Whether you want to lose just a couple of pounds, or completely change your lifestyle, the average weight loss on Optavia in the first week is estimated to be between 2 and 3 pounds.
While most of us want to lose weight as fast as possible, many experts agree that it’s better to lose weight at a slow and steady pace.
To help you better understand what to expect during your first week of the Optavia diet, I’ve reached out to nutrition and human physiology experts across the United Kingdom for their insights. Keep reading to see what they have to say.
Average first-week weight loss on Optavia
Yangfan Gao, Ph.D., a clinical trials coordinator at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, says that it is normal to notice rapid weight loss during the first week when cutting calories.
During the first couple of weeks of weight loss, “the body uses energy by releasing its stores of glycogen,” says Dr. Gao.
When the glycogen is used for energy, during this process it releases water, which results in faster weight loss.
“The initial weight loss is mostly due to the loss of water weight, not due to fat loss,” explains Dr. Gao.
From my experience, although I started Optavia 5 and 1 plan over a year ago, my average first-week weight loss was between 5-7 pounds (or more).
My weight loss on Optavia after one week
Here’s a look at my Optavia weight loss journey – before and after 1 week!
There’s a difference of 7 pounds, a few inches, and clothing size between these photos.
Although I’m wearing different underwear, they both have the same large size. On the left, my midsection clearly pops out.
On the right, my midsection is in line with my underwear.
(Keep in mind this wasn’t my first weight loss rodeo. In the past, I did many different diets and I knew what to expect.)
Here’s a photo of my wife’s results for the first week in side by side.
(She lost more than 7 pounds, not sure exactly how much.)
I highly recommend checking out my Optavia before and after 3 weeks diet in 3 weeks, where I reveal my personal experience and give you actionable tips to help you achieve similar success.
My first week on Optavia
The good news is that you can also maximize your weight loss results with Optavia, as long as you stay on track.
The list below includes my action plan steps, which are basically things I did during (and before) my first week on Optavia to help me lose more weight:
- I completely eliminated carbs (and sugars) from my diet. (I only eat a small amount of the selected group of carbs as my post-workout meal.)
- I stopped drinking alcohol 2 weeks before I started dieting to ensure my body start to be in a fat-burning state.
- I organized my kitchen and started to prepare meals in advance as a part of my meal prep ritual. (That included cleaning up the clutter and getting rid of all high-calorie foods.)
- I followed a structured eating schedule. (I was eating my Fuelings at the same time, every day.)
- Prior to dieting, I build up my muscle by doing strength training with progressive overload. (Adding lean body weight helped me to burn more calories at rest.)
- I added 30 to 45 minutes of low-intensity cardio training at 60% to 75% of my maximal heart rate. (Usually, it was a stationary bike, treadmill, or outdoor walking.)
- I was drinking 8-10 glasses of water. (Even now, I drink 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning to rehydrate.)
- I was going to bed before 10 pm. (This was the most difficult, especially for my wife.)
- I was eating slowly and journaling my meals. (This included timing myself to spend at least 20 minutes for each meal.)
Here’s a photo of my massive lean and green salad with chicken, parmesan cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. (It took me 24 minutes to eat this mountain of food.)
As you can see, I didn’t go cold turkey.
(I wanted to prepare myself in advance to see results a bit faster.)
Weight loss may not be noticeable in the first week
Here’s the kicker.
Even with this surgically precise weight loss plan, I still didn’t see any noticeable weight loss results in the first week (apart from the number of the scale and frequent trips to the bathroom).
I was looking kind of the same.
All my T-shirts, shirts, jeans, pants, and underwear fit exactly the same as before.
(I was also feeling the same, I guess.)
The only thing that changed was the scale.
I get that everyone wants to lose weight fast, but (in most cases) during the first week of weight loss, the results may not be noticeable.
Do you lose more weight in the first week?
Michael Ventrella, a finalist on NBC’s hit reality show The Biggest Loser, managed to lose 34 pounds in the first week, which is the world record for the most weight loss in one week, according to NBC.
He was able to lose a total of 200 pounds in 18 weeks.
In general, it is normal to lose a lot of weight in the first week of a diet, but what Michael Ventrella did was a special case.
Losing so much weight so quickly is not recommended, according to experts.
What to expect the first week of Optavia?
At the same time, a more recent study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine has shown that the “rate of initial weight loss, even within the first few weeks of treatment, may serve as an important predictor of long-term success.”
Lisa Nackers, Ph.D., a health behavior change expert at UW Health, says that losing weight at a more rapid initial rate has been coupled with greater long-term weight loss.
“Greater initial weight loss often serves as the strongest positive predictor of further weight change during a follow-up period,” says Dr. Nackers.
In her randomized controlled trial published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Dr. Nackers examined the association between the rate of initial weight loss and long-term weight management.
“Women who lost weight at a rapid rate during the first weeks of treatment achieved significantly greater weight reductions at 6 and 18 months follow up, compared to those who lost at moderate and slow rates,” says Dr. Nackers.
Here’s a photo from the aforementioned publication.
Image adapted from data in: Nackers, Lisa M et al. “The association between rate of initial weight loss and long-term success in obesity treatment: does slow and steady win the race?.” International journal of behavioral medicine vol. 17,3 (2010): 161-7. doi:10.1007/s12529-010-9092-y
What to expect the first few days of Optavia?
Apart from the initial signs that your body is burning fat, there are some things you can expect to happen within the first few days of starting Optavia.
Here’s what I’ve experienced.
During my first week on Optavia, I was really excited (maybe even anxious).
I called my buddies to let them know I’m on the diet (so they can understand if I refuse to drink a beer on Saturday afternoon).
I also organized my kitchen to make it easier to cook my meals.
I prepared blenders for shakes, sharpen my knives, stack up chopping boards, and clean all plastic containers.
Here’s a photo of my Optavia fuelings ready to unpack.
2. Satisfied, but not full
In my first few days, I followed Optavia guidelines to the T, apart from the exercise. (They recommend starting fitness after 2-3 weeks or so.)
After my first few days of eating Lean and Green meals, I was feeling satisfied, but not full, or stuffed.
This was something new because normally I would finish my meals feeling full in my belly.
(Like 10 out of 10 full.)
3. I was a little hungry
(Depending on which Optavia plan you’re on, you may feel a little hungrier than usual.)
I was doing 5 and 1, and my lean and green meal was usually around 5-6 pm, so until that time, I was eating mostly Optavia fuelings and some snacks.
This was OK, but I still felt a little bit hungry.
My appetite (and cravings) were higher than before. However, my hunger went down after a couple of weeks.
3. Food was everywhere
During the first few days on Optavia, I was thinking about the food (a lot).
I noticed my Instagram feed was making me hungry after looking at all the tasty dishes people prepared.
The worst was the shopping day.
When I had to walk between the food stalls, all I could smell was the tasty foods that I wasn’t allowed to eat.
Although I try to order food online, I like to visit the fresh markets for fruits and veggies, but even then, it felt like I was pulled left and right by the smell of the food vendors.
4. I felt a bit angry
I experienced weird emotions and feelings when not eating.
Things like standing in the traffic for a few minutes didn’t bother me, but after the first few days on the diet, I was getting angry.
Even after a small and unimportant conflict I was getting easily irritated.
5. I wanted something sweet
I’m not really a sweets kind of guy, but after I started Optavia, my cravings for sweets got real.
Within the first few days, I finished all the chocolate fudge bars and chocolate mint cookie bars from my Essential Optimal Kit.
Here’s a photo of my Optavia chocolate fuelings.
This is when I run out of my chocolate bars and all I was left of sweets was chocolate fudge pudding.
6. I was thirsty more than before
During the first week, I visited the bathroom every 2-3 hours (or more).
At the same time, I was drinking a lot of water.
(Do not skip that part.)
You don’t want to get dehydrated. Apart from drinking water, I also like to drink coffee (no sugar) with high caffeine.
How much weight can you lose on Optavia in the first week?
When asked how much weight can you lose on Optavia, it is possible to lose between 0.9 and 1.4 kilograms of weight in the first week on average. Over a longer period of time such as one month or more, the average weight loss on this program is 0.5-1.5 kilograms per week if the guidelines are followed strictly, with 24-36 pounds lost in the first 3 months, or 48-72 pounds in 6 months.
When do you start seeing results on Optavia?
It took me about the first couple of weeks to see the first results of my Optavia diet.
However, the process of fat burn starts on your first day.
According to the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, your body starts to use fatty acids as an energy source, instead of glucose within a couple of hours after your last meal.
“The type of food (and combination of nutrients) you had with your last meal often dictate how long it takes to process, digest, and pass it through the general circulation,” states the AJPEM journal.
First 6 hours
“Within the first 4-6 hours after your meal, your food is being digested. This is called the post-prandial period when bile, enzymes, and neuropeptides are released,” states the AJPEM.
“They help you to transit the nutrients into the body as the majority of the food enters the small intestines and it travels at the pace of 1 cm per minute,” according to AJPEM.
8 hours after a meal
“This stage is called a post-absorptive period which is when the majority of digestion is already done and most of the nutrients are available.”
This is when “the glucose levels in the blood start to drop, as your cells use it for energy,” explains the AJPEM.
The second half of your day
In the second half of your day, your body already used all the nutrients from your last meal, which means you are entering into the fat-burning state.
“To balance blood sugar levels, your insulin levels drop and your glucagon levels raises. This way your stored glycogen is pushed back into the blood to fuel the tank for your energy,” according to AJPEM.
First 24 hours
According to AJPEM, “You’re in the fasted state and the body depends more on the fatty acids released from the adipose tissue (stored body fat) for fuel. The body starts to break down the fatty acids to help to shuttle more energy.”
Can you modify the Optavia program and still achieve average weight loss?
It is possible to achieve average weight loss while modifying the Optavia program. By doing Optavia on your own, you can not only maintain your weight loss goals but also save money.
This entails purchasing cheaper snacks, creating your own fueling options, and consuming small frequent meals every 2-3 hours.
The bottom line
Optavia starts to work within the first few hours on the first day of your diet. However, these changes are just not big enough for us to see immediate results.
Plus, there are many reasons that can lead you to go off the plan and slow down your results.
Stay patient and trust your journey. Focus on the process, not the initial results. This program works but it just needs time.
1 (NBC Washington) https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international/heaviest_contestant_ever_wins__biggest_loser_/2095909/
2 (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) T A Wadden, G D Foster, J Wang, R N Pierson, M U Yang, K Moreland, A J Stunkard, T B VanItallie, Clinical correlates of short- and long-term weight loss, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 56, Issue 1, July 1992, Pages 271S–274S,
3 (International Journal of Behavioral Medicine) Nackers, L. M., Ross, K. M., & Perri, M. G. (2010). The association between rate of initial weight loss and long-term success in obesity treatment: does slow and steady win the race?. International journal of behavioral medicine, 17(3), 161–167. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-010-9092-y
4 (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition) Gao Y, Tsintzas K, Macdonald IA, Cordon SM, Taylor MA. Effects of intermittent (5:2) or continuous energy restriction on basal and postprandial metabolism: a randomised study in normal-weight, young participants. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2022;76(1):65-73. doi:10.1038/s41430-021-00909-2