Are you considering the Optavia diet but wondering if you’ll have to give up your beloved bacon?
Well, we have good news for you! Contrary to popular belief, you can still enjoy bacon while following the Optavia diet.
However, as with any diet, moderation is key.
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of incorporating bacon into your Optavia meal plan and provide some delicious lean and green bacon recipes to keep you on track towards your weight loss goals.
So, let’s dive in and answer the question on everyone’s mind: Can you have bacon on Optavia?
Can You Have Bacon On Optavia?
Yes, you can have bacon on Optavia! The Optavia diet is all about balance and moderation, and incorporating lean meats like bacon into your meal plan is completely acceptable.
It’s important to note that while bacon is allowed, it should be consumed in moderation. Optavia recommends pairing bacon with fiber-rich vegetables like lettuce or celery to balance out the sodium and increase satiety.
Canadian bacon is a great option as it contains only 62 calories and 11 grams of protein per 2 ounces. To create your own Optavia fueling alternatives, you can mix bacon with eggs, tofu, salad, or other diet food items. Just be sure to stay within the 100-110 calorie range for each fueling.
Understanding The Optavia Diet
The Optavia diet is a meal replacement plan designed to help individuals lose weight and fat by reducing calorie and carbohydrate intake through portion-controlled meals and snacks. The diet plan consists of a mix of purchased, processed food created by the company, called “fuelings,” and homemade “lean and green” meals. The program recommends consuming up to six portion-controlled meals daily, with one to three meals being a dish made at home using fresh ingredients.
The Optavia diet is marketed as a weight-loss or maintenance plan that doesn’t require counting carbohydrates or calories. Instead, followers add water to powdered food products or unwrap a bar as part of a chosen meal plan, which reportedly has more than 60 options to choose from. The fuelings contain added protein and a probiotic, according to the brand behind the diet.
The Optavia diet limits calories to 800–1,000 per day, divided among six portioned-controlled meals. While the research is mixed, some studies have shown greater weight loss with full or partial meal replacement plans compared with traditional calorie-restricted diets. Studies also suggest that reducing overall calorie intake is effective for weight and fat loss — as are low carb diets, at least in the short term.
A short-term 16-week study followed 65 people on Optavia’s 5&1 Plan with excess weight or obesity and found that those on Optavia’s 5&1 Plan had significantly lower weight, fat levels, and waist circumference than the control group by the end of the study. Specifically, those on the 5&1 Plan lost 5.7% of their body weight, on average, and 28.1% of participants lost more than 10%. This may suggest additional benefits, as research associates 5–10% weight loss with a reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
However, it’s important to note that participants on the Optavia plan were eating only 800–1,000 calories per day, while those in the control group were allowed 1,500 calories or more daily. The latter is a more sustainable approach to long-term weight loss. No studies have yet examined the long-term results of the Optavia diet.
Optavia also offers guidance from its own staff of diet coaches to help individuals learn their trademarked “Habits of Health.” However, it’s important to note that Optavia Coaches are not required to have any kind of certification or nutrition training, so it’s unlikely that most of them are experts.
The Role Of Bacon In The Optavia Diet
Bacon can be a part of the Optavia diet, but it should not be the main protein source during the weight loss phase. This is due to its high sodium and saturated fat content, which can hinder weight loss progress. Instead, leaner alternatives like chicken, turkey, or fish should be prioritized to help achieve weight loss goals while still providing essential nutrients.
During the transition and maintenance phases, Canadian bacon can be consumed as the main lean option. It contains fewer calories and less saturated fat compared to regular bacon, making it a healthier option. However, it is still important to consume in moderation and pair with fiber-rich vegetables to balance out the sodium content.
How To Incorporate Bacon Into Your Optavia Meal Plan
Incorporating bacon into your Optavia meal plan can be done in a healthy and delicious way. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Choose leaner cuts of bacon: When selecting bacon, opt for turkey or center-cut bacon to reduce the amount of saturated fat.
2. Bake or grill instead of frying: To make your bacon more Optavia-friendly, try baking or grilling instead of frying. This will help reduce the amount of added oils and fats.
3. Check the sodium content: Always check the sodium content and opt for low-sodium options, if possible.
4. Use bacon as a flavor enhancer: Instead of relying on bacon as a main protein source, use it as a topping or garnish to add flavor to your meal. Pair it with other nutrient-dense foods like leafy greens or lean meats to balance out your meal.
5. Meal prep in advance: Cook bacon in advance and portion it out during your Sunday meal prep to make everything ready for the upcoming week. This will save you time during the week and ensure that you have healthy options readily available.
6. Consult with a professional: As with everything else, it’s always a good idea to consult with your Optavia coach, a dietitian, or a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations on incorporating bacon into your 5 and 1 plan.
Tips For Moderation And Balance
Here are some tips for incorporating bacon into your Optavia meal plan in a balanced and moderate way:
1. Keep portion sizes in check: It’s important to be mindful of how much bacon you’re consuming. Stick to a serving size of 2 ounces or less to ensure you stay within your calorie range.
2. Limit consumption: While bacon is allowed on the Optavia diet, it’s recommended that you avoid consuming it more than a few times per week. This will help you maintain a balanced and varied diet.
3. Use it as a condiment: Instead of making bacon the main course, use it as a condiment to add some extra flavor to your meal. Crumble some bacon on top of a big green salad or make a low-fat chicken wrap with grilled veggies and a slice of bacon.
4. Pair with fiber-rich veggies: As mentioned earlier, pairing bacon with fiber-rich vegetables like lettuce or celery can help balance out the sodium and increase satiety.
5. Weigh and measure portions: To ensure accuracy and avoid overeating, it’s important to weigh and measure your portions.
In addition to these tips, it’s important to follow the Optavia guidelines for meal timing and water consumption. Eat every 2-3 hours to prevent hunger and keep blood sugar levels stable, and drink 64 ounces of water each day. If hunger persists, consider trying another Optavia meal plan or consult with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance.
Conclusion: Enjoying Bacon On Optavia
In conclusion, bacon can be a part of your Optavia meal plan, but it should not be your main protein source due to its high sodium and saturated fat content. It’s important to opt for leaner alternatives like chicken, turkey, or fish during the weight loss phase to achieve your weight loss goals while still getting the necessary nutrition your body needs.
However, during the transition and maintenance phases, Canadian bacon can be consumed as a main lean option. It has fewer calories and less saturated fat compared to regular bacon, making it a healthier choice. When incorporating bacon into your Optavia meal plan, be sure to consume it in moderation and pair it with fiber-rich vegetables to balance out the sodium content.
Remember, Optavia is all about balance and moderation, so enjoy your bacon in a healthy and responsible way. By following the guidelines and incorporating leaner alternatives, you can still enjoy the taste of bacon while staying on track with your weight loss goals.