Medifast Diet Review

The Medifast
Diet Review

by George Pierce
George Pierce
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The Medifast Diet, also called the 5+1 Diet Plan, is a six meal a day strategy to lose weight.  Medifast claims that you should lose 2 - 5 pounds in your first two weeks and about 1 or 2 pounds per week after that.   You will do this by eating 5 Medifast meal replacements daily and one meal of your own daily.  

You will stay on the 5+1 plan until you reach your desired weight.  At that point, you will add calories on a gradual basis, over the following six weeks.  At that point you will be at a 3 + 3 plan, which means 3 Medifast meal replacements daily and 3 of your own.  

The Medifast Diet is ranked as the 13th Best Commercial US. News and World Report. 

What Can You Eat and Not Eat?

You have a choice of over 70 meal replacements made by Medifast.  The meal the you will be making each day will include 3 vegetable servings, up to 2 servings of healthy fats, and 5-7 ounces of lean protein.  

Condiments, dressings, sauces, and one daily snack are allowed.  Allowable snacks include a Popsicle, Jello, gum, mints, pickles, and 1/2 ounces of almonds, pistachios, or, walnuts.  

Medifast provides an approved list of foods.

Alcohol is not allowed.  

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Does Medifast Work?

According to the Nutrition Journal, a 2015 study of  310 Medifast participants that were over weight showed a weight loss of 24 pounds in 12 weeks and 35 pounds lost in 24 weeks. 

In a  2013 study published in the International Journal of Obesity, 120 participants were involved.  The study was for 26 weeks, half of the clients took Medifast, the other half did not.  The Medifast group lost an average of 16.5 pounds, the other half lost an average of 8 pounds.  

According to a 2015 study by Johns Hopkins Medicine, commercial weight loss programs, including Medifast, had little reliable evidence that they worked long term.  According to the study, users of commercial plans lost more weight vs. non users over 4 to 6 months.  Unfortunately, the study showed no benefits for these plans over 12 months.  

The Medifast Program is about an 800 to 1000 calorie per day diet.  This is a low amount of calories, so you should lose weight.   

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Is the Medifast Diet easy to follow?

Yes and no.  In my opinion, it is about medium level of difficulty to follow, but as the above studies show, only for a while.  At some point, most Medifast dieters will want to stray from the Medifast menu. 

According to a 2010 study in the Nutrition Journal,  about half of the dieter dropped out over 40 weeks.  In a 2015, only 81 out of 310 dieters made it as far as 24 weeks.  

Exercise:  Daily exercise is encourages, but no specifics are given.

Vegan or Vegetarian?  Vegetarian should work, just be careful of the high carbs.  Vegan may not.  Vegans should check with Medifast first.

Gluten Free?  This should be possible.  According to Medifast, 40 of its meals are gluten free.  

Support:  Medifast has a Take Shape For Life program that offers you free access to a personal coach.  In addition, you will find free access to nutrition guides, food journals, chat room and blog.  

Cost:  Initial cost should be around $329 for the first month and $429 for the following months.  You should find coupons on the Medifast website and also on Groupon.

Reviews:  Most Medifast users give good to great reviews,.  According to Consumer Reports, Medifast gets a 4+ star rating out of five from 250 reviews.  

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Medifast Diet Positives:

Lose weight
Most of your meals are provided
Balanced nutrition as long as you follow Medifast guidelines
Should help lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Should lower your risk of heart disease.
In person meeting are possible with over 100 Medifast Centers.
Prepackaged meals

Medifast Diet Negatives:

Restrictive food choices
Low calories may leave you lacking energy
Hard to stay with making long term weight  loss difficult
Cost may be a consideration (nearly $5000 per year)
Some food planning and prep is still involved.  


Medifast Diet Conclusion:

Medifast has many benefits and should help you to lose weight.  The problem with Medifast and most commercial diets is that it is restrictive.  With limited food choices, for most folks, it is just a question of time before your will yearn to stray for the diet.  Based on proven studies, it seems to lack the ability to last you through the long term.  I am giving the diet a thumbs up, but I do NOT recommend that you add it to your list of weight loss options.  

Thank you for reading, my friends.  I wish you success on your weight loss journey.

Kind regards,
George Pierce
Founder Win At Losing Weight

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