Medifast is a popular weight-loss program which provides a meal delivery system to its customers. In this aspect, it is similar to the Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem weight-loss programs.
Successful weight loss doesn't happen overnight. Medifast allows you to lose weight quickly and safely by using the Medifast 5 and 1 Plan. On this plan, you eat 5 Medifast Meals throughout the day in addition to 1 Lean and Green meal. All Medifast Meals are nutritionally balanced, fortified meal replacements which keep you satisfied (there are even snacks between meals) so that you don't feel deprived or hungry.
Medifast Meals consist of low-fat, low-glycemic, low calorie, nutrient-dense meal replacements. These meals promote a mild fat-burning state by limiting your caloric intake but in just the right proportion. The result is that you burn fat but retain your lean muscle mass which is important to your overall well-being. Since you are allowed 5 Medifast Meals per day, you will be eating every 2-3 hours. This schedule allows for maximum weight-loss without the hunger and cravings many people experience on other weight-loss plans.
The Three Phase Program
Medifast consists of a three-phase program designed to help you successfully lose weight and keep it off.
- Phase One - Weight Loss. This phase includes the actual weight-loss regimen. You will eat 5 Medifast Meals plus one Lean and Green Meal every day (usually every 2-3 hours).
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and jump starts your metabolism. You should eat breakfast within one hour of waking. Your total daily caloric intake should be spread over six small meals each day. Be sure to drink plenty of water. This will keep you hydrated and help you feel "full" throughout the day.
- Phase Two - Transition. This phase begins when you have reached your goal weight. Over the course of six weeks, you will start to re-introduce foods which were not allowed in the actual weight-loss phase of the Medifast program. These include various vegetables, fruits, dairy products and grains. You will also slowly cut back on the Medifast Meals until you are eating only 3 Medifast Meals in addition to your other regular meals each day.
The following suggestions can help you maintain your weight-loss:
- Always read food labels. Check the serving sizes and the calories per serving to keep track of your daily intake. Try to choose products which have the fewest ingredients. Remember that the ingredients are listed in order of amount in the product (if the first item listed is water, then water is the largest ingredient).
- Limit your fat intake. Avoid foods that are fried or cream-based (soups, vegetables). When dining out, order dressings and sauces on the side.
- Eat your veggies. Ideally, vegetables should fill half your plate at mealtime.
- Phase Three - Maintenance. The 3 and 3 Plan focuses on helping you maintain your weight. In this phase, you will still eat six small meals per day - 3 regular meals and 3 "fuelings". The regular meals consist mostly of lean protein and vegetables. The fueling meals are small, low-calorie meals ( or Medifast Meals if you choose).
Medifast provides you with a Maintenance Guide which helps you determine your personal caloric needs based on your age, weight, height, gender, and level of daily activity.
What It Costs
The cost of Medifast Meals depends on the package you choose. A two-week package (in either regular or gluten-free format) which consists of 70 servings costs approximately $162.50. A four-week package (also available in regular or gluten-free) consisting of 143 servings costs around $315.00.
The Bottom Line
Medifast was founded in 1980. Since that time, Medifast has been used by over one million clients and has been recommended by more than 20,000 doctors to their patients who want to lose weight quickly and safely.Medifast utilizes three different distribution methods for its customers. These are:
- The Take Shape for Life personal coaching division. This offers a free health coach who guides and supports you while on the Medifast plan.
- The Internet and national call centers. These both offer a self-guided weight-loss program with easy and convenient online tools and support.
- Medically supervised Medifast Weight Control Centers. This offers personalized weight-loss counseling with a professional staff.