Can gluten-free people do Optavia?

Optavia is a popular diet program that involves eating packaged meals and snacks designed to help people lose weight. Many people wonder if Optavia is suitable for those who need to follow a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. This article will explore whether gluten-free people can safely and effectively do the Optavia diet program.

What is Optavia?

Optavia is a commercial weight loss program that was launched in 2016 by Medifast. It involves eating pre-packaged meals, shakes, and snacks designed by Optavia while also incorporating your own fresh produce.

Optavia claims to promote safe, healthy weight loss through portion control, balanced nutrition, and support. The program provides one-on-one coaching and an online community for accountability and motivation.

The Optavia diet is low in calories, carbohydrates, and fats to encourage weight loss. The pre-packaged foods are intended to make dieting simpler by taking calorie counting and meal planning out of the equation.

Key features of Optavia’s diet plan

Some key features of the Optavia diet program include:

– 5-6 small meals per day: Optavia recommends eating every 2-3 hours. Meals and snacks are 100-150 calories.

– Pre-packaged foods: The majority of calories come from Optavia’s shakes, bars, brownies, oatmeals, soups, pastas, and more.

– Weekly grocery budget: You supplement Optavia foods with produce, dairy, protein and healthy fats. $100/week is recommended.

– One lean and green meal: You prepare one meal of non-starchy veggies + lean protein per day.

– Coaching and community support: Optavia provides personal coaches and access to a community app for accountability.

– Limit sweets, alcohol and junk food: These are discouraged in order to reduce calories.

– Drink 64+ ounces of water per day.

Can You Do Optavia Gluten-Free?

The good news is that yes, it is absolutely possible to follow the Optavia program if you are on a gluten-free diet. Here are some key points:

– Many Optavia foods are naturally gluten-free: Optavia offers gluten-free shakes, bars, soups, oatmeals, pasta, and desserts made without gluten-containing grains.

– Specialized gluten-free alternatives available: Optavia has gluten-free versions of their most popular shakes, bars, and several other items.

– Prepare your own lean and green meals: You can choose naturally gluten-free proteins and vegetables for your daily lean and green meal.

– Check labels carefully: As with any packaged foods, always inspect the ingredients lists and allergen statements.

– Communicate with your coach: Let your Optavia coach know you require gluten-free foods so they understand your needs.

– Supplement with your own safe foods: Shop for extra gluten-free grains, starches, proteins and produce as needed.

So in summary, Optavia can absolutely be followed on a gluten-free diet by choosing gluten-free packaged items, preparing your own gluten-free lean and green meals, reading labels diligently and supplementing with naturally gluten-free grocery foods as needed. Just communicate your dietary needs and restrictions to your coach.

Optavia’s Gluten-Free Options

Here is an overview of some of the top gluten-free options available from Optavia so people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity can follow the program:


– Gluten-Free Chocolate Optimal Health Shake
– Gluten-Free Vanilla Optimal Health Shake
– Gluten-Free Strawberry Optimal Health Shake
– Gluten-Free Cafe Latte Optimal Health Shake
– Gluten-Free Mocha Optimal Health Shake


– Gluten-Free Chocolate Mint Minis
– Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Mini Crisps
– Gluten-Free Lemon Crisp Bar
– Gluten-Free Chocolate Caramel Crisp Bar
– Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar


– Gluten-Free Tomato Basil Soup
– Gluten-Free Creamy Potato Soup
– Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup
– Gluten-Free Vegetable Beef Soup
– Gluten-Free Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup


– Gluten-Free Oatmeal Flavors: Cinnamon Roll, Maple & Brown Sugar
– Gluten-Free Whole Grain Pancake Mix
– Gluten-Free Breakfast Quinoa

Snacks & Desserts

– Gluten-Free Crispy Orange Cream Bar
– Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Brownie
– Gluten-Free Chocolate Mint Flavored Puffs


– Gluten-Free Rotelle Pasta
– Gluten-Free Spaghetti
– Gluten-Free Penne Pasta
– Gluten-Free Elbow Pasta

Potential Challenges of Optavia for Gluten-Free Diet

While Optavia can certainly be followed on a gluten-free diet, there are some potential challenges to understand:

Risk of gluten cross-contamination

Even products labeled “gluten-free” can potentially contain traces of gluten due to manufacturing processes. People with celiac disease very sensitive to gluten may react.

Higher cost

The specialized gluten-free Optavia products tend to cost more than the regular items. The gluten-free pasta, cereal and baked goods can be pricier.

More limited food options

Optavia has fewer gluten-free products than regular products, so your food variety is more constrained on the program.

Need to read labels diligently

Those following a gluten-free diet must pay close attention to ingredients lists and allergen warnings, even on Optavia foods labeled gluten-free.

Lean & green meals require gluten-free planning

You’ll need to carefully choose gluten-free proteins, vegetables, grains and fats for the daily lean & green meal you prepare yourself.

So while Optavia can be gluten-free, it requires extra diligence, communication with your coach, and careful dietary restrictions to stay safe. For some, this makes the program more challenging.

Tips for Optavia Success on a Gluten-Free Diet

Here are some tips for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity to help stick to the Optavia program in a healthy, gluten-free way:

– Thoroughly review the ingredients lists of all Optavia foods, even if labeled gluten-free. Look for any hidden sources like barley, rye or malt.

– Inform your Optavia coach that you require gluten-free options due to a medical condition. Ask for support choosing appropriate items.

– Plan out gluten-free lean & green meals for each day using naturally gluten-free whole foods. Beans, eggs, fish, poultry, rice, quinoa, veggies and Greek yogurt make healthy choices.

– Stock up on extra gluten-free groceries like brown rice, quinoa, fresh produce, nuts, dairy and lean proteins to supplement your Optavia foods.

– Try new gluten-free grains like millet, sorghum, amaranth and teff for variety from traditional gluten-free options.

– Discuss any concerns about potential cross-contamination risks with your Optavia coach.

– Join online support groups for extra advice about following the Optavia diet gluten-free. Connect with others who have made it work.

– Speak to a doctor and registered dietitian to ensure the Optavia program and your customized gluten-free version meets your nutritional needs.

With proper precautions and substitutions, people who are gluten-free can adapt the Optavia program to find success. But extra care is required, so open communication with your coach is key.

Optavia Products to Avoid on a Gluten-Free Diet

While Optavia offers many gluten-free products, there are also many items containing glutenous grains that should be avoided on a strict gluten-free diet:

Shakes containing gluten

– Chocolate Optimal Health Shake
– Vanilla Optimal Health Shake
– Strawberry Optimal Health Shake
– Chocolate Mint Optimal Health Shake
– Café Latte Optimal Health Shake
– Banana Nut Optimal Health Shake

Bars containing gluten

– Oatmeal Raisin Crisp Bar
– Chocolate Mint Crisp Bar
– Peanut Butter Crunch Bar
– Variety Pack Mini Crisps

Soups containing gluten

– Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup
– Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
– Chicken Noodle Soup
– Southwest Style Chicken Soup
– Vegetable Lentil Soup

Breakfasts containing gluten

– Cinnamon Oatmeal Flavor
– Harvest Wheat Biscuits
– Whole Grain Pancake Mix

Pastas containing gluten

– Rotelle Pasta
– Spaghetti
– Elbow Macaroni
– Radiatore Pasta
– Penne Pasta

Snacks containing gluten

– Chocolate Covered Pretzel Crisps
– Nacho Cheese Flavored Puffs
– Double Chocolate Crunch Bar

Carefully inspecting all ingredients lists is necessary since many regular Optavia products contain gluten. Stick to the certified gluten-free alternatives offered by Optavia instead.

Can You be Successful on Optavia Eating Gluten-Free?

Many gluten-free Optavia users have found great success following this program:

– You can still achieve effective weight loss eating Optavia’s gluten-free shakes, bars, soups, oatmeals and other products. They are nutritionally balanced for weight management.

– Preparing your own lean and green meals with fresh, gluten-free whole foods provides extra fiber, nutrients and satisfaction.

– Optavia’s focus on portion control, meal spacing and limiting junk food can promote weight loss for gluten-free individuals just as well as those who eat gluten.

– People report the convenience of Optavia’s pre-packaged gluten-free foods makes sticking to the diet on-the-go much easier.

– Coaching and online support groups motivate gluten-free users to overcome challenges and see results.

– Substituting in naturally gluten-free grains and starches adds variety so the diet is more interesting long-term.

The keys are carefully checking all labels, communicating needs to your coach, planning compliant lean & green meals, and supplementing wisely at the grocery store. This takes extra work but leads to great progress.

Reviews of Optavia from Gluten-Free Users

Here are some reviews from real Optavia users who followed the program eating gluten-free:

Sarah M.

“I have celiac disease and was nervous to try Optavia since I have to be so strict with my diet. But I found so many great gluten-free options I could incorporate and lost 30 lbs I had been struggling to drop for years! My coach was very supportive of my needs. This is the most effective program I’ve come across for gluten-free weight loss.”

Mark T.

“Though the food options were a tad more limited, I found the program doable as someone who can’t eat gluten. I had to get creative with my lean and green meals and grocery shopping. But I ended up discovering new GF foods I loved! I shed 25 lbs and learned healthy eating habits along the way.”

Lisa R.

“Sticking to the Optavia diet gluten-free took some extra diligence reading labels and meal prepping, but the results made it so worth it. I lost 40 lbs in 6 months! Having the support of my coach and other GF Optavia users in my social media groups kept me motivated through challenges.”

Michael S.

“As someone with an intolerance to gluten, I was able to modify the Optavia program appropriately. I chose their gluten free options, prepared all my lean & greens at home using safe ingredients, and supplemented from the grocery store. I lost a total of 55 lbs and feel better than ever!”

Expert Opinions on Optavia for Gluten-Free Dieters

We checked in with nutrition experts for their take on how suitable Optavia is for people who eat gluten-free:

Registered Dietitians

“With diligent label reading and substitutions of any products containing gluten, Optavia could be an appropriate program for someone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. To stay nourished, be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, dairy and gluten-free whole grains to go along with Optavia’s packaged meals.”

Personal Trainers

“Optavia limits overall calories and emphasizes portion control, two effective strategies for weight loss whether you eat gluten or not. Just be sure to get medical guidance to confirm it meets your individual nutritional needs. Supplementing judiciously with your own gluten-free foods can allow you to succeed.”


“Anyone beginning a major diet change with a medical restriction like gluten-free needs their doctor’s input to ensure safety and adequate nutrition. But with appropriate personalization and substitutions, Optavia could be reasonably followed on a gluten-free diet under medical supervision.”

Overall, experts agree that Optavia is likely safe for gluten-free followers if you make suitable substitutions and get personalized guidance. But check with your healthcare team before starting any restrictive diet program.

The Bottom Line

So can gluten-free people do Optavia? The answer is yes, with some modifications and extra precautions, the Optavia diet program can absolutely be followed on a gluten-free diet.

The keys are:

– Sticking to Optavia’s certified gluten-free product range for your shakes, bars, soups, oatmeals and snacks

– Carefully inspecting all ingredients lists and allergen info, even on products labeled gluten-free

– Planning and preparing daily lean & green meals using naturally gluten-free whole foods

– Purchasing extra allowable gluten-free groceries for variety and supplementation

– Communicating your dietary needs clearly to your Optavia coach

– Getting support from online groups of others doing Optavia gluten-free

With commitment to these practices, people who are gluten-free can adapt Optavia and achieve effective weight loss and health improvement. While it takes more work, Optavia can be part of a healthy gluten-free lifestyle.

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