Medifast Diet Review
What is it?
The Medifast Diet is a diet plan for people looking to lose weight by eating 6 small meals a day, some of which come from meal replacements. This plan claims to offer a loss of 2 to 5 pounds of weight loss in the first 2 weeks.
It’s also suggested that you’ll be able to lose between 1 and 2 pounds per week, following each week once the initial stage is done. There’s many stages introduced by this plan, which are meant to help with long-term weight loss. There’s also other unique offerings the company provides.:
- Meal replacements made by the company: You can eat their bars, breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals, shakes, and other snacks. There are currently over 70 different meal replacements offered. The company claims that this variety is what sets it apart, making it a solution that will keep you from feeling dieting fatigue.
Included are foods like pancakes cheese puffs, chocolate pastries, chicken flavored noodle soup, and many others. These choices are not often allowed by other diets.
- Different kits: There are 2-week kits, a pre selected 30-day kit, and a kit where you select your favorites. A 2-week kit sells for $149, 30 days are either $299 or $399 depending on what you choose. For the pre selected kit the brand is said to start at $10 a day.
- Specific nutritional guidelines: There’s low glycemic foods offered, as well as similar nutritional yields for each of the foods offered. This is meant to help provide a stable nutritional profile. It doesn’t specify what the official macro and micronutrient breakdown is however.
The foods offered are available directly through the manufacturers website. This offers the convenience of a quick meal, though it’s also important to make sure that it’s actually made up of wholesome ingredients, and that it’s capable of producing weight loss.
Foods Allowed by the Diet
Other than the Medifast meal replacement offerings, you can also eat one snack and 2 “lean and green meals”:
Lean and Green Meals: You get 2 options for whatever times you’d like, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner. This includes 5 to 7 ounces of lean protein, 3 servings of vegetables, and 2 servings maximum of healthy fats.
Of this you can eat foods like: Eggs, fish, turkey, fish, and lamb. The company provides a list of what foods are considered lean, leaner, and leanest. They also offer a vegetarian sample menu that consists of egg whites, veggie burgers, and meat free patties. Though this is it, making options for vegetarians and vegans incredibly restricting.
Green Options: Another list is provided showing that foods are lower in carbohydrates, and what’s acceptable in terms of vegetables. This includes mixed leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, and several other common vegetables.
It’s advised to get around 85 grams of carbohydrates a day. Though you are allowed to adjust if you aren’t seeing the enough weight loss results.
Condiments list: Several options are offered from dry to fresh herbs. This includes ginger, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and several others.
Other condiments include milk based such as cheese, sour cream, and coconut cream.
There’s even options for alternative sweeteners such as stevia and truvia. This entire list has the advised specific portion amounts, so using measuring spoons and food scales would be required.
Since this diet plan is strict on reducing calories, it’s highly advised to keep a food log to make sure you’re getting the right amounts each day.
How Does the Diet Work?
The meal plan is meant to consist of only healthy, low-calorie, and low-glycemic options.
For the snacks and 2 meals a day you are allowed to eat food that isn’t a meal replacement, but you have to make sure to eat in specific amounts. There are also unique dietary levels offering either extremely lean options, or slightly lean opportunities.
So this diet plan is meant to provide a quick way to eat foods through having most of the foods come from the company’s own meal replacements. An emphasis is also placed on making sure to seek online support if needed.
It’s very specific on what you can and can’t have. It’s also limited to just 800 to 1,000 calories a day. According to Web MD:
“You will lose weight due to the severe calorie restriction, but it’s an approach that will be tough to stick with”
Since most dairy is cut out and because of its restrictions on certain other food groups, Web MD mentions:
“you’ll have to take steps to make sure you get plenty of calcium and vitamin D from other sources”
The Medifast Diet fails to mention the possible nutritional inadequacies as well as the extreme caloric restriction. Limiting calories will result in weight loss, but when done in this amount it can be extremely difficult to sustain in the long term.
The company mentions that:
Medifast was formulated to be available to you without a doctor’s prescription… is safe and effective do to on your own whether you want to lose 15 or 120 or more pounds”
Though no supporting evidence is ever provide to back up these claims. Without being able to look at any proof, it’s unknown if their weight loss claims are safe for either short or long term use.
- Many meal replacements are offered from the company. This includes meals and snacks of all kinds.
- You know exactly what kinds of foods and how much portions of each you’re allowed.
- For some, eating 6 meals a day would be more satisfying than bigger meals.
- There’s optional online support offered by the company.
- The program features foods that are low on the glycemic index, as well as foods that contain only limited amounts of calories.
- For some, eating mostly meal replacements can be boring, even if there are over 70 different food choices.
- Some of the meal replacements contain unwanted ingredients such as stabilizers, artificial sweeteners, thickeners, artificial ingredients, artificial flavors, and other ingredients.
- It can be expensive having to keep paying for meal replacements. The full meal option that allows for selecting meal replacements can cost nearly $5,000 a year.
- Many negative reviews are available on the consumer affairs website. Customers have complaint about side effects, lack of weight loss benefits, and the bad customer service.
- The severe caloric restriction can be hard to maintain for some. There’s a maximum of 1,000 calories which the company doesn’t explain how this is a healthy solution to weight loss.
Better Alternatives to the Diet
It’s definitely possible to lose weight when you’re getting a daily maximum of 1,000 calories a day. The problem with this plan is that this is a severe limit.
Web MD makes sure to add that:
“this is an extreme diet, so don’t try it without talking to your doctor first”
The company doesn’t mention this fact at all. It’s important to keep this in mind. This form of dieting is extremely low on calories. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies if one is not careful.
Authority Nutrition.com mentions that:
“average woman needs… about 2000 calories per day to main weight 15000 per day to lose one pound of weight per week:
As far as men:
“2500 calories per day to main weight, and 2000 calories to lose one pound per week”
So if you were to just eat 1,000 calories, you’d be getting a severe restriction. This can lead to one forgetting their diet and falling back on old habits. This is why the same site mentions that:
“majority of people end up hungry and eventually give up on their diet”
The company mentions that when using Medifast, you’ll be able to sustain the diet. Here are some customer reviews featured on consumer affairs:
“choose to stop the program because I was feeling so weird”
“seems that neatly all reviews are negative”
“I became weak and continually nauseated for more than two weeks”
Many people felt than the diet did much more harm than good. Even to those who lost weight, for these people sustaining the Medifast diet plan was too much to handle. It caused severe side effects in people including hair loss, constipation, fatigue, sickness, and overall bad feelings. This is common in nutritional deficiencies.
Medifast does claim that their foods contain enough vitamins and minerals to overcome any negative feelings. They fail to provide any sort of proof to back up these claims however. It’s unknown if any studies have gone into making sure that the meals offered are effective and safe with routine use.
This brand does offer support from their staff, and they also provide lists for choosing your foods. There are lengthy descriptions of what foods are allowed and in what specific portion sizes.
There’s also a major focus on providing many meal replacement options as to avoid feeling diet fatigue. This includes foods that you won’t often see in diets including desserts, pancakes, and many kinds of bars and snacks.
However, this diet has been labeled as extreme by sites like Web MD, as well as users of this diet. Many real customers felt that sustaining this diet plan is nearly impossible. Even though the website claims you won’t feel hungry since they offer 6 meals a day, many didn’t share this experience.
The severe limit on calories and lack of proof as to this diets safety come into question. There are far better solutions that don’t require such a strict limitation on what you’re able to eat.