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Intermittent Fasting & The Optavia Diet: What You Need To Know?
Optavia and intermittent fasting (IF) are two different dietary approaches to weight loss, each offering its own efficacy. In fact, there’s good evidence to show the positive effects of intermittent fasting on belly fat.
Optavia involves consuming pre-packaged meal replacements formulated by Optavia, while intermittent fasting focuses more on restricting eating to specific windows of time.
Although it’s tempting to want to lose weight fast, and though it’s possible to combine both methods, doing two diets at once must be done responsibly. Additionally, there is no guarantee that doing both at the same time will help speed up results.
Currently, no studies exist that examine the effects of combining Optavia with IF together, so both short-term and long-term health effects are unknown.
Can You Do Intermittent Fasting With Optavia?
Although it’s possible to do the Optavia Diet and intermittent fasting together, it may not be necessary or advisable. Optavia is a low-calorie, portion-control diet for weight loss, in which the Optavia company provides individuals with packaged food replacements and green meals.
IF has a different type of approach; it does not specify what to eat, but rather, when to eat: during feeding windows. Each approaches weight loss differently and is not necessarily designed to be combined with the other. However, if you would like to try both simultaneously, it’s essential to work with a healthcare professional.
What Is the Optavia Diet?
The Optavia Diet is a weight-loss diet developed by Optavia, a health and fitness company; the diet focuses on portion control, which offers health benefits beyond weight maintenance. The Optavia diet comes with a supply of pre-packaged meal replacements (in powder form) from Optavia, referred to as “fuelings” and other meals and snacks.
Those participating in the Optavia Diet follow various stages of the plan, consuming portion-controlled “fuelings” at first, which contain a specific blend of macronutrients and probiotics. Later in the process, participants transition into a more balanced eating approach and are encouraged to introduce more regular foods along with Optavia products.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) is the practice of regularly alternating between periods of eating (referred to as feeding windows) and periods of fasting. These periods can vary in length.
For example, one method of IF is the 16:8 approach, in which you fast for 16 hours and have an eight-hour feeding window each day. Another approach is alternate-day fasting, in which you go one full day without eating, followed by one full day of normal eating, then back to fasting for a day, and so on.
Restricting eating to certain time frames gives the body a chance to fast. This has been shown to have positive influences in weight, insulin resistance, and energy levels.
Some fasting periods allow for small amounts of calories, while others require no solid food at all. However, there are drinks you can have while intermittent fasting.
To help you stay on track while intermittent fasting, consider downloading one of the best intermittent fasting apps. Read up on the DoFasting reviews to learn more about this app.
Some people choose to combine other dietary approaches with IF, such as Optavia or the keto diet with intermittent fasting.
How Does The Optavia Diet Work?
The Optavia diet is based on structured meal plans and emphasizes portion control. It does this by supplying formulated meal replacements (some in powder form) that contain essential nutrients, including probiotics. The overall goal of the Optavia diet is weight loss, though some people develop overall healthier eating and lifestyle habits as a result.
Optavia has various options for individuals, depending on their unique health goals. A common program is the “Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan” which provides five daily “fuelings,” or pre-packaged, nutrient-dense meal replacements a week, as well as one “Lean and Green” meal, which consists of lean protein and non-starchy vegetables.
This eating approach aims to limit calories via portion control, curated foods, and food replacements, while supplying balanced nutrients, such as healthy fats, lean protein, and carbohydrates.
Those who choose Optavia are also given the opportunity to work with a Coach who can guide and support them through the process.
How To Do Intermittent Fasting With Optavia?
Work With A Practitioner
Losing weight is a long-term project and needs proper supervision from a medical practitioner. When using two methods together (such as intermittent fasting and Optavia), it’s that much more important to work with a qualified practitioner who can oversee the process and ensure these approaches work well together, as well as work well for you, and that you are not missing out on specific food groups.
Monitor Nutrient Intake
Though the Optavia plan packages meal replacements with balanced macronutrients, this may not align with your unique need for nutrition and calorie intake. For example, your body may require more carbohydrates than are permitted on Optavia.
While undergoing any dietary change, especially two different weight loss approaches simultaneously, it’s crucial to have your nutrient levels monitored to ensure you’re not missing out.
Listen To Your Body
Getting to a healthy weight can involve dietary approaches laid out by health experts; however, there’s no better authority on what works best for you than your body.
While both intermittent fasting and Optavia show good findings for weight loss, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll look or feel the way you want.
Let your body be your guide. If you feel weak, depleted, or unwell while on a diet program (Optavia, intermittent fasting, or both), listen to your body and consult a doctor to find a more suitable plan for yourself.
Choose Your Methods
If you do decide to combine IF, with Optavia, you’ll need to choose which specific IF method and which specific Optavia program you want to do. Optavia diet plans range depending on your weight loss goals, and intermittent fasting has multiple ways you can try.
Before starting, consider your body, hunger levels, and general attitude toward dieting to decipher which plans and methods seem most doable for you.
Pay Attention To Lifestyle
If you want to lose weight quickly, you’ll need to consider things beyond food. Both IF and Optavia stress the importance of practicing the diet and other healthy lifestyle activities, such as exercise, sleep, and hydration. If you want to lose weight, it’s essential to have a well-rounded healthy lifestyle.
Your weight loss journey is just that: a journey. Rapid weight loss can be dangerous. It can be challenging and unhealthy to stick to any strict dietary approach for long periods of time. This is especially true for restrictive diets where you run the risk of nutrient deficiency and binging in response to food restriction.
Rather than strive for rapid weight loss, talk with your doctor about your long-term weight loss goals and develop a plan that can help you lose weight and keep it off, while solidifying a sustainable and healthy eating approach.
Optavia offers a pre-packaged, nutrient-balanced, low-calorie diet, in which they send you daily food replacements and a green meal for the first phase of the diet. Later, it encourages participants to incorporate more regular foods.
During this time, Optavia provides a Coach to help participants navigate the diet. This is a drastically different method to weight loss than intermittent fasting, an eating approach that requires regular cycling through feeding and fasting periods.
While both methods provide weight loss benefits, one might be more beneficial than the other, depending on the person.
Though it’s possible to try Optavia while also practicing intermittent fasting, it may be difficult for many people to stick to this long-term. Additionally, there are no studies that have evaluated the short or long-term effects of combining Optavia with IF together. Participants should always seek out proper medical supervision to avoid harmful and unwanted effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Optavia diet limits calories to between 800-1000 kcal per day, which is extremely limited. Therefore, combining IF with the Optavia diet needs to be approached with caution/under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
It’s hard to quantify which diet plan is better for weight loss. One involves tailored food replacements with balanced nutrients, and the other involves restricting eating periods. Everyone’s body will respond differently. It would behoove you to try each method separately before combining them.
Whenever food consumption is limited for an extended period and we have to adhere to strict dietary guidelines, we can experience extreme hunger. We may even regain weight after we go off the diet. Furthermore, the restrictive nature may be difficult to stick to or leave us lacking certain nutrients.
This will vary based on the individual, as well as the different lifestyle practices you participate in beyond diet. To prevent weight gain, follow each diet’s protocols and work with a practitioner.
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- Welton (2020). Intermittent fasting and weight loss: Systematic review. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien, [online] 66(2). Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32060194/.
- Arterburn, L.M., Charles Dominic Coleman, Jan A.K.W. Kiel, Kelley, K., Mantilla, L.B., Frye, N., Sanoshy, K.D. and Cook, C.H. (2018). Randomized controlled trial assessing two commercial weight loss programs in adults with overweight or obesity. [online] doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/osp4.312.
- Varady, K.A., Cienfuegos, S., Ezpeleta, M. and Gabel, K. (2022). Clinical application of intermittent fasting for weight loss: progress and future directions. [online] 18(5), pp.309–321. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41574-022-00638-x.
- Annual Reviews. (2021). Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting. [online] Available at: https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-nutr-052020-041327.
- hortonj4 (2021). Is It Bad to Lose Weight Too Quickly? [online] Cleveland Clinic. Available at: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/risks-of-losing-weight-too-fast/.