Are you considering the Optavia diet but wondering if you’ll have to give up your beloved bacon?
We’ve got good news for you! You can still enjoy bacon while following the Optavia diet, but there are some guidelines to keep in mind.
In this article, we’ll explore the rules and restrictions around eating bacon on Optavia and provide some alternatives to help you reach your weight loss goals.
So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive into the sizzling world of bacon on Optavia!
Is Bacon Allowed On Optavia?
Yes, bacon is allowed on the Optavia diet, but there are some limitations. According to Optavia guidelines, bacon should not be used as your main protein source during the weight loss phase due to its high sodium and saturated fat content. While bacon can provide a significant amount of protein, it also contains a lot of calories, which can hinder your weight loss progress.
However, during the transition phase and maintenance phase, you can eat 2 oz of Canadian bacon as your main lean option. Canadian bacon has fewer calories and less saturated fat compared to regular bacon. It is important to note that even though Canadian bacon is a better option than regular bacon, it is still high in sodium and saturated fat.
Understanding The Optavia Diet
The Optavia diet is a weight loss program designed to help individuals lose weight and fat by reducing calories and carbohydrates through portion-controlled meals and snacks. The program offers a variety of meal replacement options called “fuelings” that are high in protein and low in calories. The diet plan also includes one homemade meal per day, referred to as the “lean and green” meal. Optavia’s signature 5&1 plan limits calories to 800-1000 per day, divided among six portion-controlled meals.
While research on the effectiveness of the Optavia diet is mixed, some studies suggest that reducing overall calorie intake is effective for weight and fat loss. A short-term 16-week study found that individuals on the 5&1 plan lost an average of 5.7% of their body weight and 28.1% of participants lost more than 10%. However, it’s important to note that participants on the Optavia plan were eating only 800-1000 calories per day, which may not be sustainable in the long term.
The Optavia diet allows for some flexibility in food choices, but it is recommended to avoid high-calorie condiments, sugary drinks and desserts, starchy vegetables, and whole grains. While bacon is allowed on the Optavia diet, it should not be used as the main protein source during the weight loss phase due to its high sodium and saturated fat content. Instead, Canadian bacon can be consumed as the main lean option during the transition phase and maintenance phase.
In addition to meal replacements, 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. It’s recommended to consult with a doctor before making any significant changes to your diet to ensure you’re consuming enough calories for your body’s needs.
The Role Of Protein In Optavia
Protein plays a crucial role in the Optavia diet. It is a vital nutrient that helps build and repair tissues, maintain muscle mass, and support overall health. Optavia recommends consuming 5 to 7 ounces of lean protein per day as part of your Lean & Green meal.
While bacon may provide a significant amount of protein, it is not the best option for your main protein source during the weight loss phase. Opting for leaner alternatives such as chicken, turkey, or fish will better help you reach your goals while still getting the nutrition your body needs. These lean protein sources contain fewer calories and less saturated fat than bacon, making them a healthier option for weight loss.
During the transition phase and maintenance phase, you can incorporate Canadian bacon as your main lean option. However, it is important to note that Canadian bacon should still be consumed in moderation due to its high sodium and saturated fat content. Combining it with other lean meats allowed in the 5 and 1 plan can help increase your protein intake while balancing out the sodium and fat content.
Guidelines For Eating Bacon On Optavia
If you are a fan of bacon and want to include it in your Optavia diet, here are some guidelines to follow:
1. Limit the amount of bacon you consume: As mentioned earlier, bacon is high in sodium and saturated fat, which can hinder your weight loss progress. Therefore, it is essential to limit your bacon intake and not make it your primary protein source.
2. Opt for leaner alternatives: Instead of consuming regular bacon, choose leaner alternatives such as turkey bacon, chicken, turkey, or fish. These options are lower in calories and provide the nutrition your body needs.
3. Choose Canadian bacon during transition and maintenance phase: During the transition and maintenance phase, you can eat 2 oz of Canadian bacon as your main lean option. It has fewer calories and less saturated fat compared to regular bacon.
4. Combine Canadian bacon with other lean meats: If you want to use Canadian bacon for your lean and green meal, it is recommended to combine it with other lean meats allowed in the 5 and 1 plan to increase your protein intake.
5. Watch your sodium intake: Bacon, including Canadian bacon, is high in sodium. Therefore, it is essential to watch your sodium intake and not exceed the daily recommended limit.
Healthier Alternatives To Bacon On Optavia
If you are looking for healthier alternatives to bacon on Optavia, there are several options you can consider. One of the best alternatives is turkey bacon, which has fewer calories and less fat than regular pork bacon. Per strip, pork bacon contains about 23g of fat with 290 calories, while turkey bacon has just about 210 calories and 14-20g of fat. Additionally, turkey bacon has more protein since it is less fattening.
Another great option is eggplant bacon, which is a plant-based alternative that is rich in antioxidants, fiber, potassium, and phytonutrients. Eggplant bacon contains a chemical called nasunin, which may increase blood flow to the brain. To make eggplant bacon, simply roast sliced eggplant in a savory-sweet sauce (think smoked paprika, maple syrup, and Worcestershire) at 225 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until crispy.
If you are looking for a unique twist on traditional bacon, you can try beef bacon. Made with select cuts of beef, beef bacon has its own unique texture and flavor that sets it apart from the rest. Its rich and flavorful taste is sure to make your mouth water; some even argue that its complex flavor outperforms traditional pork-based bacon.
Finally, if you are looking for a breakfast cereal substitute, oatmeal is a great option. It’s healthy, filling, and easy to make. You can get creative with toppings like nuts and dried fruit or brown sugar and cinnamon to add some variety to your breakfast routine.
Tips For Incorporating Bacon Into Your Optavia Meal Plan
If you’re a bacon lover and want to incorporate it into your Optavia meal plan, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
1. Use bacon as a flavor enhancer: Instead of using bacon as your main protein source, use it as a flavor enhancer in your meals. You can add crumbled bacon to your salads, soups, or even roasted vegetables to give them a smoky and savory taste.
2. Opt for leaner alternatives: As mentioned earlier, bacon is high in sodium and saturated fat, which can hinder your weight loss progress. Therefore, it’s important to opt for leaner alternatives such as chicken, turkey, or fish to meet your protein needs.
3. Choose Canadian bacon over regular bacon: If you’re craving bacon, choose Canadian bacon over regular bacon. Canadian bacon has fewer calories and less saturated fat compared to regular bacon. However, it’s still high in sodium, so make sure to keep your sodium intake in check.
4. Watch your portion sizes: When incorporating bacon into your Optavia meal plan, make sure to watch your portion sizes. Stick to 2 oz of Canadian bacon as your main lean option during the transition phase and maintenance phase.
5. Balance your meals: To ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs, make sure to balance your meals. Combine Canadian bacon with other lean meats allowed in the 5 & 1 plan to increase your protein intake.