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Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Review - 12 Things You Need to Know

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 loss goals through a combination of supplements, meal replacement products, 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 free trial, for a limited time. Click here for this special offer!

What is the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan?

Also known as the Medifast 5&1 Plan, the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is a weight-loss 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, as well as 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
  • Essential On-The-Go Kit

Products Similar to Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan

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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 which are intended to help you sustain a healthy weight. This comes after the weight loss is completed.

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.

Rand hand from a woman writing the word "Coaching" with a red marker on imaginary see through area

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 of out five stars.


Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Benefits

any benefits with the optimal 51 plan
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

Optavia fuelings have very similar nutrition profiles (makes it easy)

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.”

The International Journal of Obesity shares research that shows the importance of “portion control in weight management.”

optimal weight 5 1 plan research

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, as well as 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 a day 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, they are also sold in the kits. You should expect to eat a lot of bars and shakes on this diet plan, which is processed foods.

optimal weight 5 1 plan healthy diet


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.”


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.

Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Found in a variety of foods, these nutrients are crucial for healthy body function.

optimal weight 5 1 plan and probiotics


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.

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.

Side Effects

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
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Constipation

any side effects with optimal weight 5 1 plan

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea

These unpleasant effects were mentioned by Medifast customers, 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. This takes an average of 12 weeks to achieve. But weight loss results will vary from person to person, depending on your effort and lifestyle.

What Users Are Saying

“I am currently in day 5 of my 5 & 1 plan and I FEEL GREAT! I have lost 6 pounds in 5 days and can not wait to weigh in and measure myself in 2 days. I am all in and have stuck to the plan to a tee. It is hard, don’t let time deceive you but you have to make a decision. If you want your old body back, be honest and give yourself the gift of health. You deserve it!”

“Basically they send you a whole bunch of snacks, each 100 cal or less. You eat 5 of those per day(reportedly, they taste like cardboard) and you eat only one actual meal of lean protein and veggies. The weight loss comes from a huge calorie defecit. I also looked up some of the reviews online, and saw that many women became very sick and had hair loss while on this plan.”

“I’ve been on plan 10 weeks. Down 27 pounds! Easiest weight loss ever! I’m now coaching and guiding others to their ultimate best!”

Bottom Line

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.

Plus, it’s perfect that Dietspotlight readers can take advantage of a free trial of Noom for a limited time.

Learn More About Noom »
Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Review
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Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan

What is the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan?

Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is a a diet program from Optavia. This plan claims to help you lose up to 12 pounds by providing you food and recipes that keep you consuming 800-1,000 calories a day.

Do I need to exercise with the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan?

You are encouraged to exercise at least 30 minutes daily.

How many different Optavia Fuelings are there for Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan?

There are more than 60 different Fuelings to choose from.

How many meals do I get each day with Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan?

You get 1 Lean and Green Meal, 5 Fuelings and one healthy snack (optional).

How much water should I drink?

You need to drink at least 64 ounces of water each day.

Where can I buy Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan?

Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan can be purchased using their Official Site.

Who cannot use the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan?

Individuals under 18, women who are pregnant and those taking certain medications cannot use the 5&1 Plan. If you have preexisting medical condition, you must speak with doctor before getting started.

Is the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan for people not trying to lose weight?

No, but an alternative option is the Optimal Health 3&3 Plan.

How many calories do you eat on Optavia?

You can consume 800-1,000 calories and 80-100 grams of carbohydrates daily, depending on your food choices, which is very low.

Are there gluten-free food options available?

Yes, there are gluten-free Optavia Fuelings to choose from.

How much does the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan cost?

For three weeks worth, or 119 servings, of food from the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan, you’ll pay between $350-425.

How long does it take to start fat burning on Optavia?

If you are following the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan recommendations, you should start experiencing the effects of fat burning between 3-5 days.

How much weight do you lose on Optavia?

According to Optavia, you can lose an average of 12 pounds while using the Optimal 5&1 Plan. Additionally, they say you’ll keep losing weight for up to 12 weeks.

What can you eat on Optavia?

When using the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan from Optavia, you can eat five Optavia Fuelings options. You can also eat one “lean and green” meal consisting of protein and vegetables. All these meals will come to 800-1,000 calories per day.

10 Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Reviews

  • Nathalie

    Do you help individuals that have a metabolic condition?

  • Lost weight on 5 & 1 and feeling great!
    Pamela (Verified Purchase)

    I lost 35 lbs in 3 months on the Optavia 5 & 1 plan. Easiest program I’ve ever done! The coaching and community support are wonderful. It’s all about learning new ways of relating to food. Yeah, there were a couple of the “fuelings” that I didn’t care for but with around 60 to choose from, I was quickly able to find those that I enjoy – including finishing each day with a decadent (but healthy) chocolate brownie. As far as “processed food”, this is about as good as it gets – no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners plus vitamins and minerals and probiotics in each meal. My energy is better, I feel more confident, my BMI is now in a healthier range and my doctor was shocked at the improvement in my lab work. Yes, it is an investment in your health but the cost is offset by spending much less at the grocery store since the majority of your meals are provided in the program. I highly recommend this program! (I’d be glad to answer any questions about the program.)

  • Anonymous

    Is there a dairy free plan?

    • Pamela

      There are some dairy free fuelings (pre-packaged meals) but not many. Your choices would be pretty limited but it could be done. Fuelings are eaten 5 times a day. One meal a day is a Lean and Green which can easily be done dairy free.

  • Best plan I’ve tried
    Marie (Verified Purchase)

    You are NOT encouraged to exercise while on the 5&1 plan, as the caloric intake is not high enough to support it. I’ve lost 35 pounds in 5 months with NO exercise at all, and that includes several vacations during that time when I was not in the plan. Yes- it is expensive. I spend about $350/month; but my grocery bill has been cut by 60%. I am learning healthier ways to prepare meals and have stopped craving sweets. My coach has been a huge help along the way- for support and encouragement.

  • Too Expensive!

    I have not tried this product but it seems expensive and what happens when one is no longer on the program? It does not teach a new way of eating. It ‘might’ give someone a kickstart on a weight loss journey so I will give it two stars. I am on the Naturally Slim program (paid for through my employer). There are no special foods to buy or calories or points to count. Instead, it teaches a different way of thinking about food, chew slowly, eat at Hunger level 3, and stop when comfortably full. You just eat regular foods. The program costs $400 or so for a year (initially 10 weeks and then lasts a year for follow-up). It seems to me this would be more effective in the long run. I have lost almost 10 lbs in a month.

    • Cindy

      I have been off the plan for a year. I’m down 3 more inches and I have not gained any weight. So it worked for me.

    • Judy

      Optavia absolutely does teach a new way of eating! That’s one of the many differences between Optavia and other plans.

  • Live alone and lose lots of weight.
    Anna (Verified Purchase)

    ANY plan that restricts eating habits to nutritious foods in minimal amounts will bring about weight loss…so long as you live alone, or your partner is committed to following the same diet. As soon as “other” food is brought in, and someone else’s habits are thrown into the mix, the best diet in the world becomes a waste of money.

    I used the Medifast plan with a doctor’s supervision for eight months. It was VERY expensive (not even including the doctor’s fees), and I only lost about 8 pounds. That 8 pounds rejoined me as soon as I met my husband. He can stop drinking beer and lose 8 pounds in one week….

    • Jennifer

      I have 8 people in my household. I am the only cook. I have lost 40 lbs on Optavia 14 weeks and I feed 7 others. It can be done.