Pros And Cons Of The Medifast Diet
While the Medifast diet offers many benefits, there are disadvantages with this popular weight loss plan. Learn the pros and cons of the Medifast weight loss program.
The Medifast weight loss program is designed for those with a substantial amount of weight to lose and clinical trials performed at Johns Hopkins suggests the Medifast diet is a safe and effective way to lose weight for those with diabetes. While the Medifast diet offers many benefits, there are disadvantages with this popular weight loss program as well.
How Medifast Works
The Medifast diet is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate, and low-calorie meal replacement plan. Medifast dieters following the 5&1 Plan use five meal replacement products and eat one “lean green” meal per day. The lean green meal consists of a lean meat and three servings of vegetables. Those who do not eat meat can choose from meatless options such as eggs or veggie burgers.
Dieters consume between 800 to 1,000 calories per day. Since calories are restricted, the creators of Medifast recommend limiting physical activity during the weight loss phase of the program.
Medifast Diet Plan Benefits
Since the Medifast diet is a very low-calorie diet, rapid weight loss can occur, ranging from two to five pounds per week. Quick weight loss is often motivation for dieters to stick with a diet plan. Other benefits include:
- The Medifast weight loss program provides the structure some dieters need to successfully lose weight.
- Food choices are limited so dieters do not have to put a lot of thought or time into meal planning and preparation.
- On the Medifast plan, dieters eat every two to three hours, which may help keep blood sugar levels balanced. Dieters are also encouraged to drink eight glasses of water per day, which is an important part of weight loss and overall health.
- Medifast dieters are offered online support or in-person support at a Medifast clinic throughout the diet.
- The maintenance phase of the Medifast diet involves slowly adding back “normal” foods, which includes healthy choices such as whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
Disadvantages Of The Medifast Weight Loss Program
While there are some benefits to the Medifast diet, there are also potential drawbacks.
- The Medifast diet is expensive: a four-week package costs $299.50 and does not include the cost of ingredients needed for the daily lean green meal. The cost can be prohibitive for those who also have others to feed.
- Dieters can choose from meal replacement shakes, bars, oatmeal, soups or puddings as meal choices; however, with so few food choices, the diet can become monotonous.
- Since the Medifast diet plan is so low calorie and also low carb, dieters may experience fatigue, irritability, and dizziness during the weight loss phase of the program. Dieters may also need a vitamin supplement as it is difficult to obtain all the nutrients the body needs on this type of weight loss program.
- The Medifast diet is not exactly a family-friendly diet plan, especially for those who have children, since dieters will still need to plan and prepare meals for family members.
For those with a large amount of weight to lose, the Medifast diet may be a good program with which to lose weight; however, anyone considering the Medifast weight loss program should consult with a physician or nutritionist before and during the diet to ensure adequate nutrient intake and a safe rate of weight loss.