Medifast has been in existence since 1980 and is currently recommended by over 20,000 doctors, according to the program’s website. The diet, developed by William Vitale, a medical doctor himself, is high in protein and nutrients and low in fat, carbs, and calories.
Medifast subscribers can choose from among a number of personalized plans, including those designed specifically for men, women, teens, seniors (70+ years of age), vegetarians, and people suffering from diabetes, gout, celiac disease, or gluten sensitivity.
Participants in the basic 5 & 1 Plan eat six meals a day, five of which they purchase from Medifast, either online, at a Medifast Center, or through a registered Medifast medical doctor. These Medifast-provided meals (over 70 of them to choose from) include eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, soups, chili, stew, hot drinks, fruit drinks, iced teas, bars, puddings, shakes, and “soft serve.”
The sixth, the “lean and green” meal, consists of 5-7 ounces of meat or fish and 3 servings of vegetables, which the participant prepares himself (after removing the word “fried” from his vocabulary—only broiling, baking, grilling, or poaching is allowed).
Under the plan, the dieter is encouraged to eat every two to three hours. This not only prevents hunger pangs (which we all know can lead to a diet-busting binge), but also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and preserve muscle mass.
Moderate exercise and ample (64 ounces) daily water consumption are also recommended although participants are advised to wait a couple of weeks after starting the program to begin exercising and to decrease the intensity of any exercise program in which they are already engaged to give their bodies time to adjust to the reduced caloric intake.
Medifast is Easy and Fast
The biggest advantage that Medifast offers can be summed up in a single word: Easy. All a dieter has to do is consume the six meals a day prescribed by the plan. There’s no need to count calories, carbohydrates, or fat grams. The only number a program member might want to watch is the number on the scale—as it goes down.
The member can even have the Medifast-provided meals delivered to his or her doorstep. Many of these are designed to be eaten “on the go,” while the others require only the addition of a little water.
Support is readily available, too. Medifast plan members have free access to online assistance from Medifast Health Coaches, dieticians, and personal trainers at MyMedifast.com, which also provides a venue for members to exchange information and tips and provide support to each other as they face the weight-loss challenge together. Members can use the online journal feature and other tools to record each day’s meal and exercise plans and to track their progress.
You Lose 2-5 Pounds a Week
According to Medifast, participants who follow the plan religiously can expect to lose from two to five pounds a week. This is not an unreasonable expectation, given that plan participants will be consuming only 800 to 1,000 calories a day.
As any seasoned dieter knows, if caloric intake is less than caloric expenditure, the pounds will come off.
The Transition and Maintenance Plan Help You Keep the Weight Off
As with any diet, however, participants will have to be prepared to change their eating habits forever in order to keep the weight off. To aid in this, the Medifast program includes a transition phase during which the dieter gradually increases his or her daily caloric intake to 1,500 calories, the level that Medifast recommends for maintenance.
Easy. Fast weight loss. All good. But are there any downsides?
It depends on the individual. For some, one might be the cost of the plan. At approximately $330 a month, it may prove to be too expensive for some pocketbooks.
Other dieters may find the variety of foods allowed under the Medifast program too restrictive. Alcohol and sugary treats are prohibited, as might be expected, but so are fruits, dairy products, whole grains, and some of the higher-carbohydrate vegetables, such as potatoes, peas, and corn.
Some of the Medifast-provided meals have been described as tasteless, but plan members have indicated that this is easily remedied by using herbs and condiments allowed under the plan to season the foods according to individual tastes.
How to Save on Medifast – Coupons and Discounts
Medifast makes available coupons that reduce the cost of the program by almost one fifth. So, if you purchase a 4-week worth of Medifast food and use the provided Medifast coupon code for that month, i.e Medifast coupon code for March, you will save $50.
To summarize the pros and the cons, Medifast is a regimented diet program that will help you shed pounds quickly and safely. The Medifast-provided meals are fortified with minerals and vitamins, and they are delivered to your do or and require little-to-no preparation, which make them ideal for even the busiest lifestyles.
You won’t have to count calories or fat grams or carbs, but you will have to commit yourself to following the plan–which means avoiding the prohibited foods–or the monthly cash outflow required will be for naught. And while you’re at it, you should commit to a permanent change in your eating habits if you don’t want to watch the number on your bathroom scale creep back up.
The cost of the program can be viewed as a “con,” but this should be weighed (pun intended) against the costs—both monetary and physical—of some of the diseases and illnesses associated with being overweight. In comparison, Medifast may not be so expensive after all.
This article was offered by WeightLossTriumph, a source of coupons and reviews for diet programs, including a Bistro MD coupon code for 2011.