Medifast is a low-calorie rapid weight loss plan using meal replacements alongside solid food. The program has been prescribed by doctors for many years where the patient is obese or morbidly obese.
UPDATE: Medifast closed their traditional program, and now sell product under the OPTAVIA brand. This is a an MLM-type business where coaches onsell the product to other customers.
The program is one of an increasing number of home-delivered diet programs. Such programs have surged in popularity in recent years. Although costly, research has shown there are benefits – mainly from having controlled portion sizes.
Medifast currently offer the following programs:
The Go plan includes 5 meal replacements.
For dinner your cook your own ‘lean and green’ meal (protein + vegetables).
This is the easiest plan to follow, and aims for faster weight loss.
If you don’t want to cook the evening meal, you can order this ‘lean and green’ meal directly from Medifast.
The Flex plan includes 4 meal replacements.
For lunch and dinner your cook your own meal (protein + vegetables).
This plan requires more cooking, aiming for more gradual weight loss.
As above, extra meals can be ordered from Medifast.
The Medifast plans are shipped in either 14-day or 30-day packages.
|14 Day Kit||30 Day Select Kit||30 Day Complete Kit|
|Go||$149 + shipping||$329||–|
|Flex||$149 + shipping||$299||$399*|
These prices are based on an auto-shipping model called Medifast Advantage. This is a loyalty program, that will apply a 5%-10% discount on the next shipped order. For example, if the 30 Day Go plan is ordered, the second month will cost $296.10.
Due to free shipping, the 30-day programs are far cheaper (per day).
*The Complete Kit has the following extras: 21 snacks, 300-watt blender, 30-day supply of Heart health supplements, 30-day supply of Digestive health supplements.
Refunds and cancellations
Medifast has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Full refunds are available.
Medifast operate clinics in California, Arizona, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The program is the same as the online, but is more individualized, and is supported by professional staff.
Weight loss is rapid – from 2-5 pounds per week the first two weeks and 1-2 pounds per week thereafter.
The Medifast plan is technically not a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet), as the caloric levels are above 800 kcal/per day. However calorie levels are still low (depending on your current weight, height, and size).
There are 65 options available: bars, shakes, soups, pastas, desserts and breakfast foods. All meal replacements have been formulated to be higher in protein, and packed with vitamins and minerals.The program can be adapted for diabetic customers, as well as gluten-free, and vegetarian options.
What about the “Lean and Green” Meal?
Once desired weight loss has been reached, a transitional plan called Thrive is available. The Thrive kit contains a selection of bars and smoothies that will be consumed along side regular cooked meals. The idea is to keep daily calories at around the 1800 mark.
Beyond this, Medifast recommend 1-3 packaged meals daily and a moderately intense exercise routine (e.g. 30-45 minutes 5 days per week). This is essential to keep the weight off.
Medifast is not about taking off a few pounds – it is intended for those who are very overweight. It is a drastic diet that will put you into state of ketosis, and you MUST ensure you are adequately hydrated.
Exercising while on the diet should be kept at a low intensity level. This is not the kind of diet where you will build muscle and be doing heavy workouts down at the gym.
Medifast is one of the most successful and balanced low-calorie diets available.
It has been used successfully at John Hopkins Weight Management Center, among other places – it is one of the few diets that are medically proven to work1.
A large trial testing Medifast along appetite suppressant medication found “significant and sustained weight losses at 52 weeks”. A smaller trial found greater reductions in weight and fat compared with a calorie-controlled food-based diet.
Yet another trial compared weight loss between a food-based meal plan, and the Medifast plan. At 16 weeks, weight loss in the Medifast group was higher (12.3% loss compared with 6.9% loss).