Medifast vs Optavia in 2018: Which is Best for You?

(Last Updated On: December 6, 2018)

Both Medifast and Optavia are well-known diets that can help you lose weight in a relatively short amount of time. They focus on low-calorie eating plans and meal replacements. You’re about to find out a lot more regarding these systems, in today’s comparative review.

First Up: Medifast

Medifast is a popular weight-loss program. It is both clinically-proven and nutritionally-balanced. Moreover, it helps dieters lose those extra pounds quicker than many other traditional eating plans. All Medifast meals are calorie-counted, individually-portioned, and carbohydrate-controlled. They contain over 24 different minerals and vitamins. The main focus of the Medifast diet is to help you lose weight while also maintain your general health.

Main Ingredients

  • Proteins, high-quality fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates  – soy protein isolate, egg whites, milk protein isolate, wheat flour, fructose, inulin, etc.;
  • Minerals, vitamins, and flavorings – there are plenty of minerals and vitamins in Medifast products which are great for your health. Still, their meal replacements also contain some artificial flavorings which might raise some questions about how good these supplements really are;
  • Functional ingredients – antioxidants, blueberry powder, quercetin, glucosamine, Echinacea, caffeine, etc. Some of these ingredients support healthy joints and immunity while others can boost energy and metabolism.

Program Alternatives

Medifast Go

The Go plan comprises five meal replacements:

  • For breakfast, you will have Medifast pancakes;
  • Mid-morning, you will drink a Medifast shake;
  • For lunch, you will eat a Medifast soup;
  • As a mid-afternoon snack, there is a crunch bar included in the program;
  • As for dinner, you will prepare a lean and green meal on your own that should be made from lean protein and vegetables (e.g. salmon and asparagus);
  • The second snack which you will consume in the evening will be a soft bake made by Medifast.

If you don’t feel like cooking your own meals, you can always order them from Medifast.

Medifast Flex

The Flex plan consists of four meal replacements:

  • A Medifast oatmeal portion for breakfast;
  • One of Medifast’s hot drinks as a mid-morning treat;
  • For lunch and dinner, you will be required to prepare healthy meals on your own (protein and vegetables: chicken, fish, salad, broccoli, spinach, etc.);
  • As a mid-afternoon snack, you will have a fruit drink;
  • In the evening, you can indulge in a Medifast pudding prepared with skim milk.

This plan involves more cooking because it is supposed to help you lose even more weight. But don’t worry because all the meals can also be ordered from the company.

Medifast Claims

According to the manufacturer, Medifast diet functions by encouraging one’s organism to initiate a powerful fat-burning mode. This can be achieved by eating Medifast meal replacements as well as other foods approved by the company. You can opt for some pre-cooked meals but you will also need to prepare your own healthy foods so it can be a bit time-consuming. Still, if you follow the plan to the letter, studies show that you will most likely lose weight.

Medifast follows and applies basic yet effective weight-loss principles. You will consume a calorie-restricted diet which is also nutritionally-balanced. It includes a lot of lean proteins, low-glycemic carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy fats.

The company claims that their shakes and bars are interchangeable because these items have similar nutritional profiles. However, some people might think this is only a smart marketing move because the company’s representatives are well-aware that dieters might get bored of always drinking protein shakes and they might need a well-deserved change now and then.

All these claims and recommendations are great but they don’t really work as a lifetime weight-loss solution. The main problem is that people tend to gain weight after they complete a strict weight-loss diet.

Pros

  • It is convenient and easy to use;
  • You will save a lot of time by not counting your calories anymore;
  • It is a low-calorie diet that will help you lose weight fast without always feeling hungry;
  • When we say Medifast, we’re talking about a clinically-proven program which is backed by more than 20,000 physicians;
  • Medifast provides a wide range of meals and snack choices.

Cons

  • Speaking of the company’s meal selection, when a dieter is allergic to several foods, Medifast’s variety can become a bit thin and the selection will be seen as limited;
  • Being a low-calorie diet makes this program hard to follow, especially when we think about our body’s adjustment time;
  • Probably the biggest drawback of this diet is its cost. A dieter must pay a minimum of $300 per month to follow this eating plan and this cost doesn’t cover the lean and green daily meal;
  • The Medifast diet will induce your body’s ketosis phase which can lead to certain unpleasant side effects such as an unpleasant breath.

Cost

It is quite difficult to say the exact price of each Medifast eating plan because it varies according to the program you decide to buy. The average monthly cost is around $300-$400. If you want to purchase meal replacement separately, you will have to pay $17  for a 7-pack bar, smoothie, or shake. The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not pleased with their products.

Special Note on Pricing: I WAS able to find this discount code for $25 off (use code KEEP25 at checkout).

Side Effects

Medifast is a pretty safe program. Still, certain specialists warn us that long-term low-calorie diets might lead to gallstones and hair loss in some cases.

Next Up: Optavia

Optavia is a popular meal replacement program that focuses on providing all the necessary nutrients one’s organism needs and you won’t even have to count calories. From Fuelings to other supplements and even recipes, Optavia will offer you a complex eating system that will help you lose weight quickly. The shortest program lasts for one whole month during which the company claims you will develop healthier lifestyle habits.

Main Ingredients

Both Fuelings and other Optavia supplements contain the following main ingredients:

Fiber

This carbohydrate is found in plant-based food items. Both fruits and vegetables have it and this compound is easily digested by our body. There can be soluble and insoluble types of fiber but the first ones help lower your cholesterol level and eliminate fat. Fiber is used a lot in weight-loss diets due to the fact that it prevents overeating while also lowering blood pressure.

Monk Fruit

It is used as a healthier and more natural sugar replacement. One interesting fact about this fruit is its level of sweetness. According to some people, it can be up to 300 times sweeter than regular sugar. Many times, these fruits are added to herbal teas and it seems they have anti-fatigue effects.

Whey Protein

If you’re following a weight-management diet plan or if you are a fan of protein supplements, there’s no way you haven’t heard about whey protein. It helps you burn fat without losing muscle mass. In fact, it is scientifically-proven that whey protein delivers positive results in many cases of obesity.

Pea Protein

An excellent choice of arginine, pea protein is needed if you want to build lean muscle mass. Furthermore, this compound comes in handy in the case of several health conditions as well as stressful situations. Pea protein is rich in amino acids which have a lot of health benefits that you might want to take advantage of.

Dextrin

This is nothing else than a hydrolyzed starch sourced from different plants. It can be extracted from rice, tapioca, and even corn. Dextrin works great when it comes to improving your immunity and lowering your cholesterol. You will find this ingredient in a lot of fiber supplements.

Bacillus Coagulans

This probiotic is actually lactic acid sourced from bacterial species. It is added to many probiotic products to enhance their health benefits potency. Also, one could use this ingredient in cases of respiratory infections, diarrhea, or even as a cancer prevention method. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and it is known to reduce arthritis symptoms.

Program Alternatives

Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan

If you choose to follow this Optavia plan, you will have to consume six different meals each day. This plan was specially created to help you ease your way into a fat-burning state without losing muscle mass. Once you sign up to become a member of this diet, you will be able to choose from over 60 different Fueling options which will represent no less than 5 small meal per day.

The material provided by the company will also teach you the proper way to prepare Optavia’s famous Lean and Green meals which must be consumed at dinner time. The best part about the Lean and Green meal is the fact that you can eat it together with your family and end every day in a positive and familiar manner.

Optimal Weight 4&2&1 Plan

This second plan will work for you if you want a more flexible meal system with the possibility of eating small portions from all food groups without exception. However, although more permissive, it is also effective when it comes to reaching a healthy weight and maintaining a slimmer body. You will have four main meals per day which consist of Optavia Fuelings. Then, you’ll have to cook two Lean and Green meals and eat one healthy snack each day.

Optimal Health 3&3 Plan

The third Optavia plan is designed for those of you who have already achieved their optimal weight goals but desire to maintain their current weight and health. Each order consists of healthy and nutritious shakes, smoothies, and protein bars. During this meal plan, you will consume three Fuelings per day. The other three meals will be prepared by you according to your preferences.

Optavia Claims

The program claims to help your body achieve a fat-burning state which will lead to an effective yet balanced weight loss. Meanwhile, Optavia is supposed to help you reach your fitness goals while also preserving muscle tissue. According to the manufacturer, their products, including Fuelings, have great flavors and they contain ingredients from all around the globe. These meal replacements usually come with a 30-day weight-loss kit together with samplings.

Now, I don’t think this is a perfect eating plan and opinions on whether Optavia works or not are divided among consumers. Many people have a favorable opinion. Still, there are some other individuals who claim that Optavia did not work for them. Although the company says their products have a pleasant taste, plenty of clients don’t feel the same way. They state that Optavia meals are too pricey and they don’t deliver the flavor and results they claim to offer.

Pros

  • This program is ridiculously simple. The meal replacements are very convenient, especially for busy people who live their lives on the go;
  • It will save you a lot of time because you won’t have to control your portions any longer;
  • It is an effective weight-loss program and most dieters achieve important results in just a couple of weeks. This is encouraging and it will motivate you to complete the entire diet;
  • Subscribers also receive a comprehensive book which is called “Habits of Health.” In it, you will discover useful facts about energy, metabolism, sleep, calorie intake, stress, and blood sugar;
  • Optavia community is very supportive and full of kind and humble people. They will make you feel like you don’t have to face all these challenges alone;
  • Besides other products, Optavia also provides the so-called Fuelings which are special meal replacements that are full of fiber, protein, and other nutritious compounds.

Cons

  • It is a multi-level-marketing of MLM company and this might stir plenty of controversies and raise a lot of questions regarding the company’s level of trust;
  • Like in the case of the Medifast diet, Optavia’s cost also represents the main disadvantage. This program is significantly more expensive compared to other traditional diets, a gym membership, or even other similar systems like Weight Watchers;
  • It is a tough program to follow and some people might cave into cravings;
  • Optavia’s meal replacements don’t have a perfect taste. You might want to take some time to adjust to these new flavors. After all, no one is expecting you to like them from the start, especially considering that these foods are low in fat and sugar.

Cost

Prices vary depending on the meal plan you choose to purchase. The average monthly price is approximately $350 which can seem quite a lot. For example, the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is $392 while the Optimal Health Plan costs $273.

Side Effects

  • Diarrhea or constipation;
  • Cramps and gas;
  • Headaches;
  • Dizziness.

Final Verdict: Optavia vs Medifast

Medifast and Optavia are two of the most popular eating plans on the market. They provide a lot of benefits and a wide variety of meal replacements.

Among other things, their main drawbacks are the price, the unpleasant taste of some products, and the fact that they are both MLM-like companies which can question their level of reliability and trust.

Additional Readings:

My Bottom Line: I prefer Medifast as it has a longer track record in this market. In the “fly-by-night” world of dieting, this is actually quite important to me. Note, if you are looking to sign up, you can use my link here and safe $25 off with code KEEP25 at checkout.

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