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.
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
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 Port Neches, TX.
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 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 200+ consumer reviews. We found both positive and negatives responses to Medifast and the customer service they offer.
As of January 2020, Medifast still has an A+ rating with the BBB, but customer reviews give the company one out of five stars.
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 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. On this plan, you eat four Optavia Fuelings meals, two green and lean meals you prepare, and a snack.
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.
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 Nutrition reports, “Potential beneficial outcomes associated with protein ingestion include the following: 1) increased satiety—protein generally increases satiety to a greater extent than carbohydrate or fat and may facilitate a reduction in energy consumption under ad libitum dietary conditions; 2) increased thermogenesis—higher-protein diets are associated with increased thermogenesis, which also influences satiety and augments energy expenditure (in the longer term, increased thermogenesis contributes to the relatively low-energy efficiency of protein); and 3) maintenance or accretion of fat-free mass—in some individuals, a moderately higher protein diet may provide a stimulatory effect on muscle protein anabolism, favoring the retention of lean muscle mass while improving metabolic profile.”
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.”
Also called roughage, this indigestible carbohydrate is found 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.”
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. There are six 5&1 Plan kits to choose from, and here are the prices:
- Essential Optimal Kit ($414.60)
- Essential Optimal Kit with the Habits of Health System ($292.15)
- Select Optimal Kit with the Habits of Health System ($426.15)
- Select Favorites Kit ($448.60)
- Essential On-The-Go Kit with the Habits of Health System ($392.15)
- Essential On-The-Go Kit ($414.60)
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.
** The bolded prices are current as of January 2020. The other kits listed above are no longer part of the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan. **
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.
“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.”
“The best!!! I’m loving this program. Nothing else has helped me lose weight like this before and the best part is, I’m not hungry!! These bars are delish, remind me of the thin mint Girl Scout ones!!”
“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.”
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 a lot of 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:
- The cost is north of $400 a month.
- Some customers have made negative comments about the taste of Optavia foods.
- Some users experience bloating gas and loose stool.
After years of researching weight-loss resources and helping readers reach their goals, we’ve found a common thread. It is hard to make and stick with lifestyle changes, so we’re quite impressed with an app that helps you do just that.
Among the best weight-loss apps we’ve seen this year is one called Noom. We love that Noom is backed by clinical research, supported by industry experts, and proven to help users stick with a plan so they reach their goals faster.
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