Is Optavia MLM A Scam? (Review)

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This review is everything you need to know about Optavia MLM.

If you want to know what Optavia is, if it’s a scam, and how to make money with it, you’re in the right place.

Let’s dig in.

What is Optavia MLM?

Optavia is the MLM arm of the health and wellness company Medifast, which has been recommended by over 20,000 physicians since it was formed back in 1980. Originally, Optavia was called Take Share for Life, but in 2017 the company was rebranded as Optavia.

The company was founded by Dr. Wayne Anderson (often referred to as Dr. A) and Bradley McDonald.

Medifast, the parent company, has been around for decades and is well known for weight loss and health related products. Both Medifast and it’s subsidiary Optavia are headquartered in Baltimore, MD.

How Does Optavia Work?

The Optavia mission is to help people transform their lives one healthy habit at a time. The company sells weigh loss and diet products, along with lifestyle tranformation plans.

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Their network of distributors, called Coaches, are responsible for keeping members on track and recruiting new Coaches.

The company offers 4 main components to their program. Those are as follows:

1) Optavia Coaching

What separates Optavia from other companies that promote weight loss products, is that they have coaches to help keep people focused. Backed by studies, support and guidance have been shown to help people reach their optimal weight to a greater extent than going it alone.

2) The Habits of Health

One of the founders, Dr. Wayne Andersen, developed an approach called The Habits of Health to help connect mind and body for achieving long-term success. This framework is the foundation of everything that the company does.

3) The Optavia Community

The platform brings a community of like-minded people together to inspire and support one another on the path to transformation.

4) Scientifically Proven Fuelings and Plans

The company’s scientifically proven plans were developed by physicians, dietitians and scientists. They teach people what optimal nutrition looks like, to create lasting change.

The cornerstone of the company’s MLM platform is their Coaches. These are people who coach members to success.

The purpose of having a coach is to have a point person to help you reach your goals and celebrate your success, with while steering you along the right path.

Customers order from the company website directly instead of directly through distributors. This is unlike the traditional MLM model of old, where distributors only sold the products.

How To Join Optavia

To join the Optavia MLM platform, you’ll need to visit the Optavia website to connect with an Optavia Coach, who can sponsor you. Or you can get back to the person who referred you to the business opportunity.

There are 3 steps to getting started. Those are as follows:

  1. Talk to your Optavia Coach
  2. Purchase an Optavia Business Kit
  3. Engage with the Optavia Coaching Community

The Optavia Business Kit

The pricing for the Business Kit is $199. This kit includes a set of tools, plan information, and 12-months free access to a personalized Optavia site to promote your business.

In addition to this, all Coaches are required to pay $99 per year to renew the business.

How To Make Money With Optavia MLM

Like any business, success comes down to how hard you work and put into the business. The company is transparent with their Income Disclosure Statement (below), which shows how much Coaches earn on average.

In order to earn with Optavia, you will be compensated as a Coach when sponsor new Coaches. Your earnings are tied to your performance and this company has one of the least MLM-like comp plans I’ve ever come across.

The company does offer bonuses, but direct overrides for growing an organization isn’t a part of the plan. Their plan almost resembles an affiliate system in some ways.

The 3 main for ways to earn with Optavia as a Coach are as follows:

1) Client Acquisition & Support

As a Coach you earn 15% commissions on all sales that you personally bring in. The nice thing is that these commissions are paid out weekly.

You can also receive an additional 3% bonus for continuing education and coaching certifications.

2) Coach Sponsoring & Team Building

As part of this opportunity, when you sign on as a coach, you are responsible for coaching and recruiting team members. When you do, the company will pay you a bonus for it.

The three types of bonuses that you can earn are:

  • Assist Bonus
  • Team Growth Bonuses
  • Fully Integrated Business Coach Bonus

Assist Bonus

The company pays assist bonuses when you help a new Coach who you personally sponsored earn their Client Acquisition Bonus. For your part, the company will pay you a $100 assist bonus. They will also pay you team growth bonuses based on your rank. The chart below shows the bonus potential.

3) Advanced Team Buidling & Leadership Development

When you help other members of your organization move up the ranks, the company will pay you a leadership bonus for it. Two examples of leadership bonuses that the company will pay out are:

  • Execuive Director Generation Bonuses
  • Elite Leadership Bonuses

To get an in-depth look at the compensation plan, you can take a look at their 22-page compensation plan PDF. It’s quite extensive.

Is Optavia a Scam?

The Optavia MLM platform is not a scam. It is a legitimate business opportunity.

The Better Business Bureau rates Optavia an A+ and the company isn’t accredited with them at this time. The reviews on the BBB are mostly negative though.

At the time of this review, Optavia has over 19,000 coaches and the brand has been recommended by over 20,000 doctors since the company started. The company’s products have also been used by more than 1 million clients.

As far as revenue, the company is doing something right with 42% growth year-over-year. Optavia generated $714 million in revenue in 2019, up from $501 million in the previous year.

Pros and Cons of Optavia


  • The company has been endorsed by over 20,000 doctors due to the popularity of Medifast, the parent company.
  • An A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
  • The platform offers a 30-day refund.
  • Optavia has a positive mission of helping to transform lives and build good habits, while coaching members to success.
  • They embrace modern technology instead of the 3-foot rule or 2-way calls with your upline. The company utilizes webinars for promoting the business.
  • It’s inexpensive to get started with the business at only $199, and $99 per year.
  • Client Support Commissions are paid out on a weekly basis.


  • According to their income disclosure, most Coaches (21%) earn zero after 12 months in business.
  • The products are in a competitive market and very expensive, which might make it challenging to move product.
  • The compensation plan is very extensive, and can be confusing, with a 22-page comp plan to sort through.
  • There is a focus on recruiting Coaches to generate income as the company’s comp plan doesn’t include override commissions like most MLMs when you build an organization.
  • Some members have complained in reviews that the products don’t taste good.


There you have it. My Optavia MLM review in a nutshell. No, this company is not a scam. It is not a pyramid scheme. It is a legitimate business opportunity.

If you’re looking for an MLM, just keep in mind that you’ll need to recruit Coaches and assist clients. While the products and science both sound good in theory, they are quite expensive, which in the end could be a challenge when trying to get your business in profit.

Optavia MLM FAQ

Is Optavia an MLM?

Optavia is the MLM arm of the health and wellness company Medifast, which has been recommended by over 20,000 physicians since it was formed back in 1980. Originally, Optavia was named Take Share for Life, but in 2017 the company was rebranded as Optavia.

Is Optavia a pyramid?

Optavia is not a pyramid scheme, but does use a multi-level marketing business model to recruit Coaches into your organization. The company has products, which separate it from a pyramid scheme model that only involves members paying into the scheme with no real product or service.

Do Optavia coaches get paid?

The pay for Optavia coaches can vary. Like most business opportunities, it depends on the individual. However, according to the company’s income disclosure from last year (2019), most people (21% of coaches) had zero earnings after 12 months in the business.

Is Optavia legitimate?

Yes, Optavia is a legitimate business. The Better Business Bureau rates Optavia an A+ and the company has over 19,000 coaches. The company’s products have also been used by more than 1 million clients and they have been recommended by over 20,000 doctors since 1980.

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