The Medifast diet is a weight loss program created by Dr. William Vitale that has been there for decades, making it one of the most sought-after weight loss system. It is even possible to order it online, unlike in the past when you needed your physician’s recommendation. This diet has received numerous positive reviews from satisfied customers.
One great thing about this diet is that it saves you the time you would have spent at the food store doing your shopping. It gets delivered right at your doorstep. What’s more, you won’t need to always count the number of calories you consume as they have already done that for you.
This diet program promises the users to lose between 1-2 pounds on a weekly basis, following either the 4&2&1 or 5&1 meal plans.
This program has been recommended by over 20,000 doctors since their meal-replacement products are clinically proven to help lose weight. You are supposed to follow the guidelines of eating specific portions. Their menu ranges from soups, entrees, sides, bars, high-protein foods, and shakes.
From the official website, there are three meal plans, namely Achieve Weight Loss Plan, Medifast for Special Diets, and Thrive Healthy Living Plan. Every day, you get the chance to consume 4 meals, one healthy snack, and 2 lean and green meals. There are over 70 different meal choices to pick from.
With this diet, be assured that you will not feel starved. Medifast diet allows you to have up to two snacks daily to keep hunger pangs at bay. Together with all the meal-replacement bars and shakes, the following real foods are allowed:
- Chicken breast
- Sirloin steak
- Pork tenderloin
- Salad greens
- Green beans
How Does Medifast Diet Work?
Most people following this diet go for the 5 &1 Meal Plan. With it comes to six meals daily; you eat five 100-calorie Medifast products like a bar, shake, soup, oatmeal, or cheese puffs. You get to prepare the sixth meal at any time, which is a Lean & Green Meal. However, this meal should be around 5-7oz of lean protein and three servings of non-starchy vegetables.
The good thing is that once you have achieved your ideal weight, you can wean yourself off this diet, depending on your ideal caloric needs and gradually introduce starchy veggies, low-fat dairy products, and fruit. The company even goes a step further to offer you specific products through its Thrive Healthy Living Plan, which is meant to help you maintain your weight.
If you are looking for a higher calorie diet, go for the Medifast Achieve Plan that allows you 4 Medifast meal-supplements, 2 Lean & Green entrees, and 1 healthy snack like fruit. This company also has special diets for diabetics, vegetarians, teens, seniors, nursing mothers, and gluten sensitive people, persons taking anticoagulants, those with celiac disease, and those who have or will undergo gastric banding surgery, among others.
Their extra-cost products are rich in antioxidants to take care of your heart, metabolism, sleep, and digestion. You can also indulge in a very low-calorie diet only under the doctor’s supervision. Many users have sworn that this diet program has helped them lose weight.
You will be required to prepare and have healthy meals. This program follows proven principles of weight loss where you consume a low-calorie balanced diet that is nutritious and has a lot of low-glycemic carbs, good amounts of fats, and lean proteins. These will help you shed the extra fat and attain a lean-muscle body.
The allowed meal-replacement shakes and bars will offer you the same nutritional value, making it possible to interchange them according to your preference. If you are looking to keep the extra weight away forever, you need to change your lifestyle; specifically, your eating methods.
Benefits of the Medifast Diet
This program encourages you to eat wholesome and nutritious foods every time. It is great for anyone even if they are not looking to lose weight. The diet will not only help you lose weight but also reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which are the two main causes of chronic illnesses.
The diet program has been approved, and many users have confessed to having lost weight while following it. After all, its main benefit is to help you lose weight. Unlike most diets that promise miracles without delivering, this one will help you achieve your goal.
This diet allows you the flexibility of preparing your own healthy meals where you can include your favorite herbs to flavor the food. The inclusion of snacks is also a great way to encourage people to embrace this diet.
How Much Will It Cost You?
A 30-day 5 & 1 package will cost you $390, plus taxes and shipping costs. If you decide to purchase the two weeks package, you will have to pay $195, plus taxes and shipping expenses.
They also have a two-week trial kit that has 56 meals that are coupled with bonus gifts like a meal guide, food journal, and a blender bottle goes for $149. The required additional grocery that includes proteins and veggies to supplement the Medifast Achieve Plan will only have you parting with $299 or $399 to last you 30 days.
Medifast Ingredients and their Side Effects
Organic Cracked Wheat: these ground wheat grains are rich in fiber and full of minerals. They are also organic, making them free of GMOs or artificial additives.
Whey Protein Isolate: this is always a byproduct of cheese manufacture. This protein helps keep you feeling fuller for longer by lowering your appetite. It is full of amino acids, and its composition includes 90% protein.
Chicory Root Extract: this is a woody plant that has several minerals and vitamins and is usually used to help with digestion. It is usually safe when used in allowable amounts and helps you maintain a healthy bacterial gut by feeding the microflora.
Potassium Chloride: this mineral helps in regulating proper nerve function, muscles and also help with inflammation.
Is it Safe for Certain Conditions?
Although a meal replacement can help you control blood sugar levels when diabetic, reducing your food intake rapidly can lead to extremely low blood sugar when combined with diabetes medication. Always consult your doctor about how to monitor your blood sugar levels and know what to do when they get too low.
You can also maintain optimum levels of blood pressure and cholesterol while keeping cardiovascular diseases at bay by using this diet. Unhealthy weight is one of the culprits of such conditions and keeping it in check can really make a difference. You might even not have the need for medication. Always ensure you work with your doctor before starting on this program as it might alter the way your medicine works.
Will You Lose Weight?
This diet has been put through rigorous evaluations, although it is hard to determine how much weight you will lose.
As with many diets, the studies that have been carried out are small with many people giving up on the way. With short-term results, it is possible to lose a couple of pounds since you will be consuming almost half the calories that are eaten by most adults. Long-term results are not as promising. Below is some research data:
In 2015, John Hopkins Medicine released a study that showed that there was little evidence showing people who had achieved long-term weight loss goals using commercial weight-loss programs that included Medifast. The random trials were carried out for 12 weeks. Participants on low-calorie diets such as Medifast were found to have lost the most weight. However, only one long-term study was found to have yielded benefits by following this diet.
Another study was published the same year by Annals of Internal Medicine who carefully examined 45 studies of both proprietary and commercial weight-loss programs that included Medifast. After four months, people following very low-calorie plans like Medifast reported 4% greater weight loss. However, in the long-run, the positive reports went down.
Medifast also funded a small study that was later published in Nutrition Journal in 2010. It included 90 obese adults that were put on either the 5 & 1 or calorie-restricted diet that followed the government guidelines. After four months, those under the Medifast diet had managed to lose an average of 30 pounds compared to 14 pounds lost by members of the other group. However, just 24 weeks after these dieters went back to higher calories diet, Medifast dieters regained more than 10 pounds they had previously lost while the others gained 2 pounds. By the end of the study, more than half of the study group had given up and dropped out.
All these studies show that you will lose weight on a short-term basis, but if you want to maintain, you have to make it a lifestyle. You cannot retract to your bad eating habits and expect to see the same results.
Is Medifast Diet Safe for You?
This diet does not go hand in hand with the state’s guidelines for healthy eating. Most experts said that this is due to the fact that it provides extremely high levels of protein and very minimal carbs. Taking 800-1,000 calories daily is low for many dieters. It is actually less than half of what the state stipulates for men between 21 to 40 years and also less for women of the same age group. Experts concluded that the diet was moderately safe. Nutritionists always warn against eating less than 1,500 calories daily if you want to stay healthy.
The Medifast Diet is full of pre-packaged foods that are low in calorie to help you keep your weight in check. It also suggests grocery foods to purchase. Users have found these foods to be of high quality, thus helping them lose weight. The advice was also easy to follow making this diet a good weight loss plan.
However, always remember that diet constitutes a part of your weight loss success. This means you have to supplement the remaining with exercise. If you are on this diet, talk to your doctor to know which exercises are safe to incorporate into your regimen. All the best in your weight loss journey!