When you’re not losing weight on Optavia, it can be incredibly frustrating. Your body may start resisting further weight loss, even if you initially saw success. This could be due to various reasons, such as not adhering to the plan or having unrealistic expectations.
This article tackles this challenge by identifying ten common reasons responsible for weight loss plateaus on the Optavia program and offers practical guidance on how to overcome these obstacles, allowing you to jumpstart your progress and continue on the path to healthy weight loss with the Optimal Weight 5 and 1 plan.
- The progress is very slow
- You’re not journaling your meals
- You don’t eat enough protein
- You’re overeating
- You’re not lifting weights
- You’re drinking too many calories
- You hack your Optavia Fuelings with too many carbs
- You’re eating too many condiments
- You’re not drinking enough water
- You have unrealistic expectations
1. The progress is very slow
Experiencing slow progress in your weight loss journey on Optavia is not uncommon. It’s essential to understand that weight fluctuations are a natural part of this process, and the scale may not always reflect fat loss accurately.
Don’t despair if your scale hasn’t budged in days or even weeks; this doesn’t mean you’re not burning fat! In fact, it may be because of what – and how much – you eat that’s causing shifts on the scale due to water retention caused by hormones.
According to a 2020 study by Jake Turicchi published in PLOS ONE Journal, “It is normal to experience some weight fluctuations every week. Men and women usually weigh the most on Monday and Sunday and the least on Wednesday and Thursday, as shown in this diagram.
In other words, weight fluctuations are normal.
Stop focusing on the scale, but rather watch how your clothes fit. Choose non-stretchy shirts and try them on every week to see how tight (or loose) you feel.
If you do strength training, seeing slow progress may indicate you’re putting on muscle mass. Take before and after pictures to monitor your progress in the long term.
2. You’re not journaling your meals
One of the common reasons why you may not be losing weight on Optvaia is that you overeat, without realizing it.
According to a 1991 study by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, “keeping track of what you eat is a better way to lose weight than other things like how much you weigh, how old you are, and whether or not you exercise.”
“The more days that you keep track of your food, the more weight you will lose,” states the journal.
Start by writing down what you eat each day. Don’t focus on calories, but rather on how full or hungry you feel. Aim for 80% full after each Lean and Green meal. To make food journaling more enjoyable, try using fitness apps and trackers like MyFitnessPal or Boden Food Plate.
Electronic food diaries are easier to use and more fun than the traditional paper-based estimated food diary.
3. You don’t eat enough protein
Insufficient protein intake can hinder weight loss progress on the Optavia diet by potentially leading to muscle loss and reduced metabolic rate.
A 2020 study by Jaecheol Moon from Jeju National University Hospital states that “A higher protein diet leads to increased satiety, or feeling full, because of several factors such as increased diet-induced thermogenesis, increased blood amino acid concentration.”
Eating more proteins makes me feel more satisfied and less hungry. It also helps to spare my muscle mass.
“A high protein diet is a good way to lose weight. It can help you avoid obesity and other diseases,” states the journal.
If you’re not losing weight with Optavia within your first week, consider adding more Optavia-approved high-protein food items to your Lean and Green meals. Add 1 serving of protein at breakfast daily. Choose Hack your shakes with protein powder or low-calorie almond milk.
4. You’re overeating
Trying to lose weight on Optavia can definitely be daunting, as stress and busy weekends may create situations in which mindless eating can take place.
On top of that, long days of work might cause us to mindlessly snack when snacks are within reach.
All of this can lead to consuming more calories than we have taken into account when following an Optavia plan. To control your food intake, customize and follow an Optavia eating schedule routine where you eat at the same times each day.
Pay close attention to portion sizes. (I started to eat from the 7-inch plates.)
Eat until you feel satisfied, not full. If the portion feels too big, leave food and save leftovers for the next day.
5. You’re not lifting weights
If your goal is to slim down and lose a few pounds but you’re not seeing results with Optavia, the answer may lie in adding more weightlifting into your routine.
According to a 2013 study by Alexandra C. McPherron from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “skeletal muscle is an important tissue for controlling blood sugar and energy.”
“Muscle uses both glucose and fatty acids for energy, and it also provides amino acids for other tissues during starvation,” states the research.
Building more muscle will increase the number of calories you burn, plus it’ll also make you less hungry in between meals.
According to the American Heart Association, you should be doing strength training at least twice per week. This diagram explains how much physical activity you need to maintain body weight.
I recommend doing a full-body workout, where you include compound movements like squats, deadlifts, rows, and shoulder presses.
If you’re not sure about how to perform each of these exercises, hire a coach or personal trainer.
6. You’re drinking too many calories
If Optavia isn’t showing results, drinking calories might be the culprit.
Sugary drinks and coffee drinks are particularly impacted by this. They come loaded with empty calories, which means they don’t provide much nutritional value for your body to work with.
To be successful you have to stay away from high-calorie drinks. Instead, choose drinks suitable for Optavia. Ideally, no beverage should have more than 30 calories in it.
Change regular sodas for diet or low-calorie options. Pay attention to what you add to your Optavia Fuelings. If you enjoy Starbucks, order only approved coffees and teas.
7. You hack your Optavia Fuelings with too many carbs
Optavia is a low-calorie diet, but hacking Optavia Fuelings with too many carbohydrates can make it difficult to match your weight loss goals.
Each fueling has 15 grams of carbs, so be careful what you add to your shakes and smoothies. If you adding fruits, choose low-GI options.
If you like pasta, consider cooking Optavia-friendly pasta alternatives that are made from hearts of palm, cauliflower, or zucchini that have low calories.
If you’re struggling to find low-calorie options, consider looking at the vegetable conversion chart and see which carbs are the most suitable.
By drinking (and eating) fewer carbs, you can improve the effectiveness of the Optavia program.
8. You’re eating too many condiments
Optavia recommends eating 3 condiments per day and up to 2 healthy fat servings.
I understand that it may be difficult to avoid the condiments, but those little additions are full of fat and loaded with calories.
If you find eating salad and meals feels boring without any sauces, consider using salad dressings that are allowed on Optavia which have low (or even zero) calories.
Pay attention to how many condiments you use per day. Use healthier alternatives like lime or lemon juice, Apple cider vinegar, or salsa.
9. You’re not drinking enough water
Drinking enough water is essential when it comes to trying to lose weight on Optavia. According to a 2013 study titled ‘Pre-meal water consumption for weight loss,’ drinking 500 mL of water 30 minutes before each meal may lead to weight loss.
“Pre-meal water consumption is an easy way to lose weight, especially for overweight or obese middle-aged and older adults,” states the journal.
I noticed when my body is dehydrated, it often leads to feelings of hunger, which in turn makes me crave foods that kick me out of the fat-burning state.
It’s important to maintain a high water intake on Optavia if you want to stay hydrated and keep yourself feeling fuller for longer.
If necessary, set up the reminder on your phone. Have a stainless-steel water bottle within arm’s reach of your desk. Find ways to make your water taste better by squeezing low-calorie fruits.
10. You have unrealistic expectations
When it comes to trying to lose weight on Optavia, reality can be vastly different from what we imagine. We have all seen the before and after pictures circulating on social media that promote rapid and dramatic weight-loss results.
The reality of living a healthy lifestyle is that it often requires dedication, patience, and long-term commitment if permanent changes are to be achieved. Optavia says that you should expect to lose 12 pounds of body weight in 12 weeks. That equals approximately 1-2 pounds per week.
Focus on the process by developing a list of small but important daily tasks. Each of these tasks should be geared towards your weight loss outcome. Eat dinner without any distractions. Plan ahead the drinks you’ll have with meals.
Start doing weekly meal prep where you make batches of meals ahead of time. Keep “trigger” foods out of the house.
How does calorie intake affect weight loss results on Optavia?
Calorie intake significantly impacts weight loss results on Optavia because the program is designed to create a calorie deficit of 500 to 700 calories to promote weight loss. Consuming more than the 800 to 1,000 calories that the Optavia plan recommends can hinder weight loss progress while adhering to the prescribed calorie intake can lead to more effective and sustained weight loss.
Are there hidden calories in Optavia fuelings that may cause weight gain?
No, Optavia fuelings are specifically designed to be low-calorie, usually ranging from 100 to 110 calories each. However, consuming them over the recommended amounts can lead to a calorie surplus, causing you to gain weight on Optavia.
How do you overcome weight loss plateaus on Optavia?
To avoid an Optavia plateau, try adding more movement to your daily routine, like going for a walk or doing some strength training. Avoid processed foods and opt for nutrient-dense, whole foods for your meals. Use a food journal to track your intake and work with an Optavia coach for guidance and support.