"Medifast is the leading easy-to-use, clinically proven portion-controlled weight loss program. Medifast has been recommended by 15,000 physicians and used by over one million customers. It is committed to enriching lives by providing innovative choices for lasting health, according the Medifast website.
"Medifast programs have been proven effective through studies by major university teaching hospitals. The company sells its products and programs via four unique distribution channels: 1) the web and national call centers, 2) national network of physicians, 3) medically supervised Medifast Weight Control Centers, and 4) the Take Shape For Life direct-selling division, a network of health coaches. Medifast was founded in 1980 and is located in Owings Mills, Maryland. " provided by NYSE: MED
Medifast offers a meal replacement program called the 5 & 1 Plan that consist of eating low fat and low calorie meals that they provide for you. This is designed to relieve the stress of trying to calculate the amount of calories and the portion sizes that you are allowed to eat. It removes all the guess work which makes it easier to follow the program. It also creates better control over the food you are ingesting
5 & 1 Plan
With the 5 & 1 Plan, you eat 6 times a day - 5 Medifast Meals and 1 Lean & Green Meal. You are instructed to eat one meal every 2-3 hours. This keeps you from getting hungry, keeps the metabolic rate working at an increased speed while putting the body into a mild state of ketosis.
Medifast Meals include a wide variety of choices, that range from puddings and shakes to chili and soups. Each serving counts as one meal, and you can customize your meal plan to include any combination from the list that they furnish you with.
The Lean & Green meal includes a serving of lean meat, or protein, plus salad and/or vegetables that you will provide for your self. The Lean & Green meal can be eaten at any time throughout the day. You do not have to restrict it to dinner time. If you find yourself the type that doesn't like a large meal in the evening then you can have you meat and greens for breakfast, or at mid-day, or whenever you choose.
Medifast claims it is one of the few weight loss programs that has been clinically tested, and in the case studies conducted by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, the results are appear to be very positive. The people in the case studies have lost anywhere from 50 and upward to 200 pounds, with an average of 67 pounds for men and an average of 57 pounds for women. They lose an overage of seven pounds a week.
This weight loss program is not for people that just need to lose 10 to 30 pounds, although they do have a 2-week plan where you could lose about 7 to 10 pounds without exercising and more if you include an exercise regimen.
This weight loss program is really geared more towards the seriously over weight of 50 pounds or more. To begin the diet you must be committed to making a life style change, not only for the 6 months that it takes to lose 150 pounds, but you must remain committed for the rest of your life. To keep the weight off, once you lose it, will mean committing to a 1500 calorie diet and a regular exercise program for the rest of your life. The good news is that you will be healthier, live longer and have more energy than you ever experience before.
Because of the massive amount of weight that needs to be reduced, the lack of exercise, and the caloric restrictions with which to do it, there will be some muscle weight loss, instead of fat loss at the start of the program. Muscle weight loss is what will occur when the body thinks it is starving. It will store the fat to use for energy at a later time and feed off of the muscle instead. This could be detrimental to someone that just has a few pounds to shed.
The diet is restricted to between 900 to 1050 calories a day, in the first phase, and does not introduce an exercise program until the 3rd phase, when you begin eating 1000 to 1150 calories per day. They suggest starting exercise slowly by taking daily walks and gradually and by gradually increasing physical activity by adding swimming, dancing or going to a gym. Again this is gearing towards someone that is not use to exercising at all and is seriously over weight.
It is now a well known fact that obesity can lead to diabetes and part of this problem is due to the amounts of sugar, white flour products and over processed foods that over weight people tend to consume. Medifast weight loss program addresses the diabetic issue and has "outperformed the American Diabetes Association Diet by twice the weight loss", according to the published study listed in 'The Diabetes Educator'.
In my opinion, this is an extreme diet for extreme situations. If you are one that is grossly overweight and are considering having gastric bypass surgery, I would definitely get on this diet first. Surgery should only be considered as the last alternative and the Medifast Weight Loss program could be the life saver you have been looking for.
If you only need to lose between 10 to 30 pounds I would not recommend this diet unless you only stay on it for 2 weeks. You would also need to include exercise to speed up the fat weight loss and to prevent the muscle weight loss. I would recommend then switching to something like the "Fat Belly Diet" of "Fat Loss for Idiots". Both of these diets are geared more towards teaching healthier eating habits as a life style, in order to lose a few pounds and maintain it through eating healthier foods.
Something that I do not like at all about the Medifast weight loss program is that diet soda; and sugar free soda and foods are encouraged, rather than weaning the dieters off of soda and sweeteners completely. Soda of any kind should be completely eliminated from ones diet, not encourage, and artificial sweeteners are more harmful to the body than the sugar is.
After years of saccharin and aspartame use, these chemical products were discovered to cause cancer, among having other harmful side effects. With the health failings of Sweet 'N Low®, Nutra-Sweet® and Equal® in the past, we now have Splenda® as the sugar substitute in fashion.
Splenda® is not a "natural" or "organic" substance. It was originally created in the laboratory as a pesticide and insecticide. We do not know yet how harmful Spenda® actually is, as it has never been clinically tested on humans. The manufacturer's own short-term studies showed that sucralose (chemical name for Splenda®) caused shrunken thymus glands and enlarged livers and kidneys in rodents. The humans that are now consuming this product are the human guinea pigs that will tell us in 20 years how damaging the product truly is. I, for one, would rather not have my family used as test subjects. People need to be aware that artificial sweeteners are chemicals, and not food!
I also don't like the use of the instant oatmeal that is included in the Medifast diet plan. Instant oatmeal is just another quick fix breakfast that is also full of chemicals and sugar. The healthy alternative would be using honest to goodness, steel cut oatmeal that is very nutritious, and would serve well to keeping the feeling of fullness in a body for a longer period of time.
I do understand that when there is a huge amount of body fat to eliminate, that it is pretty much doing whatever it takes to get control of the weight. On the other hand, I question whether these packaged items should be marketed as healthy choices. Good nutrition needs to take more into account than calories and fat content - especially when it comes to how many artificial sweeteners we're eating and what we're mixing them with. I feel that teaching how to make better food choices while correcting eating habits should also be part of the program, as some people have never been taught what a healthy diet actually is.
As with any weight loss program, you must consult with your physician before using Medifast products, and I highly recommend that this is done before making a decision on the weight loss course to follow.