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The Medifast program was launched 27 years ago as a meal replacement program. It was only available through physicians at the time, but now it is widely available and includes approximately 70 meal replacement options. The Medifast program is a very low calorie diet plan.

The primary Medifast weight loss program, “5 plus 1,” calls for five daily Medifast meal-replacement drinks or foods and 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. Special Medifast plans are available for vegetarians, teens, new moms, seniors, people who have recently had weight loss surgery, and gout sufferers.

The meal-replacement products and support are available online only through Medifast’s web site and through doctor’s offices across the United States. Some states in the US have Medifast clinics and they carry Medifast products. The program has lots of support services and educational materials that talk about exercise, nutritional information and other beneficial topics. It has online communities, personal trainers, registered dietitians to provide support to dieters.

Losing weight is essentially consuming fewer calories than what you expend. The Medifast plan cuts calories severely, but according to the company, helps dieters manage hunger. According to the Medifast literature, the meals and replacements are formulated for the highest fullness index based on fiber, protein and calories.

What is allowed in a Medifast Diet plan?

The dieters following the Medifast plan does not have to worry about lots of choices. The dieter is encouraged to choose five meal replacements products from their products such as portion-controlled shakes, puddings, eggs, oatmeal, chili, bars, or soups. In addition to these meal replacement products, they are asked to prepare one “lean and green” meal. Dieters are allowed 5-7 daily ounces of lean meat or fish. The meal options are broken down into “lean,” “leaner” and “leanest”. 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 carbohydrates — carrots, corn, peas, potatoes, onions, and Brussels sprouts – are excluded.

Alcohol, fruit, dairy, grains, sweets, and most fats are also prohibited. Dieters are encouraged to drink 64 daily ounces of non-calorie beverages, including water, coffee, tea, diet sodas, and other sugar-free drinks. Caffeine is allowed in limited quantity. Optional snacks include three celery stalks, sugar-free gelatin or popsicles, sugar-free gum, and two dill pickle spears.

Once the dieter reaches the weight loss goal, there is a 4-16 week “transition to maintenance” phase in which they are encourage to slowly add back high-carb vegetables, fruit, nonfat or low-fat dairy foods, whole grains, and additional lean meat. The length of the transition phase depends on how much weight was lost. This phase aims to help dieters adjust to eating more calories, controlling portions, and choosing and preparing healthy foods. Mild to moderate exercise is encouraged in this program.

In conclusion, the Medifast program is designed to get you to a quick start with serious weight loss, but it should be done only under the supervision of a qualified medical personnel. Before starting this diet, be prepared to eat a small amount of food. It may be drastic change, but will help you lose weight substantially. Remember, to do it under the supervision of a doctor.

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