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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 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 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

Vega One
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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 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.


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.”

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
  • 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 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.

What Users Are Saying

“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.”

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?

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.

13 Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan Reviews

  • Food allergy approved?????

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.