Optavia ruined my life Do people say “Optavia ruined my life”? Optavia ruined my life
This weight loss program offers some compelling before and after pictures that might make you want to sign up… but what is it like to follow this diet program? Optavia ruined my life
In this article, I will give you a complete Optavia review. Hi, I’m Jamie, a registered dietitian. This article explains what to expect when you try this restrictive diet program.
Let’s start this blog post with a quick overview of what Optavia is, and then dive deeper into the research that supports this program.
A single strawberry on a white ceramic plate. Optavia ruined my life.
What is Optavia?
Optavia is a weight loss program designed to help people reach their health goals through a combination of store-bought small dishes and home-cooked lean and green meals.
Optavia is a meal kit designed to help you lose weight fast! I know how tempting it sounds if you want to lose weight.
The program has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many proponents reporting dramatic results.
When you follow this diet, you eat five small meals every two to three hours a day, usually from the items in your subscription box.
And then there’s what Optavia calls a “lean and green” meal. A lean and green meal is something you prepare (as opposed to eating the meals that come in the mail). The app provides recipes and you cook a low-carb, high-protein meal.
But what are the unspoken consequences of following Optavia’s strict nutritional protocol?
How does Optavia work?
Optavia is a very low-calorie program that easily creates a calorie deficit for most people. So there’s a good chance you’ll lose weight if you stick with it. That’s because calorie restriction works.
But will the weight loss last? The Sad Truth: Rapid weight loss through highly restrictive and extremely low-calorie intake is not sustainable and usually results in weight gain, not weight loss, over time. Let’s look at the details of the program.
Low calories; higher protein
The signature program that Optavia offers is a low-calorie program with only 800-1000 calories per day to start your rapid weight loss journey. The portion-controlled meals (called “fuels” in Optavia-speak) contain relatively more protein and less carbohydrates and fat.
In their most popular Optimal Weight 5 & 1 plan, you get six small meals per day (and it’s a stretch to call them meals), five of which are “fuels” that are expected to be eaten every two to three hours.
Optavia meals, also known as “Fuelings”, are prepackaged, portion-controlled meal replacements that you buy directly from Optavia. Examples include:
Poles Shaking Soup Pancakes and cereals Mashed potatoes and mac and cheese Hot chocolate If you consume these “fuels” you will likely be eating a very different diet than the rest of your family.
Lean and green meals
With the 5&1 Optavia subscription, you eat a “lean and green” meal every day. This is a home-cooked meal that contains 5 to 7 ounces of lean protein, three ½-cup servings of non-starchy vegetables, and up to two servings of healthy fat.
Optavia is proud of its trainers, who state on their website that they know what you are going through. 90% of them are Optavia customers themselves.
The red flag here: Anyone can become an Optavia trainer. You do not need any education, background, or experience in nutrition or health.
Optavia’s website says that study after study shows that coaching helps you lose weight. The research discussed on the site supports the power of working with registered dietitians like myself, also known as real health experts. However, their trainers are NOT licensed medical professionals – ugh (1, 2)!
And PS Optavia trainers earn money when they get more people to sign up for Optavia because it’s a multi-level marketing business. The red flags are flying.
In addition to the meals mentioned above, the Optavia system recommends 64 ounces of water daily (3).
Optivia side effects
Because Optavia contains so few calories, it may even cause malnutrition. With such a low-calorie diet, it is quite difficult to get the essential nutrients you need every day, such as vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
To give you an example of how low Optavia’s calories are: A 40-year-old woman, 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, and lightly active, needs more than 2,200 calories per day to maintain her weight. The Optavia program allows you to consume 800-1000 calories per day.
Such a low-calorie diet can lead to unwanted side effects.
Low energy levels due to malnutrition malnutrition Hair loss Little energy Gallstones Unfortunately, these side effects do not appear to be uncommon. If you do research online, you can easily find anecdotal reports from many people who have experienced serious side effects from using Optavia.
Is weight gain possible?
Another consequence of using Optavia is that it can be extremely difficult to maintain your weight loss long-term if you stop following the program.
Many people who try this diet program find that they gain weight almost immediately, and some even gain more than when they started.
The reason for this is the drastic restrictions that the program entails. When you finally eat enough calories, it becomes difficult to maintain your weight loss. Consuming too few calories for too long can also damage our metabolism over time.
Such a low-calorie, controlled diet can also trigger an eating disorder and increase (or worsen) the risk of developing an eating disorder (5).
Optavia costs per month
You may be wondering: How much does the Optavia cost? That’s quite a price commitment; Each month costs $400 or more depending on the plan you choose.
If you have extra money to invest in your health, that $400 per month can be used to support long-term, sustainable habit changes. Things like buying more nutritious foods, joining a gym, or purchasing home exercise equipment to support your overall health.
Is there research to support Optavia?
Yes, some clinical trials are investigating Optavia’s weight loss program (formerly known as Medifast) (6).
The studies report how effective the program was for participants to lose weight and what other symptoms they experienced. They also looked at things like how much muscle mass was lost (or not) after this very low-calorie program.
It should be noted that these studies are usually funded by the company itself. Most studies lasted twelve weeks. And yes, they did show weight loss.
But—and this is the most important thing—that’s about as long as humans have been tracked. What is most important is what happens after the “honeymoon” phase of the diet is over.
A twelve-week study doesn’t tell us much about the sustainability of a diet program. To show that such a restrictive program is beneficial and not harmful, participants must be followed for at least several months and then years.
Especially since there are so many anecdotal stories of people following this program gaining weight quickly. And yes, there are many stories of people claiming that Optavia “ruined my life.”
You can easily find personal testimonials from previous Optavia customers saying that the program is not a good fit, like this and this.
What I appreciate about both reviews is that they were written long after you started following the diet plan (and then stopped). You have a very different feel than someone who has just started writing about their experience and has more enthusiasm than experience with the program.
A nutritionist’s thoughts The Optavia program is highly regulated and highly restrictive; To me, these are both warning signs.
If your “healthy” diet prevents you from being flexible, traveling, and spending time with your friends and family, it’s not healthy.
If your “healthy” diet causes you to lose weight quickly and then immediately gain it back, it’s not healthy.