What if I am hungry?

Note: This information does not in any way constitute medical advice, an attempt to diagnose a medical condition, or substitute for medical treatment. OPTAVIA recommends that you contact your healthcare provider before starting and throughout your weight loss journey.

When you reduce your calorie and carbohydrate intake like on the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan®, it can take the body time to adjust. This adjustment period is different for each person. 


Some people may experience hunger during this adjustment period, and once the body adjusts, you may notice a reduced appetite and increased energy levels that accompany weight loss. These are all signs of being in a fat-burning state. To help make the adjustment period easier, consider the tips below and stay in regular contact with your independent OPTAVIA Coach for support and guidance.

Tips for Hunger

  • Do not skip meals. Eat all of your Fuelings and the full portion of the Lean & Green meal to ensure you are getting the right balance of nutrients to prevent hunger. Weigh and measure portions for accuracy.
  • Eat every 2-3 hours to prevent hunger and keep blood sugar levels stable.
  • Drink 64 ounces of water each day. Consult with your healthcare provider prior to changing the amount of water you drink as it can affect certain health conditions and medications.  
  • Have an optional snack, condiment(s), and/or 2-3 ounces of additional lean protein. You can have these with one of your six meal times or in-between.
    • Optional snack examples
      • ½ oz. plain nuts
      • OPTAVIA Snack
      • Refer to your program guide for a complete list of optional snack options.
  • Condiment examples
    • 1 cup broth (1 condiment)
    • 1 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk (1 condiment)
  • Lean protein examples
    • 2, (1-oz.) low-fat cheese sticks
    • 2 hardboiled eggs
    • 2-3 oz. cooked chicken breast
  • Exercise can cause hunger. Be mindful of exercise limitations while you are on a reduced-calorie meal plan.

If you are just starting the program and are new to exercise, wait 2-3 weeks before beginning an exercise regimen to allow your body to adjust to the meal plan. If previously exercising, we recommend you cut the time and intensity in half for the first 2-3 weeks. Limit yourself to 45 minutes of light to moderate exercise per day while on the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan®.

  • Get adequate rest. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Recommended Readings: Parts 1.4-1.7 in Dr. A’s Habits of Health, Second Edition and Element 19 in Your LifeBook. 
  • If hunger persists, you may want to consider another OPTAVIA meal plan, like the Optimal Weight 4 & 2 & 1 Plan® or Optimal Weight 5 & 2 & 2 Plan®, that is slightly higher in calories. Talk to your independent OPTAVIA Coach for more information.

If after having considered the above recommendations, you are still experiencing hunger, consult with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance