ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

MEDIFAST DIET REVIEW - Is Medifast Diet good for you?

Updated on June 17, 2012
- Is Medifast Diet good for you?, by Rosie2010 on Hubpages -
- Is Medifast Diet good for you?, by Rosie2010 on Hubpages -

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.


Cod Dinner by schwartemagen, source: Photobucket
Cod Dinner by schwartemagen, source: Photobucket
Chicken Dinner by bport7831, source Photobucket
Chicken Dinner by bport7831, source Photobucket
pork-chop dinner by gregvan83, source Photobucket
pork-chop dinner by gregvan83, source Photobucket
Fruits NOT allowed, photo by MatrixPic, source: Photobucket
Fruits NOT allowed, photo by MatrixPic, source: Photobucket
Alcohol NOT allowed, photo By ChiChi84, source: Photobucket
Alcohol NOT allowed, photo By ChiChi84, source: Photobucket

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."


30 to 45 mins of exercise a day, 5 times a week
30 to 45 mins of exercise a day, 5 times a week

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.


Medical supervision is advisable. photo by phaea01, source: Photobucket
Medical supervision is advisable. photo by phaea01, source: Photobucket

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).


Medifast meals, source: Medifast
Medifast meals, source: Medifast
Medifast Enhanced Package, source:Medifast
Medifast Enhanced Package, source:Medifast
More than 70 Medifast Meals to choose from, source: Medifast
More than 70 Medifast Meals to choose from, source: Medifast

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.

Additional Costs:

  • 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.


V.I.P MEMBERSHIP

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


Carolyn O'Neil, co-author of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!
Carolyn O'Neil, co-author of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!

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.


CONCLUSION:

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.


Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Rosie2010 profile image
    Author

    Rosie Rose 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya katrina, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you found this hub informative. I also hope that people who are looking to lose weight find this review useful.

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • katrinasui profile image

    katrinasui 6 years ago

    A very informative hub. Very useful for people who want to lose weight.

  • Rosie2010 profile image
    Author

    Rosie Rose 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya Butch, thanks for dropping by. Wow! you certainly love your coffee. When you said, you managed it for a year, did you mean cut off coffee completely? Well this diet allow you for drink coffee but just cut off to three a day. And this diet makes you loss weight rapidly.. about 20 lbs a month.. so you can go back to drinking more of your beloved coffee but in moderation. If cost is the problem, let me come up with a natural diet for you.. which means you eat regular food but just in small portions.

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • Rosie2010 profile image
    Author

    Rosie Rose 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya Jamie, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you found this Medifast diet review useful. This diet has been proven to work to lose weight really fast. But it's a serious diet that require doctor monitoring during the weight loss phase. It is a very low calorie diet. If you think this is diet for you, go for it and good luck!

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • Rosie2010 profile image
    Author

    Rosie Rose 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya quildon, thanks for dropping by. This diet is a serious diet with very low calorie intact so it needs doctor's monitoring your diet. It is good for people who have a lot of weight to lose and want fast results. But the weight will come back plus more if not followed by the maintenance program correctly. If you can do it without using any diet program, then go for it and good luck!

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • quildon profile image

    Angela Joseph 6 years ago from Florida

    Hi Rosie, this is a very useful hub for people who want to lose weight, which is a lot of people, including myself, but I know I can do that with a little willpower to cut back on carbs and exercise regularly.

  • Rosie2010 profile image
    Author

    Rosie Rose 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya xixi12, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you found my review useful. Thank you so much for the compliment.. my pleasure.

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • profile image

    Butch News 6 years ago

    Nice article and great layout of the page. I need to lose some weight and am trying to get it together. Unfortunately these kinds of plans are too expensive for me.

    My biggest problem is the coffees with honey. Hate the coffee without honey, hate coffee with 2% milk. Can't live without coffee and can't stand 2% milk... managed to try it for a year and my health problems began that year... go figure. Coffees account for about half my calorie intake a day.

  • Jamie Brock profile image

    Jamie Brock 6 years ago from Texas

    Thank you for this great info.. I've been interested in Medifast for a while now. It's ideal for me because there is no guess work.. the meals are already put together for you. Seems like it would be a good way to learn what foods go together and compliment each other, too. Planning and cooking meals is NOT easy for me- I know it sounds silly but I have a hard time figuring out what goes what. I think it would be a good starting point for a lifestyle change.

    The video's are inspiring as well.. great hub!!

  • xixi12 profile image

    xixi12 6 years ago from Everywhere but here. In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. You can never be truly free till you have the discipline to manage it.

    Great and indepth review of the medifast diet, if i was ever looking for a diet program, will sure give it a try as you have done an excellent job with the information. Thanks for the review

  • Rosie2010 profile image
    Author

    Rosie Rose 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya Pam, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you find my diet hubs useful. I'm the same way, I don't need to lose weight now. I gained almost 40 lbs when my late husband decided to learn gourmet cooking after his first heart surgery. Guess who ate all his cooking? moi. I had tried all kinds of diets but it was tough. When my husband died, I lost all my extra weight. But I'd gladly be over-weight if only... So now I'm trying to learn which is the best diet there is and share it with all.

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Rosie, I love the way you are comparing the different plans as that is really helpful. I don't have much to lose so I don't need a drastic plan but mostly I need to exercise more often. Thanks for a good hub.

  • Rosie2010 profile image
    Author

    Rosie Rose 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya my dear friend Rhonda, thanks gf. I'm glad you like my review. This is a rapid loss diet for those who need to lose a lot of weight. I know it's hard to lose that last 5 lbs. but you can do it just eating small portions. hugsss

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • Rosie2010 profile image
    Author

    Rosie Rose 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya msorensson, thanks for dropping by. You're very welcome.

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • Rhonda Waits profile image

    Rhonda Musch 6 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Great hub Rosie. Loved your review. Thanks for sharing I only need to lose and keep off about 5 lbs, I love the flavors they offer.

    Sweet wishes Rhonda

  • msorensson profile image

    msorensson 6 years ago

    Thank you for educating us on Medifast, Rosie~~