Are you feeling a little nervous about starting the Optavia diet because you’re not sure what foods you’ll be able to eat?
Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to give up all your favorite foods, including tomatoes.
That’s right, you can still enjoy the juicy, delicious taste of tomatoes while on the Optimal Weight 5 and 1 plan.
But, before you go reaching for that big bowl of cherry tomatoes, let’s talk about serving size and how they fit into the Optavia plan.
Let’s talk about tomatoes and weight loss
I eat tomatoes when I am on a diet because they are tasty and relatively low in calories.
They have been high on my Optavia superfood list for a good reason – they’re jam-packed with essential nutrients, such as fiber, that leave me feeling full and satisfied.
I believe that tomatoes are a fantastic choice for anyone looking to lower their calorie intake and lose weight.
The study published in the Nutrients Journal states that “tomato juice not only helped people lose weight and body fat but also made their cholesterol levels go down and their good cholesterol levels go up.”
Another study published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry states that “tomatoes are a healthy food. You can eat them raw or cooked, and they will still have all the same nutrients.”
Can you include tomatoes in an Optavia meal plan?
According to Optavia, you are allowed to choose 3 servings of vegetables per day, and one of them can be tomatoes.
They are not considered a “free” food option. They are classified as high-carbohydrate vegetables.
This means you can only use half a cup as one serving size.
Here’s the photo of my recent lean and green meal with tomatoes.
This meal has 6 oz of grilled pork loin, together with an egg omelet and one and a half of beefsteak tomato chopped in wedges.
(As you can see, I like to keep things simple.)
When I feel like something fancy, I spend more time on details like slicing, dicing, and seasoning.
Here’s the photo of my wife’s tomato salad.
She likes to cut tomatoes in rings together with red onions. She also chopped black olives and placed small pieces of feta cheese on top.
Salt and pepper to finish.
(Very, very tasty.)
I also love to eat cherry tomatoes, mainly becasue the average amount of some antioxidants is higher, compared to regular-sized tomatoes.
They’re loaded with lycopene, a carotenoid that “exhibits antioxidant and anticancer properties,” according to Antioxidants Journal.
“Cherry tomatoes harvested at full ripeness had the most carotenoids,” states the journal.
Plus, they’re a great source of vitamins A and C, which are essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails.
(For the record, half a cup of cherry tomatoes equals around 7-8 pieces.)
What tomatoes are allowed on the Optavia diet?
- Yellow Pear
- Black Krim
- Green Zebra
- San Marzano
How many tomatoes can you eat per day on Optavia?
If you’re following the 5 and 1 to the letter, you can choose up to three servings of tomatoes in your lean and green meal.
Optavia generally recommends including a variety of vegetables in your diet.
So my suggestion would be to limit your tomato intake to 1-2 servings per lean and green meal and experiment with different types of vegetables.
And while eating too many tomatoes isn’t typically harmful, consuming excessive amounts can lead to unpleasant effects.
According to the article review published in the Nutrition Journal, “tomatoes are usually safe to eat, but sometimes people have problems after eating them. Allergic reactions, stomach problems, and diarrhea are some of the reported side effects.”
Additionally, “tomatoes are high in acidity and may cause acid reflux or heartburn in some people,” states the journal.
Another way you can include tomatoes in your 5 and 1 plan is by using them for your homemade fueling replacements.
Can I have tomato juice on Optavia?
Although tomato juice is a delicious and nutritious beverage with a flavor that can’t be beaten, I would still be careful about the amount you drink.
While it doesn’t have a lot of sugar, it contains 32 calories per 6 fl oz bottle (1), which is similar to calories from coconut water.
So it’s okay to have tomato juice on Optavia, but I would limit your consumption to 1-2 glasses per day.
To be honest, I would rather reach out for tomato juice to use it for soups, salad dressings, or smoothies base, rather than drinking it as a beverage only.
What about tomato sauce?
Yes, you can use tomato sauce on the Optavia diet plan, as long as you choose the low-calorie options.
You can either choose some of the store-bought delicious Optavia approved sauces, or you can make your own from the scratch.
(I prefer the latter.)
My wife loves to cook Italian food, and tomato sauce is her specialty.
We rarely buy ready-to-eat sauces. Instead, we take canned tomatoes, add seasoning and boil everything for several hours.
The bottom line
In the end, tomatoes are allowed on Optavia Medifast weight loss and maintenance phase, but just be careful with your serving.
Although tomatoes are considered healthy foods, according to Optavia guidelines, they are considered high-carbohydrate vegetables.
This means you still can use them, but limit your portions to half a cup per meal.
Before making any changes to your diet, be sure to talk with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian.