Below we take an in-depth look at Optavia, to see what benefits this supplement offers consumers.
The main Optavia weight loss program is the Optimal Weight 5&1 program; instead of meals, customers eat “Fuelings”, pre-packaged snacks and meal replacement products that include shakes, bars, brownies, pancakes, and mac and cheese. Optavia claims that following the program helps to put your body into a state of “gentle fat burning”. There are lots of customer complaints about Optavia’s poor customer service, including automatically signing customers up for auto-ship programs and leaving them hundreds or even thousands of dollars out of pocket.
There are lots of reports of side effects occurring in the many customer reviews of Optavia. Digestive issues appear to be common, including gas, bloating, diarrhoea, oily discharge, and loose stools. One reviewer experienced severe constipation which lead to an anal fissure. Headaches, increased hypertension due to high sodium levels, hair loss, nausea, and dizziness are other reported side effects.
It has been claimed that Optavia products are contaminated by lead and other toxic metals, which could cause serious side effects.
Optavia is an incredibly expensive weight loss program to follow. The Optavia Essential Optimal Kit costs a whopping $356.15 but it provides a 30-day supply of snacks and meal replacements products for one person. This kit does not include any of the ingredients needed for the Green and Lean meal of the day.
We are not impressed by the Optavia weight loss programs or weight loss products at all. The “fuelings” are incredibly expensive, but the distributors try to convince customers that they are actually saving money on food by following this program; this is only true if you normally eat out at restaurants constantly, and customers still need to purchase ingredients for one meal a day on top of the exorbitant cost of Optavia. The “Health Coaches” that sell the program and offer support for customers have no official background or training in health, nutrition, weight loss, or medicine. They are just distributors who are paid commission for selling the products. This has led to many people with pre-existing health conditions being given terrible advice about the suitability of Optavia products.
The program is very low calorie, and so should aid weight loss in theory. However, it does not teach new or better eating habits, does not teach the customer how to maintain their new lower weight in the long term, and it seems that a disproportionate number of the “fuelings” available are sweet, not savoury, which just reinforces bad habits in our opinion.
The findings that Optavia products contain contaminants and that a worryingly large number of consumers suffer from gastrointestinal or gallbladder related issues are both incredibly worrying. There are lots of customer reviews reporting terrible customer service and difficulty getting refunds. There also lots of reports of serious side effects, with some people being instructed by their doctors to stop using the program immediately.
Overall, we do not recommend Optavia to our readers.
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The main Optavia weight loss program is the Optimal Weight 5&1 program; instead of meals, customers eat “Fuelings”, pre-packaged snacks and meal replacement products that include shakes, bars, brownies, pancakes, and mac and cheese. Optavia claims that following the program helps to put your body into a state of “gentle fat burning”.
Optavia was previously known as Take Shape For Life. It is manufactured by Medifast, who also manufacture a range of meal replacement products under their own name. Optavia is more expensive than Medifast products, and it appears that Optavia is being put forward as the more upmarket (and therefore noticeably more expensive) option. There are lots of customer complaints about Optavia’s poor customer service, including automatically signing customers up for auto-ship programs and leaving them hundreds or even thousands of dollars out of pocket.
Optavia is described as being simple and easy to follow, helping consumers to lose a significant amount of weight and learn new healthier habits. The meal replacement products, called Fuelings, have apparently been scientifically-developed to help you achieve a healthy weight.
The program is very low calorie, and so should aid weight loss in theory. However, it does not teach new or better eating habits, does not teach the customer how to maintain their new lower weight in the long term, and it seems that a disproportionate number of the “fuelings” available are sweet, not savoury, which just reinforces bad habits in our opinion. The program is incredibly expensive and therefore following the program long-term could be difficult.
One box of Optavia Essential Optimal Kit, which provides a month’s supply of fuelings for the 5&1 program, contains the following products.
Many of these products contain soy oil, artificial sweeteners, and high sodium levels.
The manufacturers of Optavia only mention side effects on their sales website in some small print. However, they do provide some restrictions for who should not follow the program, as well as highlighting some groups of people who should consult their doctor before signing up for the program.
Hunger and irritability due to hunger appear to be common and expected side effects. Other common side effects include headaches, lightheadedness, nausea, and a long list of digestive complaints. Customers with allergies should check the ingredients lists of individual “Fuelings”.
Not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Not suitable for anyone under the age of 18. Do not use the OPTAVIA Program if you are pregnant. If you have a serious acute or chronic illness (e.g., heart attack, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, anorexia, bulimia, etc.) do not use the OPTAVIA Program until your healthcare provider says you have recovered or that your condition is stabilized. The Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan is NOT appropriate for teens (13 to 18 years of age), sedentary older adults (65 years and older), nursing mothers, people with gout, some people with diabetes, and those who exercise more than 45 minutes per day. For special medical or dietary needs, refer to our program guides online.
NOTE: Rapid weight loss may cause gallstones or gallbladder disease for those at high risk. While adjusting to intake of a lower-calorie level and diet changes, some people may experience lightheadedness, dizziness or gastrointestinal disturbances. These usually are temporary.
There are lots of customer reviews for Optavia on consumeraffairs.com. Reviews are incredibly mixed, with lots of people reporting poor customer service and a range of side effects. There are some people who have lost weight using this program, who have left positive reviews.
My doctor’s nurse suggested I try this program and she was my coach, ha… she knew my health problems… high blood pressure, AFIB, Thyroid, my gallbladder has been removed and I have had a bowel resection! The fueling’s have soy oil as the first ingredient. If you have had your gallbladder removed you cannot tolerate soy oil, not only did I have gas, cramping a bloated stomach but diarrhea that smelled horrible and I secreted an orange oil from my anus for two weeks. Was only on the program for five days. She told me it was just my body cleaning out what needed to be cleaned out! I am now having to go to a gastroenterologist. It has gotten that bad. I cannot eat anything with soy oil… and everything almost has it. Watch the ingredients in this. It is bad, when I asked for a refund, I got a runaround. I don’t have the energy to pack it up and send pack. That is how sick I am! Beware of this diet.
I purchased the 5&1 program from a friend. I told them from the very beginning that I had high blood pressure but was assured by her and another coach that the Optavia products were safe for people with hypertension. Once I received a month’s worth of the product, I saw that all the bars and shakes (Fuelings) are high in sodium. I consulted my doctor and he immediately told me to stop taking the products. He was shocked on how high in sodium the bars and shakes are and was told they should never have recommended this program to me. Be aware that the “coaches” are not health professionals so they are not qualified to give you medical advice and should not have told me it was safe for me to take. This is a MLM company so these “coaches” want to make money so in the end they will say what you want to hear to make a sale. Lesson learned.
Optavia products are covered by a 30-day returns policy, starting from the date that they receive their product. Customers need to contact customer services and get a Return Authorization Number, before sending any products back to the company. It is not made explicitly clear whether opened products are accepted for return or not.
There are lots of customer reviews reporting that they had difficulty getting refunds and that they were given “the runaround”, sometimes for weeks.
Optavia can be purchased from an official Optavia “Health Coach”, or directly from Optavia’s official website. The prices below do not include shipping, which customers have referred to as being incredibly expensive.
The Optavia Essential Optimal Kit costs a whopping $356.15 but it provides a 30-day supply of snacks and meal replacements products for one person. There is another version of the Essential Optimal Kit that also includes the Habits for Health book; this kit is even more expensive, costing $392.15.
You can also buy a selection of individual products – usually in batches of 7 such as OPTAVIA Indonesian Cinnamon and Honey Hot Cereal with Chia Seeds from Bolivia, Quinoa, and Whole Grain Barley. This pack of 7 breakfast cereal servings costs $22.95. A pack of 7 bars of the Essential Frosted Cookie Dough Bar costs $20.95.
You can also buy the book – Dr A’s Habits for Health ($29.95) plus the companion workbook (17.95 direct from the Take Shape For Life website. It is much cheaper via Amazon where you can buy plenty of used copies for as little as $1.64.
|Clinically Proven Ingredients|
|Side Effect Free|
|Positive Customer Reviews|
Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.