Optavia Diet Review (SR)

In this article, you'll learn if buying into it can help you achieve what you've heard in the advertising claims.

Review overview



  • Scientifically-developed weight loss and health programs
  • Lots of meal options to choose from


  • Have to buy OPTAVIA’s foods for most plans
  • Can get pricey

Ratings in depth

  • Effectiveness
  • Scientific Backing
  • Customer Reviews
  • Customer Support
  • Money Back Guarantee
7.3 10 Good

Optavia Diet Overview

You might have recently seen the buzz on social media about a diet company marketing meal replacements and weight loss. Optavia is a program that says it can help you adopt healthy habits and apply them to your everyday life.

Founded in 2002, Optavia is owned by parent company Medifast, popularly known for selling weight loss and health-related products, often through multilevel marketing.

To learn more about Optavia’s weight loss plans and offerings, I tested the products and spoke with a nutritionist. Here’s what I found.

What is Optavia?

Optavia is a diet company that sells bars, shakes, snacks, and easy-to-prepare recipes. It places emphasis on both good eating and good living. The company’s message is that if you learn healthy habits, you can lead a healthy life.

Optavia first caught people’s attention on Instagram in 2018 when Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, shared his weight loss success. In a post on his profile he wrote, “A lot of people have been asking me how I’ve slimmed down lately … I’ve used the Optavia program. I think everybody is different and you should do whatever suits you but this is what I’m doing and I’m very happy with the results so far!” He says he is not sponsored.

Let’s jump into how Optavia helped Cake Boss lose weight.

How does it work?

The diet company relies on meal replacements called “fuelings,” which are branded products designed to keep you full until your next fueling. No matter which meal plan you choose, you’ll be eating a meal every 2 to 3 hours, resulting in six meals a day.

However, one to three (depending on your plan) meals will be a dish you make at home using fresh ingredients. The program also recommends avoiding alcohol, sugary drinks and desserts, high-calorie condiments, starchy vegetables, and whole grains.

Each fueling product contains around 100 to 150 calories. Optavia’s minimal-calorie diet has clients consuming about 800 to 1,100 calories a day, depending on the plan and the number of homemade meals. According to the USDA’s dietary guidelines for adults, women should consume 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day, and men 2,200 to 3,200 calories.

This calorie deficit causes rapid weight loss at the start of the diet. Health professionals recommend a 500-calorie deficit for healthy weight loss. Always consult with your doctor before making changes to your diet to ensure you’re consuming enough calories.

Optavia meal plans

Optavia offers three meal plans:

  • Optimal Weight 5-and-1 Plan (five fuelings and one lean-and-green meal a day)
  • Optimal Weight 4-and-2-and-1 Plan (four fuelings, two lean-and-green meals, and one snack a day)
  • Optimal Health 3-and-3 Plan (three fuelings and three lean-and-green meals a day)

Personal coaching

Losing weight is hard, and it’s even harder if you do it alone. A personal coach can help to motivate and ease the stress of beginning a weight loss journey. You can connect with Octavia’s personal coaches through text, email, or in-person if distance allows.

A majority of Optavia’s coaches were clients themselves. After training provided by the company, you can become a paid coach to newcomers. While the training session that Optavia provides seems to be extensive, coaches don’t go through professional training. This is where aspects of its parent company, Medifast, come in — multilevel marketing to bring in new clients and coaches.

Is Optavia food any good?

I was sent eight bars, two snack sticks, four shake packets, four potato packets, four pancake mixes, and one box of chocolate brownie mix (containing seven packets). This was a small sample of what to expect in either the Optimal Weight 4-and-2-and-1 Plan or the Optimal Weight 5-and-1 Plan.

I’m not a professional food critic, but I did put myself in the shoes of someone on the Optavia diet. I made sure to pay special attention to taste, texture, nutritional value, portion sizes, and the effort it took to prepare the meals.

A day on the Optavia diet

Here’s an example of a day’s meals on the 5-and-1 Plan. Keep in mind that you would eat every 2 hours.

  • Golden chocolate chip pancakes
  • Wild strawberry shake
  • Homestyle chick’n noodle soup
  • Honey mustard and onion sticks
  • Salmon, broccoli with lemon, thyme, and ginger (lean-and-green meal)
  • Creamy double peanut butter crisp bar


Each meal plan contains enough food items for 30 days.

  • Optimal Weight 5-and-1 Plan: $378.25 (includes 17 boxes of essential fuelings)
  • Optimal Weight 4-and-2-and-1 Plan: $423 (includes 18 boxes of essential fuelings and two boxes of snacks)
  • Optimal Health 3-and-3 Plan: $20.75 box/$249 case (you have the option between a box and a case of two fuelings or two shakes)

What do nutritionists say?

I spoke with Dr. Melina B. Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist and host of the podcast Practically Healthy by Dr. Melina, to further understand the safety of diet programs such as Optavia.

“As a weight loss doctor, I completely understand why people turn to diets like this, as we have to make several hundred foods and beverage decisions each day,” Jampolis says. “So, trying to ‘diet’ can quickly lead to decision fatigue and leave people making the wrong choices.”

She went on to note, “Most people state that lack of time preparing the right foods is a factor in their diet failure and eating out is very challenging as portion sizes are generally much larger than needed, and you honestly have no idea what goes into recipes when eating out.”

Diet programs attempt to simplify this process by providing easy-to-make meals with built-in portion control, so you don’t need to guess how much fat, protein, or fiber you need each day.

However, Jampolis states her concerns with diet programs that are made up of highly processed foods. “They may not be as naturally satiating as whole foods closer to their natural form, and they certainly are not as healthy,” she said. In addition, most diet programs “don’t teach people how to navigate their diets on their own so once they stop ordering the food, they could simply go back to their old ways.”

On the other hand, Jampolis points to studies. “Research definitely shows that meal replacements do help with both weight loss and weight maintenance, so if people want to use this to kick-start their weight loss they just need to make sure to apply the principles for continued weight loss-weight maintenance. So, perhaps, they could find a healthier meal (with whole grains and vegetables) to replace lunch or dinner on occasion or have a smoothie or protein bar for breakfast or a snack to build in portion control.”

Potential drawbacks

You’ll need to pay for the diet program and grocery store items for lean-and-green meals.
Low-calorie meals can slow metabolism and cause extreme fatigue.

The most common complaints about Optavia on Better Business Bureau include terrible customer service, constant billing issues, unexpected weight gain after the program, and feeling bloated and sick.

Bottom line: Is Optavia for you?

Optavia has helped people lose weight, but it isn’t healthy for everyone. Any diet program can have devastating effects like triggering disordered eating or yo-yo dieting. Consult with a physician before starting Optavia or any other weight loss program.

Our Main Sources

Sources used for research purposes. ExpertsKnowBest.com is not officially affiliated with these sites.

What You Will Learn:
Read Time
2 Minutes

Top 5 Weight Loss Solutions Of 2022

Total Ranking
Overall Grade
The Bottom Line

The fact that the PS1000 diet comes with health coaches and customer support groups, which can be a crucial element in your success is one of the reasons our experts approval rate is so high.

There are no specific foods to buy or recurring fees to pay, making the one-time price a clear winner in the world of diet costs, which can many times skyrocket. Furthermore, many who have done the PS1000 plan report a lower grocery bill each week as they cut out junk foods and other high-cost sugary products.

The tenure of 10 plus years in business has proven to be successful in helping many people achieve their weight loss and health goals. This company leaves no doubt that this product works and can provide long term results.

Total Ranking
Overall Grade
The Bottom Line

PhenQ is undoubtedly a new and exciting diet supplement on the market that offers so much in one pill. Ingredients look reliable, safe, and in a unique combination.

We found many happy customer reviews online, then combined with their 60-day money-back guarantee, we believe it is certainly worth a try.

Total Ranking
Overall Grade
The Bottom Line

I like Noom for its virtual coaching features and educational content. Yes, it’s a dieting app, but if you commit to using Noom to its total capacity, then you’ll get more than just weight loss. All in all, Noom is a potentially healthful app, but it will only work if you stick with it. Ultimately it’s still on you to commit to healthy living; Noom can only do so much.

Total Ranking
Overall Grade
The Bottom Line

The Mayo Clinic Diet is a balanced meal plan focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. You’re meant to cook your own meals from scratch and exercise daily.

The diet possibly aids weight loss, but no comprehensive studies exist.

While it does not require you to count calories, it recommends servings of various food groups based on a target calorie level.

If you’re looking for a diet that you can maintain for life, the Mayo Clinic Diet is a balanced option.

Total Ranking
Overall Grade
The Bottom Line

The Ornish Diet is a low-fat, lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet that claims to offer substantial health benefits.

In addition to being flexible and easy to follow, some studies suggest that the Ornish Diet may help increase weight loss and protect against chronic disease.

However, it’s also very low in healthy fats and may lack certain vitamins and minerals, which can increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies.

Thus, if you want to give the Ornish Diet a try, be sure to plan it carefully to avoid negative health effects.

*Please keep in mind that with any diet or weight loss program, individual results will vary.

This content is strictly the opinion of ExpertsKnowBest.com and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither ExpertsKnowBest.com nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

Read the full Medical Disclaimer here.

Advertiser Disclosure

Experts Know Best is an independent, advertising-supported comparison website. Products and services that appear on Experts Know Best are from companies from which Experts Know Best receives compensation. As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. This compensation may impact the location and order in which these products appear. Experts Know Best takes into consideration a number of proprietary rules to determine how and where products appear on the site. Experts Know Best does not include the entire universe of available product choices.

About Our Rankings

Our editor’s rate and review products objectively based on the features offered to consumers, the price and delivery options, how a product compares with other products in its category, and other factors. The ratings are based on the expert opinion of our editors and on the underlying technology that analyzes decisions made by similar users to provide individual, targeted recommendations to each person who visits our site.