A Review Of The Medifast Diet
The "5 + 1 Plan" provided by Medifast claim is that you can eat six meals a day and still lose weight. They provide you with five meal replacements - buy one of the meals yourself, and you can expect to lose an average of 2-5 pounds within the first two weeks of this plan. After the first two weeks, most people in the Medifast program lose about 1-2 pounds per week.
Once you reach your weight loss goal, you start adding calories to your diet for the next six weeks of transition. Medifast recommends sticking to its "3 + 3 Plan" (consisting from three meal replacements and three real meals) for as long as possible to prevent re-gaining weight.
What Foods Will I Eat?
Medifast has a range of 70 meal replacement products. The meal you'll need to provide each day should include 5-7 ounces of lean protein, up to two servings of healthy fats, and three servings of vegetables.
You are also allowed to use condiments, dressings, sauces, and even one snack per day. However, not all foods are eligible as snacks. You are free to choose between celery, mints, pickles, a Popsicle, and Jell-O, plus half an ounce of almonds, walnuts or pistachios.
Forget about drinking alcohol, as well as about anything that's not on the approved food list.
Most of your meals will consist from Medifast's meal replacements, but you'll enjoy some flexibility for the one meal you should provide.
Will Medifast Help Meal Planning?
You'll mostly eat meal replacements. The good thing is that Medifast has a wide range of meal replacement products such as shakes, bars, cereals, and snacks. While on the 5 + 1 Plan, you won't be allowed to eat dairy products, fruit, and starches.
Thanks to meal replacements, your meal planning and preparation will be simplified. In addition, you won't need to go to the grocery store too often.
How Much Does It Cost?
Prices may vary, but you need to budget a minimum of $300 plus shipping for your 4-week meal replacements supply. Each seven-pack of meal replacement (including oatmeal bars, smoothies, and shakes among other foods) will cost you $16.95.
Is Medifast Effective?
The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan supplies you with only 800 to 1,000 calories per day. As this is a relatively severe calories restriction, you can expect to lose weight. However, this isn't a long-term approach, as you won't be able to stick to it for too long.
According to research, meal replacement diets are both safe and effective. Their results can last for a lifetime, provided that you are able to make permanent changes to your lifestyle.
The biggest issue of such low-calorie diets is to get enough nutrients to maintain your health and well-being. This is why the meal replacements are enriched with nutrients that help preventing deficiencies that may occur.
Medifast restricts you from eating certain food groups such as dairy, so you'll need to ensure you take your calcium and Vitamin D from supplements or from other food groups.
These low-calorie diets may trigger a lack of energy that prevents people from exercising. However, you need to be aware that exercising is key to keeping the weight off, so you need to find a way to do it. Finding the motivation to stick to your daily workout routine is going to be one of your biggest challenges.
What If I Have A Medical Condition?
Research shows that people with diabetes may actually benefit from meal replacement plans, as they help regulate the blood sugar levels. However, eating too little may trigger dangerously low blood sugar in people who take diabetes medicine. You should inform your doctor about your intention to try the Medifast plan, in order to closely monitor your blood sugar and to develop a plan to implement in case its level drops below the safe limit. Don't give up or change your diabetes medication, as that could trigger severe health issues and complications.
If you are committed to drastically change your weight and your health, Medifast can deliver the results you're after. Nonetheless, these extreme changes may make it very difficult to stick to the program until you accomplish your goals.
Furthermore, keeping weight off will require a smooth transition to the maintenance phase, which would also be different than your regular lifestyle. While limitations aren't that strict during the maintenance phase, you'll still need to learn how to live with diet and lifestyle restrictions that are mandatory for the long-term success of your endeavors.
If health, time, or ease of use are your main diet concerns, Medifast is definitely worth it!