How Does the Medifast Program Work?
Medifast was established in 1980 by Dr. William Vitale, and is essentially a meal replacement and meal delivery service for helping people lose weight. The Medifast plan menu consists of protein shakes, soups, and bars. There are over 70 meals you can choose from, and the program prides itself on its customers never having to go to the grocery store. Although the prepackaged meals can be a real convenience, they can also make social outings difficult when wanting to eat out with others. Another problem lies in the fact that the meals may not taste to your liking, causing waste and hunger.* The diet cuts out a majority of carbs, and they limit your caloric intake substantially, which can also be a major adjustment for those trying to get into the swing of losing unwanted weight.* They offer a variety of products such as bars, shakes, and even medifast pancakes.
Medifast’s most popular diet program is called the 4,2,1, and it covers four Medifast meals, two lean and green meals and one healthy snack.* The Medifast team says that when doing this particular program, you can lose a small amount of weight per week during the first two weeks. While on this particular program, you are only allowed to consume 800-1000 calories a day, which has some critics unsure about the drastic cut of calories and how it will benefit your health. The overall idea of the program is very smart, however the food has been noted to taste terrible to some people, which would be a bad investment in the long run. All of the meals are shipped to your front door, and you are expected to cover the shipping costs.
Sample Meal Plan:
- Breakfast: Medifast Oatmeal
- Mid Morning Snack: Medifast Hot Drink
- Lunch: 7 oz. grilled shrimp, 2 cups of salad greens, ½ cup of broccoli and shredded cabbage, and 2Tbsp. of low carb dressing.
- Mid Afternoon Snack: Medifast Fruit Drink
- Dinner: 6 oz. grilled chicken breast, 2 cups of fresh baby spinach, ½ cup of mushrooms and tomatoes.
- Evening: Medifast pudding made with 1 cup of skim milk.
- Convenient healthy meals delivered to your home.
- There are a good variety of shakes, bars, and soups from which to choose.
- The overall plan is simple to follow.
- The taste of the meals has been said to taste poorly.
- Expensive meals for one person ($300.00 a month!).
- Does not promote long-term health and weight loss.*
- There is only a 30-day money back guarantee, which only gives your body a chance to sample for a couple of weeks.
Do Dieters Lose Weight With Medifast?
There has been mixed reviews on whether or not this program helps people lose weight for the long term. Because the caloric restrictions can go as low as 800 calories per day, it would be hard not to lose weight, no matter what program you’re using. A lot rides on your liking to the foods that are prepared for you, and whether or not you enjoy the taste. The cost is also a huge factor in people's weight loss success and or failure, as it is not a cheap program overall to follow long term. We found some outside reviews which were very helpful to read:
Amy* said, “I tried Medifast after hearing ads on the radio. The counselors were nice enough. I carefully followed the program to the letter and had very little success after the first week (about 3 pounds). The packaged food is almost inedible. Seriously, some of the most disgusting food I'd ever put in my mouth! She went onto say that after a summer of struggling through the program for hundreds of dollars and only a few pounds lost she quit. It was a miserable experience for her overall, and she felt like it was too expensive for how bad the food tasted. She would not recommend to anyone looking to start this diet.
Robert* said, “I did lose about 2-3 pounds a week, however did gain some of it back recently, didn't focus on long term care. Lose weight but got sick, constipation. Horrible, could only eat a few of the different items, bars, shakes. Honey pretzel sticks were the only thing I wanted to eat the rest was a chore to eat. Coaches were helpful. She explained how the program worked and what would happen… she kept me accountable and that was very helpful.” He went onto say that the changes that they made were much needed but it was very expensive for his budget.
Is Medifast Easy To Follow?
The program overall has a lot of moving parts in which some people have a hard time following it. Others however see the pre-made meals and snacks as quite the convenience if they like the taste of them, that is! The food is pre-packaged so the overall quality of the food is in question as many of the items contain soy which is not known to be great for you, as well as other preservatives that do not help with your waistline. There were side effects of feeling massive hunger as the portions seemed off for some people, as well as sudden weight loss too fast which can also cause health complications. Blood sugar, and body composition can be very sensitive, so easing your body into a new diet routine with healthy food and plenty of water is key with anything.
Pre-made meals may not be for everyone, but this program does promote healthy eating and does not over promise large unrealistic numbers with your weight loss goals. It is convenient, but it does come with a price tag and is still processed, not clean eating type of food program that would not only guarantee weight loss but would also improve your overall health. The popular but to some offensive phrase that we keep hearing – “you are what you eat“, means exactly that: what you eat is how you look. If you choose to eat healthy, clean, unprocessed food at least 70% of the time, your body will reward you to feel clean from the inside and healthy from inside out.
Have you ever noticed how eating fresh, non-packaged foods even for a short while improves your energy levels, gives a natural glow to your skin, and even makes you feel lighter? That's because your system can focus on healing itself rather than fighting all the toxicity introduced with food.
One month of meals for a first time customer can run anywhere from $300.00 to $400.00 a month, and it goes up from there. It is a steep price to pay for meals when you are unfamiliar with the taste at the beginning. This factor alone makes this program unaffordable for a large portion of the general population. This program is not for everyone, but there are a mixed number of both negative and positive reviews based on taste and convenience to note.*
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*Individual results will vary.
Information on this website is not to replace the advise of the doctor, but rather for general education purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be considered as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any diet or taking any dietary supplements.
Articles, reviews and investigations are our own opinion, and written based on the information publicly available or simply contacting the companies. We try our best to stay up to date with constantly changing information. If you find any information inaccurate, please email us, we’ll verify for accuracy and update it.