There are plenty of increasingly popular weight-loss plans that found growing traction on the web. One of these diet plans is Optavia. It is said to help you lose your extra pounds super fast (!) But… Is it really so? And more importantly – Is the Optavia diet healthy/ and safe?
Let’s start with some basic info.
WHAT IS OPTAVIA?
Optavia is a weight loss or maintenance plan that prescribes eating a mix of purchased, processed food called “fuelings” and homemade “lean and green” meals. This diet is extremely calorie-restrictive. That’s why experts worry that Optavia is unsustainable and therefore… many dieters may soon face regaining their lost weight!
HOW DOES OPTAVIA WORK?
The Optavia Diet provides users with its own products (“fuelings”) that take the place of several meals throughout the day. What exactly are these “fuelings?” There are more than 60 different options including shakes, bars, biscuits, soups, and even brownies. Each fueling is protein-based and includes a probiotic for digestive health.
There are three different plans to choose depending on your goals:
– The most popular “5 & 1” plan goal is a rapid weight loss. On this plan, users eat five fuelings and one low-calorie “lean and green” homemade meal per day.
– Two other plans, the “3 & 3” and “4 & 2 & 1” goal is – to take the weight off a bit more slowly or to keep weight steady.
Dieters receive advice and motivation from their Optavia coach and an online community of dieters.
VERY LOW-CALORIE DIETS RESEARCH
There’s very similar to the Optavia diet (Optavia’s “sister” diet), called Medifast. Why do I mention the Medifast? It also promotes losing weight fast by focusing on low-calorie eating plans and meal replacements. There were around nine research studies that Medifast has been a part of…
The follow-up time was never longer than 12 months. Most if not all participants had put back all of their lost weight except for 3 pounds.
A 2016 study on Medifast published in the journal Obesity found that subjects lost 12 pounds in 12 weeks, but they also took Phentermine, which is an amphetamine-type weight loss drug.
The dropout rate in that study was 80 percent (!) People drop out for a variety of reasons, but have to consider that this diet was just too difficult for many of the participants.
Furthermore, let’s have a look what a registered dietitian Abby Langer says regarding Optavia:
“While in most cases Optavia doesn’t qualify as a VLCD (Very Low-Calorie Diet), the 5 and 1 and 4 and 2 and 1 are low enough that they can cause some serious issues in some people.
Aside from the emotional side effects such as guilt and shame around food, very-low-calorie diets can cause gallstones, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, metabolic slowing, obsession with food, and depression. They can also cause rebound weight gain, which Optavia appears to do. And let’s not forget HUNGER. Hello, can you eat 1000 or fewer calories a day for weeks on end? I certainly couldn’t. It’s punishing.“
Instead of putting your health at risk… You should stick to a Healthy Diet Plan!
-This program may be appealing to some because there’s no Carb and Cal measuring.
-Participants may see some quick results (not lasting, however)
– Support from coachers, which can be helpful, but… (Are they really qualified for that job?)
While meal replacements can be helpful for short-term weight loss, they don’t tend to work in the long-term
Restrictive diets are never healthy!
This diet is not cheap at all —the kits range from $350 to $450 per month
This very low in calorie diet should have its close medical supervision
Optavia Coaching – According to dietitian Abby Langer “Losing weight is a lot more than ‘eat less and work out more’, and to be effective at helping people on their weight loss journey, you need to be well-versed in counseling techniques, not to mention have a good grasp of physiology and nutrition science. It’s safe to say that hastily-recruited Optavia coaches don’t have any of those things, making the coaching side of the business truly about money and not about helping people!”
So… Is the Optavia Diet healthy?
The answer is obviously: No, it’s not – for all the above-mentioned reasons.
Optavia may help you lose weight initially, but, if you want to enjoy long-term results, without putting your health at risk, I’d suggest you choose lifestyle rather than a temporary fix.
Or… you may prefer to learn more about different Healthy, balanced diet plans and then pick your favorite one. Besides Med Diet, there are other amazing diets like Mayo Clinic/ New Nordic/ Flexitarian/ etc.
Instead of following restrictive = dangerous diets, focus on changing your eating habits, follow a diet plan that is backed by solid science, and you’ll be more than fine. Following a healthy, balanced diet plan can help you see long-term results and improve your overall health.
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