Medifast vs. Optavia: What Makes Them Different?

Medifast vs. Optavia: What Makes Them Different?
(Last Updated On: June 2, 2020)


Medifast vs. OPTAVIA – what are the key differences? Well, when it comes to weight loss there are generally two states of mind and because of that, there are two main types of weight loss programs.

The first group includes people who want to lose weight quickly and primarily for the sake of appearance.

The second group is people who want to lose weight safely and live a healthy lifestyle.

The first group might rely on fad diets and questionable supplements while the second group focuses on portion control, lifestyle changes, and nutritional intake.

Medifast and Optavia are two weight loss programs that fall into the second category, yet can still appeal to those interested in the first.

They rely on medically safe and proven techniques for losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle.

Both programs are created by the same group of people, but they have slightly different goals in the long run. Following is a closer look at these two programs, how they work, and how they differ.

1. Medifast

How Does it Work?

reviews of Medifast

Medifast (read our review) is designed to appeal to both of the groups mentioned at the start of the article.

It utilizes only safe and effective diet guidelines, but it is designed to help participants lose weight more quickly than other programs in the same category.

The key to success with Medifast is closely following all of the guidelines that are in place.

These include portion-controlled meal plans, specific eating times, and controlled vitamin intake.

Medifast has the advantage of history and experience. Their brand has been helping people lose weight since 1980.

In that time, more than 20,000 doctors have recommended the program to their patient. And these programs have been the subject of many clinical studies over the decade.

In each case, the studies have shown that Medifast works in a safe, healthy, and effective manner.

The Medifast Meal Plans

a box of pancakes on the go plan

The primary tools in the Medifast program are the carefully designed meal plans.

Each meal contains a specific number of vitamins and minerals (24 to be exact) as well as calories, carbohydrates, fats, and other nutrients.

As long as you stick with the program and follow the meal plans at the given times, it’s nearly impossible not to lose weight.

And if you live an active lifestyle or start an exercise routine, then the results will be even more noticeable.

Medifast offers two unique meal plans depending on your weight loss goals.

  • Medifast Go!
  • Medifast Flex

The first plan is designed for people who want to lose weight quickly and the second is designed for gradual weight loss over a longer period of time.

The Go plan is their most popular choice. It appeals to that group of people who want to lose weight quickly before the beach season or some big event.

The basic Go kit covers a period of 30 days. Each day includes 5 Medifast meals and a 1 “lean and green” meal. The idea is that six small meals a day will help control hunger all day long.

There is also a gluten-free variation of this meal plan. It still includes a total of six meals a day, but without the inclusion of any gluten.

The price on the gluten-free plan is the same as the standard plan so there’s no reason not to take advantage of it if you have a gluten intolerance.

As the name suggests, the Medifast Flex plan is designed to be flexible.

It helps people achieve safe and gradual weight loss over time. There’s no rush to shed the pounds, but rather to eat healthily with noticeable results.

This plan is also sold as a 30 day kit with all of the meals you’ll need for each day of the week.

The Flex plan changes the meal composition to 4 Medifast meals and 2 “lean and green” meals with 1 additional healthy snack. That’s still a total of 6 meals a day, but with 1 less Medifast meal.

You can upgrade to 30-day Flex Plan Complete Kit to receive supplements that are proven to be safe and to assist with weight loss.

These include a 30 day probiotic and an Omega-3 supplement. The Complete Kit is slightly more expensive, but the additional supplements improve weight loss and overall health.

Which Medifast Plan is Best for You?

Medifast Trial Kit
  • $149 / Trial Kit
  • Two Week Trial Kit
  • 56 delicious Medifast Meals
  • Free Bonus Gifts
  • $5 Flat-Rate Shipping
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Medifast Select Kit
  • $299 / Select Kit
  • 30 Day Meal Kit
  • 126 delicious Medifast Meals
  • Free Bonus Gifts
  • FREE Shipping
  • 10% Advantage Rewards Credit
Medifast Complete Kit
  • $399 / Complete Kit
  • 30 Day Meal Kit
  • 126 delicious Medifast Meals
  • FREE Bonus Gifts
  • FREE Shipping
  • 10% Advantage Rewards Credit
  • 30-day supply Digestive/Heart Health

How Much Weight Can You Lose?

strawberry chocolate vanilla medifast shakes

How much weight you lose will depend on which meal plan you choose and how long you stick with the program.

The average person loses 11 pounds on the 30-day Go plan. But those results can definitely be improved by adding regular exercise into the mix.

Within a few days of starting the program, your body will begin to burn fat.

You can stick with the program for as long as you like to maintain a healthy target weight or to continue to lose weight until you meet your goal.

The program is extremely flexible and can be used to lose 10 pounds, 100 pounds, or more. This applies to both of the available meal plans.

Where Are The Best Medifast Deals?

The best place to secure a good price on a Medifast meal plan is directly on their website. They regularly offer sales, promotions, and other deals that reduce the price of their meal plans. They also ship all of their meals without any additional shipping and handling charges when purchased from their site.

2. Optavia

How Does it Work?

the optavia logo with tress in the background

The same great minds behind Medifast created the Optavia plan (see OPTAVIA review), but with very different goals in mind. The goal of Optavia is to help you transform yourself and your lifestyle into something healthier. Optavia is not a quick weight loss routine.

Yes, you will definitely lose weight while following the program. However, you should also notice improved energy and vitality as well an overall improvement in your well being.

Upon visiting the Optavia website you’ll be presented with a few options. The two of most importance are the “Get Healthy” and “Stay Healthy” option.

optavia is the new TSFL program

The first is for people who want to get healthy and feel better. The second option is for people who are already at their ideal weight but want help staying there. You will need to choose one of these options and then you will register for the corresponding meal plan.

Both Medifast and Optavia utilize carefully constructed meal plans provided by meal delivery system. Even the meals that they offer are very similar.

After all, they were created by the same people. The meals available on Medifast are proven to work so it makes sense that they would offer very similar meals on Optavia.

The first meal plan is for people who selected the “Get Healthy” option. Similar to Medifast, it includes 6 small meals a day for a period of thirty days. Five of those are standard meals and a single meal is “lean and green”.

These meals are designed with a very specific combination of proteins and carbohydrates. Protein levels are similar to what is available in the standard American diet, but carbohydrates have been decreased significantly.

The meals for each day contain 100 grams or less of carbohydrates.

After a few days consuming reduced carbohydrate levels, the body enters into “fat burning mode”. In this mode, the body will safely and gradually burn fat stored in the body while keeping the majority of your muscle mass. You can completely prevent the loss of muscle mass by exercising regularly.

Those who have already reached their optimal weight will be offered the “Optimal Health” meal plan.

This plan provides you with three Optavia meals each day as well as health bars, smoothies, and shakes. It will be up to you to make the other three meals required each day.

Key Differences Between Optavia & Medifast

a box of beef stew from the flex plan

While these two programs are strikingly similar in a lot of ways, there is one major difference: self-reliance. Optavia aims to educate participants while also providing them with meal plans.

Eventually, you should be able to stop relying on Optavia entirely and use what you’ve learned to prepare your own healthy meals at home.

This is most obvious with the Optimal Health Meal Plan offered by Optavia. This meal plan is unlike any of the plans offered by Medifast.

It only provides half of the meals necessary for each day. It’s up to you to create the rest. You can do that using what you’ve learned from previous meals as well as what you’ve learned from your Optavia Coach?

How Does Optavia Coaching Work?

coaching is one thing that sets octavia apart from medifast

Access to an Optavia Coach is what truly separates Medifast from Optavia. When you begin any of the available Optavia programs you are assigned a coach.

This is a person who will do all that they can to help you achieve optimal well being.

They teach you all that you need to know to prepare healthy meals, to start an effective workout regimen, and to stay healthy even after leaving the program.

With help from your coach, you can lose as much weight as you set as your goal. Your coach will help you set realistic time frames for achieving that goal as well as smaller goals along the way to keep you motivated.

Final Thoughts: Deciding Which One is Best For You

Both programs are excellent and can be used to lose weight. You have access to most of the same meals on either program.

If you’re interested in losing weight quickly without much else, then the Medifast Go plan is right for you.

But if you want to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle and how to maintain a healthy weight without relying on a meal plan, then an Optavia plan with access to a coach is your best option.

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