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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 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.

Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Readers: Noom is offering our readers a risk-free trial, for a limited time. Click here for more information!

What is the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan?

What is 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 kit, which consists of Optavia products such as snack bars, shakes, smoothies, cereals, soups, and other Optavia foods. Here are the 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

Vega One
Company Info

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 Baltimore from Owings Mills, Maryland.

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 a 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 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 400+ consumer reviews. We found both positive and negative responses to Medifast and the customer service they offer. You can contact customer service at 888.OPTAVIA (1.888.678.2842). The address for Optavia is:

100 International Drive
18th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

As of January 2022, Optavia, LLC is rated 1.6 out of 5 stars on BBB. They’ve closed 580 complaints in the previous three years and 281 complaints in the past 12 months.

In 2020, Optavia Essential Old Fashioned Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal were voluntarily recalled due to undeclared traces of milk.

Products Available From Optavia

  • Optimal Weight 4&2&1 Plan
  • Optimal Health 3&3 Plan
  • Creamy Chocolate Shake Mix
  • Yogurt Berry Blast Smoothie Mix
  • Frothy Cappuccino Drink Mix
  • Cranberry Honey Nut Granola Bar
  • Zesty Cheddar & Italian Herb Crunchers
  • Cinnamon Sugar Sticks
  • Jalapeno Cheddar Poppers
  • Rustic Tomato Herb Penne

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)
  • 60 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.”

Getting Started

How to Get Started With Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan

How to Get Started with Optimal 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 Loss 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. You eat four Optavia Fuelings meals, two green and lean meals you prepare, and a snack on this plan.

Optavia Premier

Optavia premier is another popular subscription plan available from Optavia. With this plan, individuals receive free meals, free shipping on all orders, and exclusive discounts. Once individuals choose their kit, the membership program ships it automatically every month.


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. There may be Optimal 5&1 Plan diy, or do-it-yourself, food options as well.


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 notes that protein plays an important part in weight management. 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.”


This indigestible carbohydrate is also called roughage 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.”

However, excessive vitamin intake is also associated with a higher weight, according to research published in WoD.


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.”

Side Effects

Optavia Side Effects

Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan 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
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea

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 OPTAVIA Premier 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.

The Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan pyramid costs $428.20 and comes in two options: Essentials Optimal Kit and Essential On-The-Go Kit.

Although no longer available, other weight plan options included Essential Optimal Kit with the Habits of Health System, Select Optimal Kit with the Habits of Health System, and Essential On-The-Go Kit with the Habits of Health System – all of which cost between $292-426.

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. Currently, the weight-loss plans are only available for purchase on the official Optavia website, where there is an Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan pdf available as well.

Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Refund Policy

On their official website, Optavia mentions a 30-day return policy. However, individuals can only receive a refund on consumable items, meaning that opened packages can not be refunded.

Additionally, customers will need to receive a Return Merchandise Authorization Number before being able to ship back any products. Customers are responsible for shipping fees.


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.

What Users Are Saying

What Users Are Saying

“I am on 5&1 Optavia program. Most of the fuelings take time to get used to but once you do it is easy to follow along. At first it tasted like dirt but my taste buds have completely changed. This has become my favorite fueling so far.”

“I am 1 week in with my Optavia 5 & 1 first 30 days and the Creamy Vanilla Shake is a must! There are so many other uses than just a shake. It is a creamy, tasty and filling fueling. It is easy and convenient to take to work, even adding it to your coffee makes for a yummy morning treat.”

“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.”

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 many 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.

When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, sometimes you just need a little help along the way. Noom is a proven weight-loss solution that helps take away the stress of trying to adopt huge lifestyle changes that seem unattainable. Through daily lessons and fun quizzes, users are taught how small, incremental changes add up to new, healthy habits that help you lose weight. 

For a limited time, you can try Noom as part of an exclusive free trial offer. Get started on that new body today!

Learn More About Noom
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Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan

What is the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan?

Optavia created the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan. It claims to help you lose up to 12 pounds by providing food and recipes that limit your consumption to 800 to 1,000 calories every day.

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

Optavia recommends 30 minutes of exercise daily while following the program.

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

You have your choice of more than 60 Fuelings.

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

You get 1 Lean and Green Meal, 5 Fuelings and an optional healthy snack.

How much water should I drink?

Drink at least 64 fl. oz. of water every 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?

People under 18, and pregnant or nursing women cannot use this program. If you are taking certain medications or have an existing medical condition, you should speak with your doctor to make sure the program is safe for you 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?

This very low calorie diet allows for 800 to 1,000 calories with 80 to 100 carbohydrates per day.

Are there gluten-free food options available?

Optavia Fuelings include some gluten-free choices.

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

Expect to pay anywhere from $350 to $425 for three weeks worth of food, totalling 119 servings.

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

Fat burning should begin within three to five days of following the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan.

How much weight do you lose on Optavia?

Optavia claims you can lose an average of 12 pounds while on their program. They say you’ll continue to lose weight for up to 12 weeks following program completion.

What can you eat on Optavia?

On the Optimal Weight 5&1 plan, you’re allowed to eat one “lean and green” meal consisting of protein and vegetables. All these meals will come to 800-1,000 calories per day.

What is Optavia Premier?

Optavia Premier is a membership program from Optavia. When users sign up for the service, they receive automatic shipments of food kits, exclusive discounts, free food, and free shipping.

Article Sources

28 Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Reviews

  • Janet lewis


  • Price
    Janet lewis

    What does this cost

    • Summer Banks FNS, SPT

      Hi Janet. The Essential Optimal Kit is $428.20. The Essential On-the-Go Kit is $428.20. If you choose the Essential Optimal Kit (4&2&1 Plan) it’s $472.95.

  • OPTAVIA works.
    Karen Bush (Verified Purchase)

    I lost 45 lbs and 47 inches in 4 months on the 5 & 1. I have kept it of for 2 yrs. This is the only plan that has worked for me. The coach and community support along with the Habits of Health system have been great support and education. I have several friends who have used the plan. All have been successful with weight loss and have significantly improved health. Note: The fuelings are medical grade nutrition with no artificial ingredients or sugars. The high nutrition value results in feeling no hunger cravings and good energy. I learned to eat differently so that when I transitioned to all whole foods, I easily maintained my weight and energy level.

  • Food Allergies...

    I have 3 severe food allergies. Do they have plans that accommodate food allergies, no potential for cross contamination? My allergens are fish, shellfish & cinnamon (which is typically only labeled as spices or natural flavorings). I have been unable to take probiotics due to my fish allergy & same thing with collagen.

    • Montana (Editor)

      Hello Nicole. This plan does not offer specific plans for those with severe food allergies to prevent cross-contamination.

  • Anonymous

    I would love to be able to afford this diet plan!!

    • Anonymous

      It comes to about 14.00 a day. When I eliminated the unhealthy things from grocery list and the meals I bought at the drive through and take out, I realized it was affordable.

  • Food allergy approved?????

    Is this plan designed for someone with allergies to: Milk, Eggs, Wheat, soy, shrimp, and peanuts????

    • Robyn

      I am Wondering the same…

    • Nicole

      I asked the same question. I have 3 severe food allergies fish, shellfish & cinnamon.

  • This Diet Works!
    David King (Verified Purchase)

    First thing that I would like to add is that the 5&1 plan doesn’t require that you buy a kit. I would suggest talking with someone that is or has been on this plan to get an idea of what fuelings taste better. Personally, the bars have been my saving grace. I enjoy several of the other items but for the most part I’ve depended on the different bars. The first couple of days is the hardest. Especially if you consume a lot of caffeine or eat larger than necessary meals, I can attest to both of these. My wife and I started this plan again 10 days ago and I’m already down 4.5 pounds. The first time for us was about 3 years ago and together we lost over 100 pounds in about 3.5 months. This diet works…period. If my e-mail is available ask me about it. I don’t sell it nor do I represent anyone that does. You’re gonna spend $400 a month or more on groceries, may as well be on food that will help you lose the weight.

    • Tina smith

      How without the plan

    • Jackie Schamma

      How can you be on this plan without buying the kit?

    • Anonymous

      I eat out all.the.time.
      When I first heard the price my jaw hit the floor….then I added up all my restaurant purchases within a month and I am over $800! I literally almost passed out. So for someone like me, $400 a month is a steal!

  • Anonymous

    I need help in knowing what to purchase I’m just starting the program.

  • 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.

    • Heather

      800-1,000 calories per day, and all the processed snacks. Doesn’t sound like healthy or sustainable weight loss.

  • 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.

    • Wendy Reynolds


  • 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.

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