When I was researching Optavia, I appreciated reading honest reviews of the program, so I though I'd write one of my own. I've lost 50 pounds in nine months on the Optavia 5&1 plan. I've struggled with my weight most of my life. I have four kids and a lot of exercise and fitness plans were too time consuming for me to realistically keep up with. Plus, I could only lose 10-15 lbs and then couldn't lose any more.
I have hypothyroidism. I believe it has caused me problems losing weight in the past. I also used to have swollen and tender joints and hands. That has gone away on Optavia. I also no longer suffer from brain fog. My left thigh has been numb since 2006. The doctors told me I needed to lose weight to relieve the pressure on my spine and nerves. Just this week, I have started feeling tingling and the return of sensation in my leg.
I think having a coach along with the simplicity of the program and the no-brainer pre-macroed out food is what has made the difference from other methods I've tried in the past. It really is SO easy. If you can rip open five packages a day and use a microwave, you can do this program. I lucked out with a really nice coach. We chatted a couple times a week to work through my eating triggers, my bad habits and how to live life without using food for comfort. It was nice having a coach who knows what it is like to overeat and be overweight.
Some of family and friends saw me losing weight and wanted to do the program with me as a coach, so I paid the 200-ish dollars to get the coaching packet. My coach helped me do some calls to my early clients and has been a very consistent resource whenever I have questions. I feel super supported by her and some other Optavia coaches who are always available to help me with my program and my coaching. In that way, it's been a great experience.
Some people complain that the coaches get commission on the food. My thoughts are that coaches should be compensated for their experience and time. We get paid about 50 dollars per month on a month's supply of food. But we also provide a service. Coaches I know are happy to go above and beyond once a week communications. We are on call to answer questions, encourage, celebrate and counsel with 7 days a week.
So far I've coached 8 people. 6 have had great success. One quit because she just didn't like the taste of the food. One I think just wasn't ready for the commitment. One of my clients has lost 59 lbs so far. When she started she was basically house bound because her feet were so swollen she couldn't wear shoes. Now, she's going on a cruise this month for her 50th anniversary. Her life is undoubtedly improved through the program.
Some people complain the food is overpriced. It depends on how you look at it. You are paying for food that has had years of development by medical doctors in reputable centers of medical excellence. You are paying for food that is nutritious, macro-balanced and interchangeable, and most of all, proven to work. I can't say that about a box of granola bars from the store. Most of all though, you are paying to not have to meal plan, cook, or use any type of brain sweat to be successful. If you just want a plan that is easy and you can't possibly screw up, this is your plan. If you need something that doesn't require a lot of time in the kitchen, this is your plan. If you want 3-4 meals of fresh food, this is not your plan. I've read some reviews that state they could have done just as well on Keto or just eating better. I can speak only for myself, but I did not have the level of success with either of those methods. My life was too crazy and busy to keep up with them, and I stalled out even with compliance.
I will say, two of my clients had a hard time the first week or two. Stomach issues, nausea, flu-like symptoms and headaches. Both of these clients had issues with candida before the plan. I believe they were suffering with the effects of yeast die-off in their bodies (Herxheimer reaction). When you stop feeding yeast sugar, it dies and that process can cause these symptoms. One of them stuck with it, one of them didn't. I think it would be important to have open communication with your doctor if you have any health issues before starting the plan.
One of the best things about the plan is that by preparing one lean and green meal a day, I have learned how to cook and eat healthy. That is going to make all the difference when I transition off plan. I used to cook a lot of packaged and processed food. Frozen pizzas, canned soups, sweet cereals, white bread and lunch meat. And I was sick. Headaches several times a week plus the stuff I mentioned earlier.
I think the genius part of this plan is I only have to cook ONE meal a day. That's doable. I can even cook big batches and eat the same meal for a few days. It's not overwhelming like some other plans are that expect you to shop and eat and cook differently 3-5 times a day right out of the gate. And if you have a family that you cook for that eats differently, FORGET about it! It's so much work. Thankfully, the Lean and Green recipes and concepts are easily adaptable to family life. I just add some rolls or a side of rice for them to give my kids some extra carbs. My family in general eats more healthy now because their dinners are protein and fresh vegetables. Not creamy casseroles, mac and cheese and hamburger helper! Now that I've had this learning period that is not overwhelming, I have the know-how and confidence that I could eat, shop, and cook like this more often without feeling stressed at all. It's my new habit. And that is KEY. Because no matter how great a program is, if you don't change the habits that landed you overweight in the first place, you will gain it all back.
Some people complain that the program has too much packaged food. I see their point. But it is a HECK of a lot more nutritious than other packaged food like mac-and-cheese from the store. It's packed with vitamins, fiber and probiotics. And, even though I only eat one lean and green meal a day, my fresh veggie consumption is wayyy up from when I had the "freedom" to eat anything. So...it's all in your perspective, I guess.
The Optavia books that come with the order have GOOD info in them. But only if you take it seriously and apply it. I think for long term success it is necessary. It's not just about the food.
I would for sure recommend this program to people who feel like they've tried everything or feel like they need something simple.
I would suggest to talk to your doctor first if you have health issues or are taking medications that might interact with soy.
My Optavia Coaching Website