The Medifast Diet Plan is designed with a simple aim: to satisfy the desire for quick weight loss whilst establishing a pattern of everyday healthy living. The mathematics of weight loss is straight-forward; eat less energy than you burn and you will lose weight and as such the Medifast Diet Plan is simply a calorie controlled diet. But it also has the aim to promote exercise and portion awareness that will allow an individual to sustain their healthy weight.
Despite the fact that it is a low calorie diet there is no counting calories! Each Medifast meal is carefully produced to provide the calories you need so all the counting is done for you. Regular small meals reduce the risk of hunger and lower the likelihood of binge eating. Each meal replacement is easy to prepare which means that less time is spent in the kitchen so the temptation to snack whilst cooking is minimal.
The Medifast diet includes programs that have been tailored to individuals' particular health or dietary requirements. Customized meals are available for diabetics or those at risk of osteoporosis; there are meals programs designed for men or women, kosher meals and vegetarian options. The meals are designed to be nutritionally complete, so no vitamin or other supplements are required and they are sensitive to digestive problems.
The Medifast team has tried to show consideration to the psychologically aspects of dieting and offer advice for situations that may inhibit progress in weight loss. For example the influence of boredom, stress, peer pressure and loneliness; how friends and family may sabotage your weight loss plan, how to cope with special occasions and celebrations and when is best to start the diet plan.
The Medifast diet is broken into three stages aimed to help you achieve and then maintain your weight loss goals. The stages are '5 and 1', transition and maintenance; although the diabetic and senior programs vary slightly from this.
The Medifast 5 in 1 program is the real low calorie part of the Medifast diet. During this stage you will be consuming between 800-1000 calories a day in the form of five pre-prepared Medifast meals and one high protein low fat traditional meal known as the “Lean and Green” meal. There are over 50 Medifast meals and snacks to choose from and they range from different flavor shakes, bars, soups, oatmeal, chilli, eggs, puddings, crackers and more. Each pre-prepared Medifast meal contain around 100 calories giving you 500 calories, therefore the remainder of your daily calories will come from the 'Lean and Green' meal.
The Lean and Green meal consists of a high protein low fat food, such as chicken, fish or tofu, and salad or vegetables. Half of your plate should be protein the other half should be greens. Classic examples of lean and green meals are chicken salad, salmon and broccoli or stir fry tofu and cabbage.
During this stage you will gradually decrease the amount of Medifast meals you eat and increase the amount of regular food. There is also a slow increase in calories up to 1,500 per day. All this happens over a period of 16-27 days depending on how much weight you have lost.
The maintenance stage is critical for keeping the fat off. In this two to three month period you should eat meals of no more than 1,500 calories. This stage allows your body adjust fully to its new slimmer form.
Medifast describe their meals as 'nutritionally complete', containing adequate protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. There is just enough fat in the plan to allow your body to function healthily and perform tasks such as dissolving essential fat soluble vitamins. Most of the Medifast meals are soy based providing a healthy protein source that is said to reduce the risk of heart disease. There are also whey protein based meals recommended for those suffering from osteoporosis and for those who are allergic to soy.