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Friday, July 12, 2019

I follow the DASH Eating Plan but have taken interest in knowing more about other ways of eating (WOE). Primarily because 1) I am nutrition focused and like to learn more on what makes a healthy WOE, 2) Want to be able to offer educated suggestions to family and friends based on their health goals, and 3) understand other's point of view more regarding their chosen WOE.

Today, I am writing about the Optavia Diet. I am writing about this diet because this was my diet of choice for weight loss. I have reached goal weight and am currently maintaining. For me, I used Optavia strictly for weight loss, however, they do have a maintenance program. Yet still, the maintenance program is designed to get you accustomed to healthy habits in hopes that you will eventually graduate from the program and fly on your own.

I chose to lose weight through Optavia because I wanted to decrease calorie intake nutritiously. Although the food is pricey, it was worth it. Also, the weight loss is fast - but not so fast that you lose more than 2 lbs/week - which is a healthy weight loss goal (you do lose much more in the first week but that is because of water weight).

My primary source for diet plans is USNews and World Report. The Optavia Diet is ranked #2 for best fast weight loss diets, #12 for best weight loss diets, #20 for best diabetes diets, #24 for easiest diets to follow, and #32 for best diets for healthy eating.

The team behind Medifast has released a new line of products under the OPTAVIA brand, with the identical macronutrient profile as its original Medifast products. If you stick to the brand’s products called “Fuelings” and supplement them with one meat, veggie and healthy fat entrée each day, you’ll stay full and nourished. You also won't lose loads of muscle because you'll be eating lots of protein, fiber and key nutrients while consuming very few calories – typically 800 to 1,000 for adults. On average, clients lose about 12 pounds in 12 weeks on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan.

Some carb curbing also goes on behind the scenes. Because carbs are your main energy source, restricting them sends the body to the best available alternative fuel: fat. OPTAVIA is said to curb carbs just enough – you’ll eat 80 to 100 grams a day – to start burning fat.

This is a high protein diet.

IDEAL FOR: Non-meal planners, People on the go, People who thrive on structure, People who need to lose weight quickly

NOT GOOD FOR: Pregnant women, those younger than 13 years old, Older-sedentary adults, people who exercise more than 45 minutes a day, people with serious illnesses like cancer, liver disease, kidney disease or an eating disorder, and vegans

Most dieters follow the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan, which includes five Fuelings a day. You can choose from among more than 60 options including shakes, bars, soups, biscuits and pudding, all of which include high-quality protein and a probiotic the brand says supports digestive health. Your sixth daily meal, which you can have at any time, is built around cooked lean protein and three servings of nonstarchy vegetables. This sixth daily meal is referred to as a "Lean and Green Meal".

To purchase fuelings, dieters can create an account via tsfl.com. Dieters will also be partnered with a coach.

While on the diet, you’ll work with Optavia coaches and can become part of a community to help encourage your success. Once you reach your goal weight, transitioning off the plan is theoretically easier since your old habits are replaced by healthier ones. The company offers a specific line of products via its Optimal Health 3&3 Plan designed for weight maintenance.

For people looking for a slightly more flexible and higher-calorie diet, OPTAVIA also offers the Optimal Weight 4&2&1 Plan, which includes four Fuelings, two “lean and green” meals and one healthy snack, such as a serving of fruit or a baked potato.

The company also markets specific plans for people with diabetes, nursing moms, people with gout, seniors and teens.

OPTAVIA recommends 30 minutes most days of a moderate-intensity exercise.

If you’re on any medications – especially warfarin, lithium, diabetes medication or medications for high blood pressure – talk to your doctor before starting any of the programs, the company advises.

BENEFITS: No calorie counting needed, Nutritious, Can Eat Out, Recipes Offered, Behavior Changes, Satiating, Packaged products offer convenience, Fast Weight Loss, Social Support

SHORTFALLS: Not easy to stick with since there is some powered, just add water foods, Costly*, Not Family Friendly, Short-term Weight Loss, Extreme Calorie Restriction

*Prices for OPTAVIA's Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan range from about $350 to $425 for 119 servings, or about three weeks’ worth. The additional grocery tab won't break the bank – you'll be buying mainly vegetables and a little protein to supplement.

Other Tidbits: Although calorie counting isn't needed. I still tracked my calories because I did not stick to the plan 100%. I only did their Optimal 5&1 Plan. After which, I followed DASH as my WOE. I was introduced to this diet by a meat and potatoes friend who found success on the diet and also became a coach. I figured if he could do it, anyone could. However, probably not suited for those who are less disciplined overall. My favorite aspect was that I didn't have to worry about the mental gymnastics of figuring out what to eat.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for your comment Mary! I think it is difficult if you have kids - of any age. My mother is currently doing Optavia and since dinner is the primary meal that her and my dad share during the weekday, she makes dinner the "Lean and Green" meal. Weekends - particularly breakfast is where it can be difficult. Essentially, as long as you are reducing calories, there is much leeway to make this diet flexible.
    6 days ago
    I have a friend who is an Optavia Coach and she is helping other folks on the diet. I feel it might be ok for single people but if you are married it might be more difficult. I lost weight on Weight Watchers and am very satisfied.
    6 days ago
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