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As you’re working to reach a healthy weight, it would seem natural that eating fruit and exercising would help you reach your goal. However, this is not the case during the weight-loss phase (Phase I) on Plan. In Element 12, Dr. A addresses why prohibiting fruit and limiting exercise are important during this phase although it seems counterintuitive.

  • No fruit. A lot of fruits have a high-glycemic index and are high in carbohydrates. This can actually take you out of the fat burning state. Fruit will be reintroduced after the weight-loss phase as it does help in maintaining your healthy weight and is a major component of healthy eating.
  • No (or reduced) exercise. When your body enters the fat burning state, it switches fuel sources and is not accustomed to using fat as its main energy source. Over a few weeks, your body will adjust and you can add more activity to increase your healthy motion.

In addition to the tips above, use this checklist to success while you are in Phase I of weight loss:

  • Use Your LifeBook. Your LifeBook is filled with tips to support your transformation and create success! Use the tracking sheets and exercises to track your progress to optimal health.
  • Use the Habits of Health App. New modifications have made this tool more streamlined with refreshed language! Now, you can easily adjust your weight management and time logs in your profile. Download now from the App Store or Google Play.
  • Eat every two – three hours. Eating every two – three hours allows for carbohydrates and protein to be spaced evenly throughout the day. Your body is able to better regulate blood sugar levels and support weight loss when you have maintain a regular meal schedule. Plan your five Fuelings and Lean & Green meal for the following day in advance so you’re ready to go.
  • Get plenty of rest. During the first few days of the fat burning stage, you may feel a little tired as your body is adjusting. Make sure you are practicing healthy sleep habits such as getting at least seven hours of sleep in a comfortable environment.
  • Drink water.* Drinking at least 64 oz. of water each day keeps you hydrated and contributes to weight loss. Opting for water instead of other beverages reduces calorie and sugar intake.
  • Use your support system. Reach out to me, your OPTAVIA Coach, or the OPTAVIA Community for a little extra motivation! Having a support circle can help keep your goals and accountability in perspective.

In Element 13—tracking your journey to a healthy weight and beyond—we’ll focus on making small, simple improvements one day at a time.

Still need to order your NEW Habits of Health® Transformational System? Let’s connect today!

*We recommend drinking 64 ounces of plain water each day. Talk with your healthcare provider prior to changing the amount of water you drink as it can affect levels of certain medications.

Join this week’s Habits of Health® Webinar, Your LifeBook—Element 12: Optimizing your success in reaching a healthy weight on Wednesday, October 30th  at 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT/5:30 p.m. PT, hosted by Independent OPTAVIA® Coach Jared Smithson.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll):

Or Dial (US Toll):

And Enter the Pin: 113312513#

For some parents, the scariest thing about Halloween might be the amount of candy your kids bring home after trick-or-treating. Don’t let this spook you! With a little planning, you and your family can have a healthy Halloween that’s not focused on sweet treats. Here are some tips to make your Halloween festivities healthier for you and your family:

  • Eat before trick-or-treating. Have a healthy Lean & Green family meal prior to trick-or-treating to avoid making unhealthy decisions. Your kids’ tummies will be fuller so they’ll be less likely to overindulge in sweets.
  • Use a smaller bucket. Have your kids use a smaller bag or bucket to collect their treats. Also, encourage them to only take one piece of candy from each house so they have time to visit more houses in the neighborhood.
  • Practice healthy motion. Instead of driving kids from house to house, use this opportunity to practice NEAT. Set a goal of how many houses you’ll visit. Divide into teams to make it a friendly competition! Don’t forget your comfortable walking shoes and water bottle. If you’re hosting a Halloween party, include some games to get everyone moving like a monster dance party or pumpkin toss.
  • Teach your kids healthy habits. Halloween is a great opportunity to talk to your children about making healthy choices. Plan in advance how many pieces of candy they’re allowed to take at each house and how much they can eat per day. 
  • Swap candy for healthy treats. You don’t have to pass out sweets and candy on Halloween. Opt for healthier treats instead or offer non-edible items like glow sticks, stickers, or vampire teeth.
  • Donate excess candy. Just because your kids collect a lot of candy doesn’t mean they need to eat it all. If you have excess treats, consider donating it. 

Ask me, your OPTAVIA Coach, for other tips to make your Halloween happy and healthy on your journey to Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time®.

Per Serving: 1 Lean | 3 Green | 3 Condiments   

Yield: 1 serving

Total Time: 15 minutes


Cooking spray

2, 2-oz. Portobello mushroom caps, stems removed and gills scraped out

¼ cup no sugar added Italian tomato sauce (such as Rao’s Homemade®)

4 oz. reduced-fat, shredded mozzarella cheese

2 Tbsp shredded basil (optional)


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Place the mushroom caps on a lightly-greased baking sheet lined with foil. Spray tops with cooking spray. Broil 3 to 4 minutes on each side until tender.
  3. Evenly spread the tomato sauce into each cap, and then top with cheese and basil. Broil again for 2 to 3 minutes until cheese is melted.

Per Serving: 330 calories | 36g protein | 14g carbohydrate | 19g fat

Visit our OPTAVIA Pinterest page for an extensive assortment library of Lean & Green meals.

From Setback to Comeback

“I've been overweight all my life. I was always the last one picked in PE and the first one to get picked on at recess. Food was my comfort.”

As an adult, Jeanmarie became obese. She tried several weight loss programs and even considered surgery.

“I had other issues that weren’t related to food, but I kept turning to food for comfort.”

Jeanmarie’s daughter, Kim, had witnessed her mother’s unhealthy habits and became her “food buddy”.  At one of Kim's medical appointments, Jeanmarie asked the physician if there was anything they could do to get to a healthy weight.

“The doctor gave me a card and said, ‘This is my patient. She has achieved health with OPTAVIA and wants to help others.’”

Jeanmarie wasn’t completely sure if she was ready to go on Plan, but when she saw how positive everyone was about getting healthy and their amazing transformations, she wanted that same success.

“So I gave it a chance and my eating habits improved significantly! My weight loss has been gradual, but steady. I don't give up. ”

Jeanmarie’s setbacks led to a major comeback. She lost 110 pounds* and has gained so much – more energy, fewer aches, the ability to fit in a seat, and the passion to share healthy habits with others.

“My doctor is thrilled with my weight loss. I love coaching others and sharing the OPTAVIA Program.”


Kathy Glazer
3 Washington Circle N. W. #303, Washington,D.C. 20037, Also Falls Church,VA

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