MEDIFAST DIET REVIEW - Is Medifast Diet good for you?
What is Medifast?
Medifast is a low calorie diet designed to help dieters to lose 2-5 lbs. a week, on average, or up to 20 pounds a month. Medifast diet plans are high in protein and low in carbohydrate and they come in 800 to 1000 calorie a day meals.
The main Medifast program is called 5 & 1 meaning the diet plan includes 5 Medifast Meals and 1 Lean and Green meal. You don't have to count points, calories or carbs. You simply eat every two to three hours, for a total of 5 Medifast Meals and 1 Lean & Green Meal (a serving of lean meat or protein plus low-carbohydrate vegetables) each day.
What is a Medifast Meal?
All Medifast food products are considered Meals because they are packed with essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, fiber, and protein. You may choose meals from over 70 convenient, easy-to-prepare, portion-controlled Meals, plus ready-to-eat bars, such as soups, shakes, stews, oatmeal, scrambled egg, crunch bars, and hot drinks, all of which are fully fortified for healthy nutrition. The packets go with you anywhere and mix up with water in seconds.
What is a Lean and Green Meal?
The LEAN portion of the Lean & Green Meal includes 5-7 ounces (cooked weight) of lean protein or meatless protein (serving size varies depending on your protein choice) and 0-2 servings of healthy fat (serving size varies depends on your protein choice). The lean meats and fish may be grilled, baked, boiled, broiled, or poached.
Examples of 1 serving of lean protein:
- 7-oz portion - Fish: cod, flounder, haddock, orange roughy, grouper, tilapia, mahi mahi, tuna (yellowfin steak or canned in water), wild catfish
- 6-oz portion - Fish: swordfish, trout, halibut; Chicken: breast or white meat, without skin
- 5-oz portion - Lean beef, Lamb, Pork chop or pork tenderloin
Examples of healthy fats:
- ·1 teaspoon of oil (canola, flaxseed, walnut, or olive)
- ·5 – 6 black or green olives
- ·up to 2 tablespoons of low carbohydrate salad dressing (should provide ~5 grams of fat and <6 grams of carbohydrates per serving)
- ·1 teaspoon trans fat-free margarine
The GREEN portion of the Lean & Green Meal includes any 3 servings of vegetables from Medifast vegetable list, such as salad greens, broccoli, spinach, eggplant, or tomatoes. Vegetables high in carbohydrate such as carrots, corn, peas, onions, edamame, and brussels sprouts are not allowed. However, once you transition to the Maintenance phase of the program, it is encouraged that you include ALL vegetables for long-term health.
What can you NOT eat or drink?
Alcohol, fruit, dairy, grains, sweets, and most fats are also prohibited. Caffeinated beverages are limited to three servings daily because the low-calorie diet "may make you more sensitive to caffeine."
Do you have to exercise?
Exercise is a necessary part of losing weight, improving metabolism, and maintaining weight loss. Exercise also provides many health-enhancing benefits such as: improved blood sugar control, improved flexibility and balance, blood pressure control, strength and endurance, and help to decrease stress. If you are not already exercising regularly when you start the Medifast Program, it is recommended that you wait two to three weeks (and check with your doctor) before you begin an exercise program. Start an exercise program slowly, and gradually increase time spent on an activity (and intensity of the activity) as your body allows. Choose an activity that you can enjoy regularly. Walking is the easiest activity to incorporate into your day. 30 to 45 minutes a day, 5 times a week, is required.
Is medical monitoring required?
You should consult with your doctor prior to beginning (and throughout the course of) any weight-loss program. It is strongly recommended that you talk to your doctor prior to starting, and throughout the course of, your weight-loss program if you:
- are over the age of 70
- are under the age of 18
- have diabetes, hypertension, or any other serious medical condition
- are taking medications, especially for diabetes
If you have significant weight to lose and plan to be on the weight-loss phase of the program longer than 16 weeks, it is recommended that your doctor monitor your program.
Is Medifast clinically proven?
There are a number of clinical trials and studies conducted on Medifast 5 & 1 program. In a study done in 2008 looking at a 52 week impact of Medifast Meal Replacements, results showed that retention was better than other weight loss programs, and significant and sustained weight loss was the outcome. The latest study done in 2009 showed that the 5 & 1 program out performed other programs with similar calorie levels. At 4 months weight loss and body composition was more improved than other programs, and retention rates were higher.
Both studies were led by Associate Professor Lawrence Cheskin of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and were funded by Medifast.
What are the diet plans available?
Medifast plans are available for men, women, and diabetics mainly but, special diet plans are available for vegetarians, new mothers, teenagers, senior citizens, and people who just recovered from surgery. There is a Medifast meal plan for practically everyone.
When can you get off the 5 & 1 plan?
Once you've reached your goal weight, you should begin the Transition Plan. The Transition Plan gradually adds a variety of foods (as well as more calories and carbohydrates) back into your diet while giving your body appropriate time to adjust to the new levels of calories and carbohydrates. For more information, refer to the Medifast Transition & Maintenance Guide (PDF).
What is the cost to you?
Medifast 4-Week Package for Women, Men and Diabetics - $299.50
- 143 total Medifast Meals. Medifast 4-Week Variety Packages are an easy way for you to order the most popular Medifast Meals. They contain the exact number of meals for you to use in your 5 & 1 Plan for 28 days.
Medifast Enhanced 4-Week Package for Women, Men and Diabetics - $327.50
- 143 total Medifast Meals PLUS Medifast's Super Omega-3, Medifast's nutritional supplement that adds a powerful boost to your weight-loss program.
- you have to BUY for all the Lean and Green Meals.
- SHIPPING COSTS - about $10. V.I.P. Memberships get FREE standard shipping anywhere in the U.S. Non-V.I.P. Membership orders of $275 or more (total after coupons and discounts) get half-price standard shipping anywhere in the U.S.
Enrol in the V.I.P. Membership for free. V.I.P. Membership offers convenient, automatic billing and shipping of your favorite Medifast Meals. Plus you get:
- FREE Medifast Meals for 2 weeks (70 in all)
- FREE Online meal planning and support community
- FREE Book authored by the Medifast Medical Group
- FREE Support from our team of Registered Dietitians
- FREE Shipping
- Lifetime 5% discount on all future V.I.P. Membership orders.
Can you try Medifast before joining?
It is recommend trying Medifast for a minimum of two weeks to allow time for your body to maximize its fat-burning potential. However, if you'd like to try Medifast for just a few days, there are some options:
- Individual samples of Medifast Meals
- Medifast 2-Week Variety Packages - 70 Meals at $154.50 plus shipping
What do the experts say about the Medifast Diet?
Most experts draw the line at 1,200 calories as the minimum needed for adequate nutrition, and say that dieters should not dip below this number unless they're under a physician's care.
Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RD., co-author of The Dish on Healthy Eating and Being Fabulous!, says "Any time you severely lower your calories, it is strongly recommended to consult your doctor to avoid potential complications."
American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, agrees that the Medifast diet should be done with the approval or under the supervision of your health care provider. She also says she thinks Medifast is a great program for anyone who wants a serious, low-calorie diet plan in which all the guesswork has been removed. She further says that she has used the program in a doctor's office with diabetic patients with good results.
O'Neil suggests that anyone thinking of weight loss surgery try Medifast or another very low-calorie diet plan first.
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, director of nutrition for WebMD and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic, says that Medifast can be a good plan for someone who needs to lose a substantial amount of weight, and ideally, should be done under a doctor's supervision.
Based on the experts' opinions and clinical studies, Medifast diet works. However, this is a serious program and it may be advisable to follow the program while under your doctor's supervision. Medifast can lead to significant weight loss provided the transition and maintenance phase is followed accordingly. So, if you are serious about losing weight and are prepared to follow the strict regiment of this diet and, more importantly, you are prepared to change your eating and exercise habits after the weight loss, Medifast might just be the plan for you.
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