Many people desire to lose weight as they become uncomfortable with their self-image, when they add body fats that seem out of proportion.
Lately so many people would do practically anything to shed off fat including surgeries. But with the optavia diet, this health problem may have become a thing of the past.
The optavia diet is a low calorie; reduced carb diet program that uses packaged or processed foods with homemade meals to encourage weight loss, there is no counting of carbohydrates calorie levels unlike other weight loss programs.
Instead, people are asked to add water to powdered food or unwrap a bar as part of six mini-meals per day. The optavia diet is owned by a meal replacement company called Medifast, the company focuses on two main diets: Medifast and Optavia.
The program combines several options from the use of branded products called Optavia Fuelings, homemade lean-to Green meals. The plan additionally recommends about 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercises per day.
Optavia fueling are food that makes up the optavia diet and it comprises of about 50 items that are higher in protein and probiotic cultures (mineral substitute and microns) and low in carbs (carbohydrates). Probiotic cultures contains friendly bacteria that can boost the health of the digestive system.
Food that serves as Optavia fueling may include bars, puddings, cereals, smashed potatoes, soups, cookies, shakes and pastas.
These processed foods often list soy protein (processed from soybean) and whey protein (protein processed from milk) as the first ingredient, Lean and green meal fill out the rest of the diet which can be purchased and prepared at home.
Although these seem high in sugar (which are gotten from carbohydrates), fueling designed by Medifast use sugar substitutes in small portion sizes to give lower calories and carbs than the traditional versions of the same foods.
Lean and Green used to fill out the diet of the fueling include;
- 3 servings of non-starchy vegetables like greens, vegetables, celery or cucumbers
- 5-7 ounces of cooked lean
- Up to 2 servings of healthy fats like olive oil or avocado
Optavia Diet Plan
Optavia diet program generally involves the use of a weight loss diet and a weight maintenance diet.
Some versions of the program include:
Optimal Weight 5-1 Plan
This category of the optavia diet plan includes the use of five optavia fuelings and one balanced lean green meal daily. It is the most common version.
Optimal health 3-3 Plan
Designed for weight maintenance as it includes eating three optavia fuelings and three balanced lean and green meals daily.
Optimal Weight 4-2-1 Plan
This weight loss category is for persons who need more calories or flexibility in their food choices, the plan involves four optavia fuelings, two lean and green meals and one snack per day.
Though the Optavia dieting program seems to be an easy going, fundamentally adjustable program, it is unclear if this diet is safe for people with certain medical conditions.
Also, special group of persons (pregnant, breastfeeding mothers and teenagers) require unique nutrients and calorie needs that may not be met by the optavia diet.
Side Effect of Otavia Diet
Although the optavia diet is considered a high protein diet, as proteins makes up to 40% of our daily calories. However, the processed, powdered type can sometimes lead to less pleasant complications or consequences;
Firstly, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not regulate dietary supplements (like shakes and powders) for safety and efficacy the same way it does for food as powders and protein blends can have undesirable ingredients which could interact with medications or may not be convenient for the body, making it very important to alert your physician before going into the dieting plan.
The protein additives like protein isolate plus, used to give the diet its protein boost which can make you feel bloated and generate some unwanted gastrointestinal side effects like constipation, diarrhea and gas.
The apparent absence of noteworthy risks does not mean optavia diet is safe for everyone. For starters, the body system may undergo some changes and may need to adjust to changes caused by the diet.
Side effects may include;
- bad breath
- Leg cramps
- disease risk like gallstones and gallbladder for those at risk and for women, menstrual changes.
Lastly, no matter how meal/diet plans are set up, dieters will likely feel hungry only because they are reducing calorie intake and meal sizes and calorie restriction can lead to the inadequate intake of essential nutrients including vitamins and minerals.
As the stomach shrinks, hunger often subsides, and your everyday meals are the new norm for your stomach.
Optavia and weight loss
Optavia dieting program may not be ranked among the top in best diets for healthy eating but it is ranked second by the U.S News and World Report in its list of Best Fast Weight Loss Diets.
The Optavia relies solely on intensely restricting intake of calories to promote weight loss as most it fueling consist of about 100 to 110 calories each, meaning a dieter could take in about 1000 to 1100 calories daily on this diet that is about half the calories of what an average adult consumes daily.
The 5-1 plan limits calories to about 800 per day divided between six portion-controlled meals. A four months study among 198 dieters with obesity revealed that the Optavia’s 5-1 plan had substantial results as fat levels, waist circumferences and weight of these dieters significantly became lower, losing about 5.7% of their initial body weight.
For short term benefits, the optavia diet’s low calorie, low carbohydrate plan and ongoing support from coaches has shown to produce great results. However, its long-term effectiveness is still unknown.
The optavia dieting plan may be difficult to stick with as it can be quite restrictive in food options and calorie count and it may be tiring to rely on pre-packaged foods for most of your meals and it could be easy to develop cravings for other meals.
It may also be costly, incompatible with other eating patterns, when the program is forfeited; it can lead to weight regain, the optavia fuelings are highly processed and contain large amounts of sugar substitutes, good additives and processed vegetable oil.
These downsides may discourage any dieter to go into the program and while the program promotes short term weight loss, further research is needed to ascertain whether it encourages the permanent lifestyle changes needed for long term success.
But it helps you adopt healthy habits so you can lose weight and keep off the excess weight.