Medifast, a complete guide!
Did you know that being overweight could have serious repercussions on the health and quality of your life? It can even lead to premature death in some cases. You need to come to terms with your health condition and set your mind to finding a perfect weight loss plan for your self and to get your health back.
Medifast diet is one of the most popular diets you will come across in the recent times. It is a low fat, portion controlled diet program, which has helped many people to lose weight quickly and more effectively than other diet plans.
This diet was first developed in the 1980’s at the Johns Hopkins University in New York. It was created to help patients shed weight before having their surgeries. This diet gained popularity because of its effectiveness in helping patients to lose weight. Today, Medifast diet is one of the most sought after and clinically proven diet programs in the United States.
Aim of Medifast Diet:
The aim of the Medifast diet is fast and effective weight loss and diabetes control. The diet claims that you can lose up to two to five pounds a week and one to two pounds a week thereafter, without staying hungry.
About the Diet:
The diet was designed around the concept of eating six meals a day. This diet uses a low fat and nutritionally balanced meal replacement to help in faster and effective weight loss. The low calorie diet causes the fat stores to release the free fatty acids that are converted by the liver into energy sources called ketones. This puts the body into a mild state of ketosis, which helps to achieve rapid weight loss, without losing the muscle tissue. The Medifast diet claims that it takes up to 3 days to achieve this level of ketosis. The combination of meal replacement and real foods make the diet program extremely effective. Another component of Medifast diet is eating in two to three hour intervals throughout the day, to prevent hunger and fatigue.
How does the Medifast Diet Work?
This diet is based on the use of a structured meal plan featuring Medifast meals. These meals are nutritionally designed with a combination of carbohydrates and protein. This combination will allow you to lose weight with minimal muscle loss.
The Medifast diet uses 5&1 diet plan, which is the standard plan for weight loss. The plan is medically designed to create a calorie deficit, allowing the body to burn fat for energy. It provides six meals a day, out of which five of them contain a 100-calorie Medifast product like a bar, oatmeal, soup, cheese puff and a shake. The sixth meal is a lean and green entrée that you have to prepare yourself. You can have the sixth meal at any time in the day.
Once you have attained your desired weight, you will have to slowly wean yourself off Medifast food and gradually reacquaint yourself with starchy vegetables, low fat dairy products, fruits and whole grains. The Medifast diet encourages following a 3 & 3 diet plan post 5&5 plan to keep off weight.
Medifast meals come in packets that you can mix with water and microwave. The meals are available in a variety of flavors, including shakes, soups, oatmeal, chili, fruit drinks, iced tea, hot beverages, puddings and scrambled eggs. These healthy and easy to prepare meals offer a healthy fast food alternative. Medifast also has specific diet plans for the diabetics, elderly people, seniors, teens, nursing mothers, vegetarians and people suffering from gout and celiac disease.
A study conducted on The Medifast diet reported a significant reduction in the waist size and abdominal fat. Medifast dieters had lost an average of 4 inches in their waist size.
Medifast diet also provides cardiovascular benefits. A study described in the “Nutrition Journal” reported a decline in the blood pressure, blood vessels of C reactive protein and pulse rate in people who followed the Medifast diet for one month. The dieters also noticed a reduction in their cholesterol levels. Another study found that people following the Medifast diet had a significantly higher high-density lipoprotein and lower systolic blood pressure after about 86 weeks of following this diet.
The diet has reportedly been beneficial in controlling diabetes. Obesity is the biggest cause of diabetes. The Medifast diet helps to lose weight and keeps it off. As mentioned earlier the Medifast diet also offers specific diet plans for the diabetics.
Medifast diet offers some preparation tips and limited condiment options to prepare your lean and green meal. If required, you can also purchase Medifast cookbook for lean and green meal recipes and dieters approved suggestions.
Since Medifast diet also offers prepackaged meals, all you need to do is choose a plan and order it. Food preparation this way is fast and easy. You just have to add water and cook your meal in the microwave. The diet is also suitable for unskilled cooks.
The Medifast meals are high in protein and fat content, keeping you full for a longer time. Researchers have reported no significant difference in satiety between Medifast and other weight loss diet plans.
Cost of the Diet:
A four week 5&1 adult package costs about $315. The two-week package costs $162.50.
The snack choice should include celery, gums, mints, and half a ounce of almonds, pistachio and walnuts. You can eat snacks only once a day.
The plan does not provide any specific workout regimen, but usually in every diet daily exercise is recommended.
Convenience for Vegans and Vegetarians:
The 5&1 meal plan avoids high carbohydrate legumes, peas, beans and lentils until you reach your goal weight. This plan is quite tricky for the vegans as most of the meal replacements are made with dairy products and eggs.
Medifast program provides free access to a personal health care expert. You can also have online access to nutrition guides, a weight loss blog and chat rooms.
- The diet is clinically tested and proven effective. No other diet has been so exhaustively researched and studied as Medifast diet. It is backed by clinical studies that prove its effectiveness in helping people to lose weight.
- The idea of using a well-formulated plan of nutritional based meal replacement and healthy green meals is quite revolutionary. The diet helps to develop healthy eating habits only within a few weeks.
- It’s nutrient dense and low calorie meals make the diet extremely effective. When you achieve the ketosis state, you will feel less hungry while achieving sufficient levels of energy.
- The program is quite easy to follow. Since the majority of the meals are ready made for consumption. There are more than 70 meals for you to choose from. The meal replacement plans are packed with vitamins and nutrients along with an exact count of protein and carbohydrates.
- Another benefit of this diet is that you get to eat every couple of hours, without keeping a track of anything. You don’t have to count your carbohydrate and calorie intake.
- The meals are delivered to the dieters. This means that you do not have to make trips to the health stores to buy each meal.
- The diet plan is backed by a supportive online community, which can help you assist with your queries. The supportive group of people keeps you motivated to stay in shape and lose weight safely. After all it’s always better to have company when you embark on anew journey.
- The biggest drawback of Medifast diet is its cost. The plan is very expensive and you need to spend up to 1500 dollars to lose about 100 pounds. Leans and green meal will cost you another 100 to 150 $. In total, you need to spend at least 500$ a month on this diet plan.
- The limited menu and small portions, as recommended in this diet, might not please everyone.
- The 800 to 1000 daily calorie limit is very less. Physically active people may need to cut down on the exercise because of the decreased calorie intake.
- Hunger and fatigue are common till you reach a state of ketosis.
- The taste of the product is another drawback. Some items like crackers, tomato soup and chocolate pudding taste great, but you can have a hard time swallowing the shakes and minestrone soup. However, the dieters can add certain spices and condiments to improve the taste.
- Medifast diet is suitable only for people who want to lose excess weight and have failed with other diet plans.
- Online ordering is strictly limited to the US. People living outside US will need to find out the local distributor within their country.
Some common side effects of this diet include dizziness or fatigue, leg cramps, loose skin, headache, hair loss, gas, rashes, diarrhea, bad breath, constipation and menstrual changes.
People who should not follow the Medifast diet include:
- Pregnant women
- Type 1 diabetics
- People with cardiovascular problems and those who have recently suffered heart attack or stroke
- People with severe kidney and liver diseases
This might not be an easy diet to start with, but if you are almost giving up on shedding those extra pounds, then summon all your will power and climb the last hill. Hopefully this diet will help you and you might achieve your weight loss goal. We are always on a lookout to know better habits and diets. Do share your secret diets and recipes. We would love to hear from you.