Essential Optimal Kit (5&1 Plan®)
The Essential Fuelings™, like all our Fuelings, are full of delicious, nutrient-dense and scientifically designed options to help you reach and maintain your Optimal Health.
Classic flavors you know and love, with something for everyone. That's what Essential Fuelings™ are all about. Tomatoes and herbs, cranberries and honey, chocolate and mint, raisins and oats - the Essential Optimal Kit is complete with Fuelings that make healthy eating second nature.
New to OPTAVIA? Don't miss out.
Join the OPTAVIA Premier™ Club today and you'll get five free boxes of OPTAVIA Fuelings with your first order of any kit. That's enough healthy and delicious Fuelings for 30 days on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan™.
Existing Client or Coach?
Don't forget to add five additional boxes of Fuelings to your order for a full 30 day supply.
Your Essential Optimal Kit includes:
- Cranberry Honey Nut Granola Bar
- Zesty Cheddar & Italian Herb Crunchers
- Silky Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Bar
- Creamy Chocolate Shake
- Drizzled Chocolate Fudge Crisp Bar
- Zesty Lemon Crisp Bar
- Wild Strawberry Shake
- Creamy Double Peanut Butter Crisp Bar
- Decadent Chocolate Brownie with Greek Yogurt Chips
- Raisin Oat Cinnamon Crisp Bar
- Caramel Delight Crisp Bar
- Cinnamon Sugar Sticks
- Chocolate Mint Cookie Crisp Bar
- Honey Mustard & Onion Sticks
- Rustic Tomato Herb Penne
- Frosted Cookie Dough Bar
- Red Berry Crunchy O's Cereal
- FREE OPTAVIA Blender Bottle*
- 5 FREE Client Choices*
*Included with your first OPTAVIA Premier™ order.
What Is the Optavia Diet, and Can It Help You Lose Weight?
On the Optavia diet, you will eat a Fueling or Lean & Green meal every two to three hours. (2,3,5) Below is an example of a three-day menu for the 5&1 Plan. (7,8)
Fueling Optavia Essential Red Berry Crunchy O’s
Fueling Optavia Decadent Chocolate Brownie with Greek Yogurt Chips
Fueling Optavia Essential Rustic Tomato Herb Penne
Fueling Optavia Essential Tropical Fruit Smoothie
Fueling Optavia Essential Beef & Garden Vegetable Soup
Lean & Green Meal Cod cooked in olive oil with eggplant, summer squash, and tomatoes
Fueling Optavia Essential Golden Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Fueling Optavia Essential Caramel Delight Crisp Bar
Fueling Optavia Essential Homestyle Chicken Flavored & Vegetable Noodle Soup
Fueling Optavia Essential Honey Mustard & Onion Sticks
Fueling Optavia Essential Cheesy Buttermilk Cheddar Mac
Lean & Green Meal Chicken breast with mushrooms, asparagus, and spinach salad topped with low-carb salad dressing
Fueling Optavia Essential Cranberry Honey Nut Granola Bar
Fueling Optavia Essential Creamy Chocolate Shake
Fueling Optavia Essential Roasted Garlic Creamy Smashed Potatoes
Fueling Optavia Essential Red Bean & Vegetable Chili
Fueling Optavia Essential Drizzled Chocolate Fudge Crisp Bar
Lean & Green Meal Pork tenderloin with green beans, Swiss chard, and cauliflower
Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Review - 12 Things You Need to Know
Fact Checked|Overview|Company Info|Benefits|Research|Getting Started|Foods|Ingredients|Side Effects|Cost|Results|What Users Are Saying|Bottom Line|Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Alternatives|Q&A
Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan promises a “gentle but efficient fat-burning state while maintaining retaining lean muscle mass.” The plan claims to help you reach and maintain your weight through a combination of supplements, meal alternatives, and coaching. But, the program comes as a kit costing well over $400 and loaded with processed foods.
Our research team decided to take a closer look. All evidence shows that reducing caloric intake and adding exercise is the best way to reach healthy weight goals.
Does Optimal Weight 5&1 offer anything different to justify that hefty price tag? We looked at the kit ingredients, studied the diet plan, read user feedback, and summarized our findings for you.
Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan can be purchased through their Official Site.
Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Readers: Noom is offering our readers a risk-free trial, for a limited time. Click here for more information!
What is the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan?
Also known as the Medifast 5&1 Plan, the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is a program that helps you reach your ideal weight and maintain the results for the long term.
You eat six times a day (small meals), receive expert coaching and advice, and allow Optavia fuelings to help you manage what you eat.
With the Optimal Weight 5 and 1 Plan, you will need to purchase a BeSlim kit, which consists of Optavia products such as snack bars, shakes, smoothies, cereals, soups, and other Optavia foods. Here are the BeSlim kits for the TSFL 5&1 Plan: Essential Optimal Kit, Select Favorites Kit, and Essential On-The-Go Kit.
Does the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan work for weight loss?
- International Journal of Obesity – research that shows the importance of “portion control in weight management.”
- Nutrients – Some research suggests knowing portion sizes isn’t enough. The study shows tools aimed at helping the user learn portion sizes are effective.
- Appetite – suggests training is useful in learning portions.
Products Similar to Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan
This is how much it costs to start on the respective program. We always recommend trying a product before making a large investment.
- = Initial product cost is less than $5
- = Initial product cost is between $6 and $50
- = Initial product cost is between $51 and $150
- = Initial product cost is $151 or more
Optavia (Take Shape for Life) – The Company Behind 5&1 Plan
Take Shape for Life is primarily owned by Medifast (the parent company). It was started back in 2002 and is based in Baltimore from Owings Mills, Maryland.
Aside from the Optimal Weight 5 and 1 Plan, Take Shape for Life also offers the Optimal Health 3&3 Plan, Optimal 4&2&1 Plan, and Powerful Hydration to help you sustain a healthy weight after you reach your weight loss goal.
Take Shape for Life also offers personal coaching and daily inspiration to help you reach your goals. You can shop for the BeSlim kits and Optavia Medifast foods directly through the official website.
As of 2019, Medifast expanded the business into Hong Kong and Singapore.
Medifast Customer Service
Medifast, Inc. was founded in 1989 and is rated well by the Better Business Bureau (A+). We also took a look at the Consumer Affairs website, where there are more than 400+ consumer reviews. We found both positive and negatives responses to Medifast and the customer service they offer. You can contact customer service at 888.OPTAVIA (1.888.678.2842).
As of January 2021, Medifast is not rated by the BBB, but customer reviews give the company one out of five stars. Optavia is also not rated but customers give the company one out of five stars.
In 2020, Optavia Essential Old Fashioned Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal were voluntarily recalled due to undeclared traces of milk.
Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.
Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Benefits
Here is a rundown of the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan benefits and perks:
- Lose weight fast
- Select from 5 Optavia Fuelings each day (every 2-3hours)
- 65 different Optavia Fuelings to choose from
- One Lean & Green Meal per day
- Optavia bars and foods are convenient for on-the-go
- Feel satiated (full)
- Burn off fat
The Research Behind Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan
The official website states, “Our products are scientifically formulated with the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and sugar to help you burn fat and retain muscle on your health journey.”
It goes on to say that, “We’ve worked with physicians, scientists, and nutritionists to create portion-controlled fuelings to make it easy for you to stay on your plan and keep the focus where it belongs: on gaining your Optimal Health.”
According to the journal Obesity Science and Practice, “Evidence‐based commercial programs can be an important tool to help adults with overweight and obesity lose clinically relevant amounts of weight.”
How to Get Started With Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan
To get started with Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan, you need to order one of the kits. The kit will include Optavia Select Fuelings to last you for 20-30 days. This means many Optavia shakes, bars, cereals, smoothies, and dishes.
You will also have one-on-one coaching available and Optavia recipes, and an online community to assist you.
Other Optimal Health Programs
Other Optimal Health programs from Take Shape for Life include the Optimal Health 3&3 Plan, Optimal Health 4&2&1 Plan, and Purposeful Hydration. Unlike the Optimal Weight Loss 5 & 1 Plan, this program involves eating three balanced meals a day and three Optimal Health fuelings to sustain your healthy weight.
But portion sizes are still relevant, and you need to eat every 2-3 hours to stay on track. A final option is the Optavia 4&2&1 Plan. You eat four Optavia Fuelings meals, two green and lean meals you prepare, and a snack on this plan.
Optavia premier is another popular subscription plan available from Optavia. With this plan, individuals receive free meals, free shipping on all orders, and exclusive discounts. Once individuals choose their kit, the membership program ships it automatically every month.
Optavia Food – Is The Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan Healthy?
There are dozens of Optavia Fuelings to choose from on the 5&1 Plan. This includes supplements, snacks, shakes, teas, smoothies, bars, desserts, pasta, and even breakfast foods.
While these Optavia products are available individually on the official website, you can also find them in the kits. You should expect to eat many bars and shakes on this diet plan, which is processed foods. There may be Optimal 5&1 Plan diy, or do-it-yourself, food options as well.
Optimal Weight 5&1 Fuelings – Are the Ingredients Effective for Weight Loss?
Commonly found in meats, dairy products, eggs, soybeans, nuts, beans, seeds, and legumes, this macronutrient is made up of amino acids. It helps reduce appetite, repair the body, and build lean muscle tissue.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutritionnoteds that protein plays an important part in weight management. Additionally, the journal Obesity Facts studied the connection between protein and weight loss, concluding “participants with more adherence rate in the HPD [high-potein diet] group lost significantly more weight.”
This indigestible carbohydrate is also called roughage in produce, whole grains, nuts, beans, and seeds. It moves through the digestive tract to help with regularity and gut health. Based on research presented in the Journal of Nutrition, “dietary fiber intake, independently of macronutrient and caloric intake, promotes weight loss and dietary adherence in adults with overweight or obesity consuming a calorie-restricted diet.”
Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Found in a variety of foods, these nutrients are crucial for healthy body function. According to the National Institutes of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements, “foods in nutrient-dense forms contain essential vitamins and minerals and also dietary fiber and other naturally occurring substances that may have positive health effects.”
However, excessive vitamin intake is also associated with a higher weight, according to research published in WoD.
Also called good bacteria, these are live microorganisms that help promote gut health, which aids with regularity and the prevention of problems like diarrhea and constipation. According to the journal Nutrients, “probiotics, which are generally considered safe for human health, have shown some promise.”
Monk Fruit Extract
A natural sweetener used in foods and supplements, often to reduce calories. It’s more than 100 times sweeter than traditional cane sugar. Research available in the Nutrition Journal concluded, “this scoping review identifies the needs for future research to address the numerous evidence gaps related to health effects of NNSs [non-nutritive sweeteners] use.”
Optavia Side Effects
As with most diet foods and supplements, you may notice some side effects with Optavia prepackages fuelings. This is likely due to certain ingredients. Some of the reported side effects are as follows:
- Loose stools
- Upset stomach
Medifast customers mentioned these unpleasant effects states Consumer Affairs.
Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Cost
You are encouraged by Take Shape for Life to join the BeSlim club to make the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan easy and convenient. This allows you to buy the Octavia kits (119 servings), which have everything you need.
The Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan pyramid costs $414.60 and comes in two options: Essentials Optimal Kit and Essential On-The-Go Kit.
Although no longer available, other weight plan options included Essential Optimal Kit with the Habits of Health System, Select Optimal Kit with the Habits of Health System, and Essential On-The-Go Kit with the Habits of Health System – all of which cost between $292-426.
If you are eating six times per day, a kit will not even last one month. The least you will spend is $300 a month, but likely more around $400 to $500. Currently, the weight-loss plans are only available for purchase on the official Optavia website, where there is an Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan pdf available as well.
Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Refund Policy
On their official website, Optavia mentions a 30-day return policy. However, individuals can only receive a refund on consumable items, meaning that opened packages can not be refunded.
Additionally, customers will need to receive a Return Merchandise Authorization Number before being able to ship back any products. Customers are responsible for shipping fees.
Optimal Weight 5&1 Weight Loss Results
According to the official website, the average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 20 pounds, which occurs in an average of 12 weeks. But weight loss results will vary from person to person, depending on your effort and lifestyle.
What Users Are Saying
“I am now down 44 pounds on 1/29/2020. What a blessing this program has been for me. Even in Disney World this past week, I was successful in eating only on plan and didn’t waiver. I lost five pounds while on that vacation. We were gone three weeks. I get on the scale with anticipation, almost daily, because the scale goes down enough to actually see results. I had a bit of a slowdown during and after Christmas, but I still ate on plan. The worst thing I did on Christmas day was maybe overeat on shrimp cocktail and vegetables with ranch dressing.”Rickandcindy23
“These are the best tasting bars they have!!! I have had great results with this program. It a trainer program not a fast fix.”Laura B.
“The Optavia Mint Chip bars are one of my favorite flavors from the 5&1 plan. I am a fan of mint anyway and they remind me of a Thin Mint girl Scout cookie. I will be ordering them with each shipment. Some of the Optavia products have a protein powder smell and this one does not. A must have if you love mint chocolate.”Sarah W.
The Bottom Line on Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan
Controlling your daily caloric intake and food portion sizes with the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan may indeed help you drop some pounds. After all, it has been shown that reducing your calories aids with weight loss.
This Optimal 5&1 Plan indeed offers many food options, and you do receive coaching to help you reach your goals. But there are a few concerns we have with this Take Shape for Life program.
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The name "Optavia" may sound like a life-insurance firm or even an eyeglasses brand, but it's actually a popular weight-loss plan from Medifast Inc., the multilevel marketing company previously fined $3.7 million for false advertising.
Named one of the top trending diets in 2018 by Google, Optavia has received an endorsement from a celebrity adherent, too. Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro — most famous for his TV-famous sugary concoctions — attributed his dramatic weight loss to following the program.
"A lot of people have been asking me how I’ve slimmed down lately so I just wanted to share that I’ve used the Optavia program," he wrote on Instagram in 2018. "I'm not being paid to say this and it should be noted that 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!"
Nothing is officially off limits on the diet, but it's not exactly a cake walk. The program restricts calories and advises its followers to buy special "fuelings" in order to shed pounds.
"It’s tricky to recommend restrictive diet plans like Optavia on the whole," says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN. "While accountability and community are key components to any behavior change program, behavior modification with restrictive eating patterns sets some of us up for disordered eating habits and restrict–binge–restrict tendencies."
This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Editor's note:Weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects — before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.
Here's what you need to know about Optivia before signing up:
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. There's no counting carbs or calories. Instead, followers add water to powdered food or unwrap a bar as part of six-or-so mini meals per day. Optavia also offers guidance from coaches to help you learn their trademarked "Habits of Health." The plan additionally recommends doing about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day.
What do you eat on Optavia?
At least half of any Optavia diet is comprised of its "fuelings," which include bars, shakes, cookies, cereal, and some savory options, like soup and smashed potatoes. These processed foods often list soy protein or whey protein as the first ingredient.
Lean and green meals fill out the rest of the diet, which you buy and prepare on your own. Those include:
- 5–7 ounces of cooked lean protein like fish, chicken, egg whites, turkey, or soy
- 3 servings of non-starchy vegetables like lettuce, greens, celery, or cucumbers
- Up to 2 servings of healthy fats like olive oil, olives, or avocado
How often do you eat on Optavia?
The Optavia advises eating six or seven times per day (about every two to three hours) depending on the plan. The three available plans are:
- 5 & 1 Plan: Eat five Optavia fuelings and one "lean and green" meal per day
- 4 & 2 & 1 Plan: Eat four Optavia fuelings, two "lean and green" meals, and one snack per day
- 3 & 3 Plan: Eat three Optavia fuelings and three "lean and green" meals per day
Is the Optivia diet healthy?
The Optavia diet is what's considered a high-protein diet, with protein making up 10–35% of your daily calories. However, the processed, powdered kind can lead to some less-than-pleasant consequences.
"The protein isolate plus additives can make you feel bloated and have some other unwanted GI side effects, making you better off with unsweetened Greek yogurt for protein in a smoothie," London says.
Plus, the FDA does not regulate dietary supplements like shakes and powders for safety and efficacy the same way it does for food. "Powders and protein 'blends' may have undesirable ingredients, or could interact with a medication you may be taking," London adds, "making it extra important to make sure your physician is aware of you trying the plan."
How does Optavia help you lose weight?
Optavia relies on intensely restricting calories to promote weight loss. Most "fuelings" hover around 100–110 calories each, meaning you could take in around 1,000 calories per day on this diet.
Due to Optavia's dramatic approach, U.S. News and World Report ranked it #2 in its list of Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets, but #28 in its list of Best Diets for Healthy Eating. "Short term, it seems impossible not to shed at least some pounds; you're eating half the calories most adults consume," it said. "The long-term outlook is less promising."
London agrees that there's a better approach to lasting weight loss: "'Eating meals and snacks that incorporate loads of produce, 100% whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and pulses, low-fat dairy products, eggs, poultry, seafood, and lean beef plus some indulgences is the best way to lose weight sustainably for the long haul."
Is Optavia the same as Medifast?
Somewhat — Medifast Inc. is the parent company of Optavia. It also owns and operates the Medifast program you may remember from the '80s and '90s, which had doctors prescribing meals to their clients. Optavia uses similar foods with an identical macronutrient profile, but consumers can sign up for the plan themselves online.
How much does Optavia cost?
The essential kits, which are the cheapest plan offerings, cost more than $400 per month, and that's not including what you'll spend on your lean and green meals. Here's what you can expect to pay for each type:
- 5 & 1 Plan: $414.60 for 119 servings
- 4 & 2 & 1 Plan: $457.95 for 140 servings
- 3 & 3 Plan: $19.95 for 7 servings
In contrast, the United States Department of Agriculture estimates that a woman between the ages of 19-70 could spend as little as $171.90 per month on groceries and still follow a nutritious diet. (Granted, that's considering you prepare all of your meals and snacks at home.)
The bottom line: "While I appreciate the Cake Boss's weight loss, eating real, nutrient-dense, delicious, and health-promoting food is the only way to lose weight for the long term," London says.
Caroline PicardHealth EditorCaroline is the Health Editor at GoodHousekeeping.com covering nutrition, fitness, wellness, and other lifestyle news.
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Essential kit optavia
.OPTAvia 4\u00262\u00261 Program Unboxing // What's In The Essentials Kit
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