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What Is Optavia?

What Is Optavia?

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    Optavia is a low-calorie and carbohydrate diet program. Pre-packaged foods, homemade meals, and personalized coaching are essential aspects of helping you lose weight.

    What Is Optavia?

    The Optavia program is a weight loss and weight management system designed to transform your lifestyle. Nutrition, sleep, movement, and hydration guide you towards optimal health and well-being.

    Four key components include:

    1. Your Optavia Coach for one-on-one personal support.
    2. The Habits of Health Transformational System, including Dr. A’s Habits of Health, Your LifeBook, and the Habits of Health App.
    3. Pre-packaged meals and snacks
    4. The Optavia Community, with online conferences, nutrition advice, and support groups.

    How Optavia Works


    Optavia recommends eating six times a day, every two to three hours.

    You’re provided with pre-made meals and healthy snacks. However, you need to prepare some food yourself. The amount you prepare depends on the plan you’re on.

    Optavia recommends getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise or 45 minutes of light-to-moderate exercise each day.

    If you don’t already exercise regularly, it’s recommended to wait two to three weeks after starting Optavia. If you already exercise, you should halve the intensity and duration for two weeks, which helps your body adjust to the reduced calorie intake.

    You’ll track your progress, hydration, physical activity, and mealtimes in Your LifeBook and the Habits of Health App.

    The Diet Plan

    Optavia Fuelings, Lean & Green Meals, and Optimal Health Fuelings are integral to all Optavia plans.

    Optavia Fuelings

    Optavia Fuelings are prepackaged meals and snacks.

    With almost identical nutritional profiles, they’re interchangeable. All contain:

    • A balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats
    • Probiotics for digestive health
    • 100% of your 24 vitamins and minerals (when you consume 5 Fuelings)
    • No colors, flavors, or artificial sweeteners

    Optavia Fuelings can include shakes, soups, hot vegetables, hearty meals, biscuits, puddings, and brownies.

    Lean and Green Meals

    These can be homemade, purchased on the Optavia website, or eaten when you dine out.

    The meal should contain:

    • 250 calories
    • Three servings of non-starchy vegetables
    • Five to seven ounces of grilled, baked, broiled, or poached lean protein
    • Up to two servings of healthy fats

    Optimal Health Fuelings

    These are only recommended when you are on the Optimal Health 3&3 maintenance plan. They are higher in calories and carbs and are not fortified with vitamins and minerals. Examples include a Strawberry Yogurt Bar or a Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake Mix.

    Optavia offers several diet plans.

    Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan

    The Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is the most popular Optavia diet.

    You can expect to lose approximately 12 pounds in 12 weeks.

    The goal is to induce a gentle but efficient fat-burning state of the body.

    Of your six small meals each day:

    • Five are Optavia Fuelings
    • One is a Lean & Green Meal

    Each day, you’ll consume:

    • 800 to 1000 calories
    • 80 to 100 grams of carbohydrates
    • At least 72 grams of protein
    • 64 oz water
    • Less than 30% calories from total fat

    Optimal Weight 4&2&1 Plan

    The Optimal Weight 4&2&1 Plan is designed for people who like flexibility.

    It leads to steady and gradual weight loss.

    This plan is particularly suitable for:

    • People with diabetes
    • Inactive people aged 65 and over
    • People who exercise more than 45 minutes daily
    • People with less than 15 pounds to lose

    Of your six small meals each day:

    • Four are Optavia Fuelings
    • Two are Lean & Green Meals
    • One is an Optiva or homemade snack

    Each day, you’ll consume:

    • 1100 to 1300 calories
    • 85 to 100 grams of carbohydrates

    The Optimal Health 3&3 Plan

    You can transition to the Optimal Health 3&3 Plan when you’ve reached your goal weight.

    The goal is to help you maintain your habits and weight maintenance. To do this, you’ll continue eating six small meals a day, every two to three hours. You’ll also learn healthy portioning and how to balance your meals nutritionally.  

    Of your six small meals each day:

    • Three are Optimal Health Fuelings
    • Three are homemade balanced meals
    • One is a Free Choice

    Specialized Optavia diet plans are available for breastfeeding mothers, diabetes, gout, seniors, and teenagers.


    The cost of the Optavia diet depends on your plan and how many meals you purchase. All prices are in USD.

    Dos and Don’ts


    See Also
    avocado, broccoli and vegetables on counter

    • Speak with your doctor before starting Optavia.
    • Weigh yourself at least once per week.
    • Eat all Optavia Fuelings and Lean & Green Meals even if you’re not hungry, so you get enough nutrients.


    • Swap a Lean & Green Meal for an Optavia Fueling. Lean & Green Meals have essential nutrients and teach you healthy cooking habits.
    • Use Optimal Health Fuelings in the weight loss plans.
    • Drink alcohol. On a low-calorie diet, alcohol’s effects can be felt more rapidly and may make you more likely to eat unhealthy food.

    Sample Diet Plan

    Here’s a 1200-calorie Optimal Health 3&3 diet plan.


    • ¾ cup ready-to-eat unsweetened cereal
    • 1 cup skim or low-fat milk

    Mid-Morning Fueling

    • Optimal Health Strawberry Yogurt Bar


    • ½ cup cooked cauliflower
    • 3 oz. grilled chicken
    • ¾ cup low-fat yogurt

    Mid-Afternoon Fueling

    • Optimal Health Strawberry Banana Smoothie Mix


    • 2 cups raw spinach
    • 1 cup total diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and mushrooms
    • 3 oz. baked yellowfin tuna
    • Two tablespoons of low-fat salad dressing
    • One small apple
    • One Free Choice

    Health Benefits and Drawbacks of Optavia


    Fat and weight loss

    A study on pre-portioned meal replacements and coaching calls found that people experienced reductions in body weight, fat, and waist and hip circumference after 16 weeks on the 5&1 plan.

    Probiotics in Optavia Fuelings

    Experts believe probiotics could improve measurements in overweight and obese people with related metabolic diseases and could modulate weight and BMI.

    Learn New Skills

    As you progress, you’ll learn how to create healthy meals without relying on prepackaged foods, helping you achieve your long-term goals and build lifelong healthy habits.


    Side Effects

    Rapid weight loss can cause several health issues. These include:  

    • Gallstones or gallbladder disease
    • Temporary hair thinning
    • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or headaches
    • Fatigue
    • Gastrointestinal problems

    Processed foods

    Optavia Fuelings and Optimal Health Fuelings are highly processed.

    Processed foods are associated with increased obesity-related comorbidities, weight gain, and increased energy intake, so limiting them is recommended.

    The Bottom Line: Is Optavia a Healthy Way to Lose Weight?

    The Optavia Diet is much lower in calories compared to other diets. Although you’ll lose weight quickly, this can be dangerous. It’s crucial to closely follow Optavia’s guidelines to meet your energy and nutrient requirements while losing weight.

    Disclaimer: The information on this website is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.
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