Optavia is promoted as a weight-loss or maintenance program that calls for consuming a combination of prepared “lean and green” meals and commercially produced, processed foods the firm calls “fuelings.” You are not required to track your calories or carbs as part of the program. Instead, as part of a specified meal plan, which can include as many as six portion-controlled meals each day, members add water to powdered food items or unwrap a bar. There are apparently more than 60 items to pick from, ranging from drinks to biscuits, soups to puddings, all of which, according to the company behind the program, contain additional protein and a probiotic.

Optavia’s offerings have lately been expanded to include a number of new programs created for persons with diabetes who have been diagnosed as well as considerations for adults over 65. These programs differ differently from Optavia’s popular 5&1 plan, which made its debut in 2017, and they might be more customisable if you consult your doctor about them.

To assist you learn their patented “Habits of Health,” Optavia also provides guidance from its own team of diet coaches; these persons, it should be noted, are not required to receive any medical certification in order to provide these services.

Additionally, the strategy suggests engaging in daily moderate-intensity activity for roughly 30 minutes. Once your weight loss objectives are attained, the company eventually provides a backup plan for weight loss maintenance that customers can sign up for.

What do you eat on Optavia?

Optavia’s “fuelings,” which include bars, shakes, cookies, cereal, and some savory alternatives like soup and mashed potatoes, make up at least half of every diet plan. Soy or whey protein is frequently included as the first component in these processed goods.

The remainder of the diet is made up of “lean and green” meals, which you must shop for and prepare on your own time through meal prep sessions. These consist of:

  • 5–7 ounces of cooked lean protein like fish, chicken, egg whites, turkey, or soy
  • 3 servings of non-starchy vegetables like lettuce, greens, celery, or cucumbers
  • Up to 2 servings of healthy fats like olive oil, olives, or avocado

How often do you eat on Optavia?

The Optavia advises eating six or seven times per day (about every two to three hours) depending on the chosen plan. The three available plans are:

  1. Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan: Eat five Optavia fuelings and just one “lean and green” meal per day.
  2. Optimal Weight 4 & 2 & 1 Plan: Eat four of the brand’s fuelings, two “lean and green” meals, and one snack per day. Meal plans are capped at 1,300 calories in total.
  3. Optimal Health 3 & 3 Plan: Eat three fuelings as well as three “lean and green” meals. This plan is often recommended for those interested in weight management after a short-term diet.

Is the Optavia diet healthy?

The Optavia diet is regarded as a high-protein diet because it includes 10–35% of your daily calories from protein. It’s also obvious that for initial weight loss benefits, the approach depends on you maintaining a calorie deficit over the long term. However, the powdered, processed form of protein used in products like Optavia may have certain unfavorable side effects.

“The usage of the word “fuelings,” which are intended to replace meals on Optavia, is a huge “red flag” in this case. You are much better off eating meals that include high protein foods that you enjoy rather than drinking them in the form of powder that may cause feelings of discomfort, especially in the context of extreme calorie deficit. These protein powders frequently contain additives (including sugar alcohols, emulsifiers, and texturizing agents) that can lead to unwanted GI side effects “said London.

Additionally, the FDA does not oversee the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements like shakes and powders the same way it does for food.

“It is imperative that you speak with your doctor before beginning this strategy. Protein blends and powders aren’t regulated, so there’s no way to guarantee that what you’ll get in one batch is the same as what you’ll get in another, and they may be tainted with unpleasant additives or conflict with medications you may already be taking “London threw in.

How does Optavia help you lose weight?

To encourage weight loss, Optavia largely relies on calorie restriction. On this diet, you might consume about 1,000 calories each day because most “fuelings” have 100–110 calories each. The Good Housekeeping Institute’s nutritionists have previously argued that 1,200 calories per day should be the absolute minimum to prevent disordered or unhealthy eating.

Despite Optavia’s radical strategy, U.S. News & World Report presently places it second on its list of the best fast weight-loss diets, behind the ever-favorite Keto strategy and the HMR Diet. On the list of the Best Diets for Healthy Eating, Optavia is ranked at number 31, which is telling because many other programs exceed it.

Short-term weight loss appears inevitable because you are only consuming half the calories that normal adults do, according to the publication. “The outlook for the long term is less encouraging.”

The best method to lose weight sustainably over the long term, according to London, is to eat meals and snacks that include lots of fruit, 100% whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and pulses, low-fat dairy products, eggs, poultry, fish, and lean meat along with a few treats.

Is Optavia the same as Medifast?

Almost — Optavia’s parent business is Medifast Inc. It also owns and runs the Medifast program, which you may recall from the 1980s and 1990s and in which patients were given meals by prescription from doctors. Optavia employs comparable meals with the same macronutrient profile, but customers can enroll in the program online.

How much does Optavia cost?

The essential 5&1 plan, which is Optavia’s flagship offering, cost more than $375 per month, and that’s not including what you’ll spend on your “lean and green” meals (or what you cook at home). Here’s what you can expect to pay for each program in 2022:

  • 5 & 1 Plan: $379 for 119 servings
  • 4 & 2 & 1 Plan: $423 for 140 servings
  • 3 & 3 Plan: $21 for 7 servings

However, according to predictions from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released in September 2022, a woman between the ages of 19 and 70 may spend upwards of $243 per month on groceries and still maintain a healthy diet. Contrary to Optavia, you will need to cook the majority of your food; nevertheless, there are plenty of other systems you can look into that don’t entail portion restriction.

What Is the Optavia Diet?

A very low-calorie meal-replacement diet, Optavia is sold by previous users

We think there isn’t a single, universal strategy for leading a healthy lifestyle. Individualized eating programs that take into account the full person are necessary for success. Consult your doctor or a qualified dietitian before beginning a new eating regimen, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

What Is the Optavia Diet?

In order to generate a calorie deficit and promote weight loss, the Optavia plan makes use of meal replacements such shakes, bars, pre-packaged snacks, and other short, calorie-controlled meals. This diet makes the claim that it makes weight loss more convenient while eliminating uncertainty. Lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables are the main components of the diet, and sweets and high-calorie foods are strongly discouraged. The diet is not advised by experts.

U.S. News and World Report for 2021

The Optavia Diet is ranked 28th by Best Diets. and rates it as 2.6/5.1 overall. Discover the benefits and drawbacks of this diet to determine whether it is a good choice for you.

What Experts Say

Meal replacement is a part of the Optavia diet. Followers reduce their calorie intake and lose weight by eating a specific amount of “fuelings” (plus one handmade meal) each day. It is unsustainable, according to experts, and many people will gain weight when they stop using meal replacements.

The 7-Day Diet Plan

In all of its plans, Optavia products take the place of several meals consumed throughout the day. Everything offered is within strict calorie ranges. One serving of vegetables is equal to half a cup.

While there are many different ways to implement the diet, here is one example.

  • Day 1: Three 7-ounce servings of cod, shrimp, or egg whites, two healthy fat servings, three servings of non-starchy vegetables; 1 snack such as celery sticks, sugar-free gum, or dill pickle spears; 3 fuelings (Optavia bars or shakes)
  • Day 2: Three 6-ounce servings of pork tenderloin, trout, or chicken breast, one healthy fat serving, three servings of non-starchy vegetables; 3 fuelings
  • Day 3: Two meals of 5 ounces salmon, beefsteak, or dark poultry meat, three servings of non-starchy vegetables; 1 pre-packaged Optavia meal; 1 snack; 3 fuelings
  • Day 4: Three 7-ounce servings of cod, shrimp, or egg whites, two healthy fat servings, three servings of non-starchy vegetables; 1 snack; 3 fuelings
  • Day 5: Two meals of 5 ounces salmon, beefsteak, or dark poultry meat, three servings of non-starchy vegetables; 1 pre-packaged Optavia meal; 1 snack; 3 fuelings
  • Day 6: Three 6-ounce servings of pork tenderloin, trout, or chicken breast, one healthy fat serving, three servings of non-starchy vegetables; 3 fuelings
  • Day 7: Three 7-ounce servings of cod, shrimp, or egg whites, two healthy fat servings, three servings of non-starchy vegetables; 1 snack; 3 fuelings

What You Can Eat

You will consume between two and five of the company’s pre-made meal substitutes (referred to as “fuelings”) every day, depending on the Optavia Diet plan you choose. Additionally, you’ll have one to three of your own low-calorie meals that are mostly composed of non-starchy veggies and lean protein (“lean and green”).

Optavia Fuelings

The Optavia Diet’s pre-packaged fuelings make up the majority of the food you eat. Each fuelling is nutritionally equivalent and portion-controlled, according to the business. 2

This indicates that they are interchangeable and offer the same nutrients whether consumers choose to eat a granola bar or red bean and veggie chili, for example. There are about 50 options available, including soups, bars, drinks, pretzels, and cookies.

Lean Protein

The “lean and green” meals you prepare must include a 5- to 7-ounce portion of cooked lean protein. Optavia distinguishes between lean, leaner, and leanest protein sources using the following examples:

  • Lean: Salmon, lamb, or pork chops
  • Leaner: Swordfish or chicken breast
  • Leanest: Cod, shrimp, and egg whites

Non-Starchy Vegetables

Optavia’s 5&1 program allows for two non-starchy vegetables alongside the protein in your lean and green meal. These veggies are divided into lower, moderate, and higher carbohydrate categories, with the following as examples:

  • Lower carb: Salad greens
  • Moderate carb: Cauliflower or summer squash
  • Higher carb: Broccoli or peppers

Healthy Fats

In addition to lean protein and non-starchy vegetables, a lean and green meal can include up to two servings of healthy fats.

  • Olive oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Flaxseed
  • Avocado

Low-Calorie Condiments

The diet permits certain condiments as part of your homemade meals.

  • Mustard
  • Vinegar
  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Spices
  • Salsa
  • Herbs

Low-Fat Dairy, Fresh Fruit, and Whole Grains

When you reach your ideal weight, the Optavia Diet allows you to add servings of fruit, dairy, and grains, such as:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Apples, bananas, berries, etc.
  • Whole grain bread, whole wheat English muffins, high fiber cereals, etc.

What You Cannot Eat

Although no food is technically forbidden on the Optavia diet, many items (such as sweets) are strongly discouraged.


Optavia discourages indulging sugar cravings with sweets. However, after the initial weight loss phase, you can add lower-calorie sweet treats like fresh fruit or flavored yogurt back into your diet. But you should generally avoid:

  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Ice cream

High-Calorie Additions

  • Mayonnaise
  • Sugary BBQ sauce
  • Butter

Sugar-Sweetened and Alcoholic Beverages

  • Soda
  • Sweetened coffee beverages
  • Beer
  • Spirits
  • Wine

How to Prepare the Optavia Diet & Tips

The Optavia Diet offers consumers a variety of branded goods, just like other meal replacement programs. The most widely used and designed for quick weight loss is the 5&1 plan. 2 Users on this regimen consume five Optavia fuelings and one lean green meal with few calories each day.

The 3&3 plan (3 fuelings + three lean and green meals) and the 4&2&1 plan are two of Optavia’s additional options (4 fuelings, two lean and green meals, and one snack). These programs are made for people who want to either maintain their present weight or lose weight gradually.

5 to 7 ounces of cooked lean protein and three servings of non-starchy veggies with up to two servings of healthy fats make up a lean and green dinner. Your choice of protein’s fat content will determine how much fat you eat.

Every week, you ought to eat at least two servings of fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Your lean and green lunch can be eaten anytime you like. Eat every two to three hours.

When you have attained your desired weight, you should supplement your lean and green meals with portions of fruit, low-fat dairy, and nutritious grains.

Medifast, which you might recall was the name of a meal replacement weight loss program in the past, is the parent business of Optavia. The Medifast program changed into Optavia, and it is no longer considered to be a distinct entity.

Pros of the Optavia Diet

The main health benefit of following an Optavia plan is rapid weight loss, particularly for people who need to lose a significant amount of weight.

  • Convenience: Buying pre-portioned, packaged foods can be easy and convenient; there is little need to count calories or carbs. A simple formula for creating your own meals at home is also convenient. Instead of calorie counting, you will count portions of specific foods, which makes meal tracking easier.
  • Reduced overweight and obesity risks: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of some diseases. Among them are high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and various types of cancer.3 Losing just 5% of body weight can help reduce these risks.4
  • Improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels: While some health experts recommend a more gradual weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week,4 there are some times when a faster rate is preferred. For example, studies have connected rapid weight loss with more significant improvements in lipid and glycemic profiles.5 This means that losing weight faster may be better for people with cholesterol and/or blood sugar issues threatening their health. However, this study also found that body composition changes were better with slower rates of loss.
  • Coaching support: Optavia also offers support through its coaching program, which some users may find helpful. Coaching might help you keep on track, increasing the likelihood of success.

Cons of the Optavia Diet

There are also some potential downsides to Optavia’s plan that could adversely affect your health.

  • Nutrient deficiency: This diet may cause nutrient deficiency if calorie levels are too low for too long.6 In addition to restricting calories, Optavia plans limit food groups, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—all of which provide essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Reduced sports performance: Dropping weight quickly can also reduce sports performance. A review of 10 articles noted that, although many athletes (fighters, specifically, in this case) want to reduce their body mass, doing so too fast can impair their performance while also risking their health.7 A very low-calorie diet will not likely support an athlete’s rigorous training program. Some health experts suggest that if an athlete wants to lose weight, it’s best to do it in the off-season when training demands are not as stringent.8
  • Sales pressure: Coaching “support” can also be a drawback. Critics have called the plan a pyramid scheme because of its multi-level structure. Users who complete Optavia’s program are encouraged to become coaches, sell the company’s products, and recruit new sales representatives. This can be a turnoff for potential customers.
  • Cost: The plans can be expensive; 5 fuelings will cost you about $17, not including tax and shipping (or the groceries you buy for lean and green meals).
  • Hunger: Losing weight this way can be very uncomfortable and may not be sustainable. Very low-calorie diets typically cause extreme hunger, fatigue, and other undesirable symptoms. Experiencing hunger can make you more likely to eat outside the diet plan.

Is the Optavia Diet a Healthy Choice for You?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises following health and dietary guidelines, although the Optavia Diet departs from these recommendations. For instance, Optavia’s 5&1 plan has a daily calorie cap of 800 to 1,000, which is drastically less than the USDA’s recommendation of 2,000 calories for adults.

A “very low-calorie diet” is one with less than 800 calories per day, and it should be under medical supervision. Extreme calorie restriction might result in headaches, menstruation abnormalities, lethargy, and cognitive fog. 10 The 5&1 option shouldn’t be used over the long run as a result. The 3&3 and 4&2&1 regimens can be used for longer periods of time and typically provide between 1,100 and 2,500 calories daily.

The plans from Optavia also include 80 to 100 grams of carbs each day, or around 40% of the diet’s total caloric intake. The USDA suggests a diet with 45% to 65% carbohydrates. Grain and dairy products, which are not included in Optavia’s 5&1 diet, are also highlighted by the USDA.

The 800–1,000 daily calorie cap imposed by the 5&1 plan may not be enough to satisfy all of your dietary requirements. Additionally, it should not be used by women who are expecting or nursing, those who exercise for at least 45 minutes each day, teenagers, sedentary older folks, or those who have diabetes or gout.

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