If you’re following the Optima Health 3 and 3 plan, you may be wondering about the availability of Optavia free snacks.
Optavia free snacks, also known as “free choice” means you can enjoy a small snack or alcoholic beverage between your meals.
Although I eat free snacks in moderation, be sure they’ve added variety and flexibility to my diet, making it easier to stick to the program.
Let’s dive into what exactly Optavia Free Choice snacks are and when you can (and cannot) have them.
What are Free Foods on Optavia?
It’s true that the Optavia weight loss program may feel restrictive.
But once you pass the transition part and reach the maintenance phase, you can enjoy the occasional treat from Optavia’s free snacks list.
So what exactly is Optavia free choice?
Optavia free snacks are selected groups of foods and alcoholic beverages that can be consumed in moderation and with a specific serving size.
They are not part of the 5 and 1 plan and are only allowed on the 3 and 3 program.
The list includes foods like cakes, cookies, chocolates, muffins, and candy bars. It also allows having wine, beer, or distilled spirits, such as vodka or gin.
For me, Optavia free snacks serve not only as a reward for sticking to a diet but also made the maintenance plan more flexible and realistic.
By adding one free snack per day, I was able to break up the monotony of a restricted diet and made the weight loss journey more enjoyable and sustainable.
How do the Optavia Free Choice snacks works?
Okay, so does it means that you can start eating cookies and drinking wine every day?
Well, not exactly.
The Optavia program places some restrictions on the types of free snacks you can have during the 3 and 3 plan.
Optavia free choice snack works as an occasional treat where you can choose only one of the many foods or beverages on top of your 3 Fuelings and 3 lean and green meals.
The idea behind free choice snacks is that you get to enjoy a small treat to boost your motivation and make the process more, well, sustainable.
(We all know that Optavia 5 and 1 is not a picnic, right?)
According to Optavia 3 and 3 guide, you can only have one Free Choice per day, any time of the day.
And beyond the constraint of a single serving per day, the only other limitations pertain to the serving size.
Okay, I’m ready! – Show me Optavia free snacks list
1. Optavia Fuelings
Although Optavia Fuelings is a great free snack option, I rarely include them more than I have to.
I personally prefer to use other snacks that fit my cravings more than Fuelings.
That’s why I rarely choose this option—but if you fall in love with any of the Fuelings available, go ahead and make it your free choice!
Fancy a cold pint after a long day?
Although alcohol is not allowed during the 5 and 1 plan, it’s perfectly fine to have a beer as your Free Choice.
The only limitation is the serving size.
As your free choice, you can choose only 8 fl. oz beer regular, or 12 fl. oz light beer.
So what does it look like?
In the photo below you can see two pictures of beer.
The one on the right is Heineken 330ml (11 fl. oz). The one on the right is Virgil’s zero-sugar root beer 12 fl. oz.
Although both these beers have similar serving sizes, I would not choose Heineken. It’s better to choose the light version.
3. Distilled spirits
Yes, you can have spirits like vodka, rum, gin, and whiskey as your Optavia free choice.
One serving size is 1 1/2 fl oz, which contains about 96 calories and no carbohydrates or sugar.
I like to choose premium vodkas that are smooth, something like Ketel One.
Here’s the photo.
But, just like with any alcohol, it’s important to drink in moderation and be aware of the health risks that can come with overdoing it.
Drinking too much can also mess with your weight maintenance goals and even affect your sleep by delaying your REM sleep period, according to studies.
What about a glass of wine with your Lean and green meal?
For those of us who enjoy a glass of wine, we can add 5 fl oz to our Lean and Green meals as a free choice.
That’s around one-fifth of the bottle. (Trust me, we’ve tested many times.)
However, it is important to note that dry wines have less sugar than sweet wines, so stick with the former if you are looking to keep your sugar intake to a minimum.
5. Hershey Kisses
Needing a sweet treat but not wanting to overindulge?
Optavia recommends Hershey’s Kisses as an ideal free snack. One serving contains four pieces. That’s 88 calories, 10 grams of sugar, and 5.2 grams of fat in total.
Here’s the photo of Hershey’s Kisses milk chocolate and cookies and cream flavors.
Although I love to snack on these two, I rarely choose them.
Instead, I prefer to reduce calories and opt for the dark chocolate version.
You wanna know my secret?
Hershey’s Kisses Dark Chocolate has 20% fewer calories compared to other flavors.
Meaning you can indulge guilt-free in 5 pieces instead of 4, and still get the same calories.
Optavia allows having a 1 oz muffin as a free snack option. That’s around 1/4 of the muffin.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with leaving any muffin bits on the plate…
So, what do I do?
I like to choose a sugar-free blueberry muffin mix from Lakanto.
Here’s the photo.
This allows me to eat the whole thing, without worrying that I go above the limit.
A perfect way to enjoy the occasional snack while still sticking to my diet.
7. Low-fat ice cream
I must confess – ice cream is my thing.
If given the choice between spending an evening at a fancy Michelin Star restaurant or indulging in a whole pint of my favorite ice cream, I’d go for the ice cream every time.
Here’s a photo of my two all-time favorite ice cream brands – Halo top and Arctic Zero.
Both of these ice creams not only taste delicious but also have relatively low calories and high proteins.
Just remember to enjoy your ice cream in moderation. Optavia allows having 1/2 cup as one free snack.
8. Frosted cake
Here’s the photo of my wife frosted cake (straight from the oven).
I’m not exactly sure what’s in it, but this dessert is absolutely delicious! It’s got a frosted chocolate top and two layers of cream in the middle.
The best part is that it’s already sliced and ready to go for meal prep.
According to the Optavia diet plan, we can have one square inch per day as our free choice, so this cake will last us for a good two weeks.
Of course, my wife likes to share some of it with her mom and sister too!
9. Chocolate chip cookie
You’ll be happy to know that cookies are definitely part of the Free Choice on the Optavia maintenance plan.
(Not much of a shocker there, right?)
You can have only one, so the key is to pick ones that are both tasty and lower in calories.
If I’m really craving something special, I’ll go for the Quest protein cookies.
Here’s the photo.
Although quest cookies are significantly bigger than regular cookies, they have a lot of proteins. At the same time, they have more calories.
Therefore, when we have more time on our hands, my wife likes to whip up some homemade cookies herself.
They’re usually a healthier option and taste just as good!
10. Fat-free pudding
That’s right, you can have 4 oz of Fat-free pudding as your free snack on Optavia.
Here’s the photo of Jell-O chocolate fudge pudding I found in Walmart.
Although this one has 100 calories and is relatively cheap, I rarely choose this brand.
I’ve found that a lot of sugar-free options have a weird chemical aftertaste.
(On the other hand, the tastiest ones often pack in a lot of calories.)
So unless you can whip your own chocolate pudding, I would pick another free snack.
11. Angel food cake
For a low-calorie snack that won’t sabotage your diet, Angel food cake is a decent choice.
With 1/12 of a cake – about 2 oz. – as your free snack on Optavia, you can indulge in a sweet treat without feeling guilty.
My wife likes Duncan Hines’ Angel Food Cake.
This light, fluffy cake is perfect for those days when you just need a little something extra.
Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? With the Optavia free choice, you can indulge in a delicious brownie without feeling guilty!
Just be sure to stick to the recommended portion size of 1 inch square, which is equivalent to roughly 1 oz. in weight.
Here’s what a 1 oz brownie looks like.
And don’t forget that one small brownie contains about 132 calories, so make sure to consume it in moderation.
But if you want an occasional treat that won’t derail your diet goals, this tasty snack will undoubtedly hit the spot!
13. Gingersnap cookie
Gingersnap cookies are a great choice for anyone looking for an indulgent treat that won’t ruin their diet plan.
I personally love the flavor and spice they pack, not to mention they’re low in calories and sugar, compared to regular cookies.
Here’s the photo of ginger snaps from the company called Stauffer.
On Optavia, you can have 3 pieces.
However, one thing to keep in mind is serving size. Three of these give you 90 caloires, 16.5 grams of carbs, and 7 grams of sugar.
14. Vanilla wafer
On the Optavia 3 and 3 plan, you can enjoy vanilla wafers as a free snack option.
The recommended serving size is 4 cookies, which can be a tasty and satisfying treat when you’re looking for a quick snack.
While vanilla wafers are not my favorite, it’s always a good idea to keep a few at home just to have some variety.
If you’re looking for a highish quality vanilla wafer, you might want to check out the ones from Highkey.
Here’s the photo.
According to their website, they use almond flour and real butter so it’s suitable if you’re following a gluten-free Optavia plan.
15. Mini ice cream sandwich
I just had to share my excitement about these mini ice cream sandwiches I recently tried.
Here’s the picture.
I think these are the perfect Optavia free snack for anyone who loves ice cream.
One sandwich has only 60 calories, which is amazing!
I believe my wife found them at ALDI, but I’m not entirely sure.
Either way, they are definitely worth trying. There are also other brands that offer similar low-calorie options, so keep an eye out for them.
16. Fun-size candy bar
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I can still enjoy fun-size candy bars even when following the Optavia program.
I always thought these treats were only for special occasions like Christmas, but Optavia actually allows for a mini Mars or Snickers bar as a free choice option.
It’s great to know that I don’t have to completely give up my favorite sweets.
Each mini fun size candy bar only has 45 calories, so I can indulge in moderation without derailing my progress.
It’s definitely good news for anyone who loves candy bars like me!
17. Licorice twists
To be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of licorice twists.
But I was surprised to learn that they are actually allowed as Optavia free snacks.
According to the serving size, I can have three pieces, which is not bad.
Even though they are not my favorite treat, it’s nice to have some variety and know that I can still enjoy them in moderation.
18. Fruit snacks
When I was a kid, I used to love Welch’s Fruit Snacks.
But as I got older and started paying more attention to my diet, I realized that they’re not the healthiest option.
Here’s the photo.
It’s interesting how this packaging of Welch’s Fruit Snacks claims that they’re made from “real fruits,” when in reality, they probably contain a lot of sugar.
While they may have some fruit juice and puree in them, they’re not exactly a healthy snack.
As a part of Optavia’s free choice, one serving size is just one ounce.
And although you can find them at Walmart, I don’t usually buy them anymore.
I prefer snacks that have fewer preservatives and sugar, like chocolate or cookies.
19. Fruit leather
I must confess – I’ve never actually tried fruit leather before.
Even though it’s part of the Optavia free foods list, the shape and texture of it have always been a bit off-putting to me.
However, I do know that a serving size is 2 strips, and it’s a good option for anyone who wants a low-calorie, fruit-based snack.
While I can’t speak to the taste, I appreciate that it’s available as a free choice for those following the Optavia 3 and 3 plan.
20. Dark chocolate (at least 70% dark)
I just had to share a photo of the best dark chocolate I’ve ever tried – Lindt Excellence.
Even though it’s thin and can be a bit pricey, one piece is all I need to satisfy my cravings for chocolate.
When it comes to free snacks, you can enjoy them in moderation by having one square, which is about 14 grams.
I love that I can still indulge in my favorite chocolate without completely derailing my progress.
For me, Lindt Excellence is definitely worth the splurge.
21. Unsweetened cacao nibs
As for unsweetened cacao nibs, I don’t usually eat them as a snack on their own, but rather, I use them for baking or to mix in with Optavia-friendly yogurt.
It’s important to note that the serving size for cacao nibs is typically one ounce, so you don’t want to go overboard with them.
When choosing cacao nibs, be sure to read the label carefully and make sure that they are unsweetened.
While they might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I love the rich, chocolatey flavor that they add to my snacks.