The Medifast Diet Plan
Medifast Diet Plan: What It Is
The Medifast program is a very low-calorie, no-brainer approach to weight loss. There's no counting calories, fat grams,
or carbs; you just eat or drink six times a day.
Launched 27 years ago as a meal replacement program available only through
doctors, the Medifast diet is now widely available and includes 70
meal-replacement options, including the popular shakes.
The primary Medifast weight loss program, "5 plus
1," calls for five daily Medifast meal-replacement drinks or foods (all
available only through the company) plus one "lean and green" meal,
consisting of lean meat or fish plus salad or green vegetables.
The high-protein, low-carb Medifast
plans allow dieters approximately 800-1,000 calories a day, designed to yield a
loss of 2 to 5 pounds per week while preserving muscle mass.
"Weight loss varies according to
stage of the program, how much you have to lose and physical activity," explains
Lisa Davis, PhD, Medifast vice president of research and development.
"Initial weight loss is usually much greater than amount lost in later
Special Medifast plans are available for vegetarians, teens, new moms, seniors,
people who have recently had weight
loss surgery, and gout sufferers.
Davis estimates the cost of the meal replacements at $80/week or $300/month,
not including the daily "lean and green" meal you prepare yourself. No
supplements are needed with the
Medifast diet, she says.
The meal-replacement products and support are available online through
Medifast's web site; in about 15,000 doctor's offices across the United States;
at Medifast clinics in Florida and Texas; and through the "Take Shape for
Life" network of health coaches (Take Shape for Life is a subsidiary of
An array of support services and educational material -- including exercise
guides, nutrition information, online
communities, personal trainers, and registered dietitians -- are available
online, in person, or over the telephone to help dieters following the
Medifast Diet Plan: What You Can Eat
The beauty of the Medifast program is the limited decision making. You
choose five daily meal replacements from an assortment of portion-controlled
shakes, puddings, eggs, oatmeal, chili, bars, or soups, plus prepare one
"lean and green meal." Soy or whey protein are the basis for the meal
replacements, which are designed to help dieters feel satisfied on the very
Dieters are allowed 5-7 daily ounces of lean meat or fish. The meal options
are broken down into "lean," "leaner" and "leanest." If
you choose leaner options, additional healthy fats are allowed. The lean meats
and fish may be grilled, baked, boiled, broiled, or poached.
Add three servings of raw, steamed, grilled, baked, or boiled vegetables to
the lean meat or fish to complete the meal. Vegetables are listed from lowest
to higher carbohydrate content, and the ones highest in carbs -- carrots, corn,
peas, potatoes, onions, and Brussels sprouts - are excluded.