As it becomes harder than ever to avoid disease and illness, people are beginning to realize that they need the guidance of someone else to maintain an optimal level of health. While a number of approaches to health exist, in this article, we emphasize the ideology of the company Optavia, which fosters a community of health coaches to help individuals either maintain their current level of health or achieve a new optimal level of health.
One way of achieving this state of health is with the help of a health coach. These supportive mentors help you make healthy decisions and are like a more holistic therapist.
A Brief Overview of Optavia
Optavia was founded by Dr. Wayne Anderson and is unique for offering the guidance of health coaches as well as their own customized health products.
Many companies that offer these kinds of services only emphasize the human component, whereas Optavia has innovated its own line of food products that make it even easier for you to follow their advice. More specifically, Optavia’s approach is geared towards helping you achieve your optimum weight, which it claims is dependent on eating 5-6 small meals every day of dense, healthy foods.
While Optavia encourages the eating of homemade meals, they also offer what they call Optimal Health Fuelings, which are delicious yet convenient products that individuals can utilize to help follow the Optavia program.
Many of these Fuelings include smoothie mixes, protein bars, and instant cereals that diverge from their unhealthy counterparts on the market. Optavia uses high-quality ingredients without any added preservatives or genetically-modified ingredients.
In addition to this line of products, if you enlist the help of Optavia, you will receive your own personal health coach. You can connect with this coach online via live video conferences and calls.
Optavia’s Dietary Approach
Optavia advises their clients to enter a gentle ketogenic state in order to lose weight, which essentially means that the body is relying primarily on burning fat for fuel. Most people’s bodies use some combination of fat or carbohydrates for fuel, but the ketogenic state is unique for relying primarily on fatty foods.
Many people claim that this approach can be quite jolting at first, so companies like Optavia have been created in order to guide people through the initial stages of the process. Many of the food products they offer to emphasize healthy fats like nuts and dairy.
Optavia’s Lifestyle Approach
Optavia does not encourage this ketogenic state permanently, however, and their main approach to maintaining health is through some combination of diet and lifestyle.
Their main emphasis is on the details on each moment, essentially taking baby steps on your way to optimum health. This is where their health coaches come in, as these mentors help keep you accountable as well support you if you happen to experience failure.
Many of the coaches have experienced states of disease and imbalance and so can relate to where their clients are in their journey. Thus, part of Octavia’s approach consists of connecting people with others who have undergone similar problems.
Yet, what’s great about the coaching strategy that Optavia offers is that it’s tailored to the unique needs of each client. Thus, even though Optavia offers predesigned meal kits and more generalized advice, they also understand that not everyone can modify their diet so quickly, and more importantly, that each person has a unique set of symptoms. As such, their health coaches help walk clients through a more gradual transformation using love, encouragement, and empowering techniques.
What’s also great is that many people who experience success following Optavia’s guidance also returned to the service as a coach themselves. This just shows how permanent many of the changes that clients undergo are. These are not just temporary anomalies, but lifelong transformations towards better health.
Our Final Thoughts on Optavia
We think any service that focuses on health is crucial in a world that is becomingly increasingly sick with all kinds of diseases and disorders. Many people who find themselves afflicted by these unhealthy states are ignorant of how to reverse the downward slide. We think that a community of health coaches is a perfect way to address some of these problems.
However, we think Optavia’s approach to diet is slightly skewed and represents a divergence from relying on fresh, whole foods that are cooked at home.
- Jessica Fisher
- Publisher: Harvard Common Press
- Edition no. 0 (09/08/2015)
- Paperback: 320 pages
While Optavia’s line of food products could be effective in the short-term, we think the best approach to health ultimately involves sourcing whole foods and cooking them on our own terms. While Optavia technically does not endorse using their food products permanently, it’s still not a good habit to get into.
Yet, Optavia seems to endorse the formation of healthy habits, so it seems rather contradictory to promote a temporary lifestyle that must eventually be switched out for something more permanent.
Regardless, we think many people can benefit from the community of health coaches that Optavia offers, especially since these mentors are often flexible and can help you change at your own pace.