The Medifast Diet

With everything else that you need to keep track of, do you really want to add "counting calories" to your list? If you have better things to count but still need to lose weight quickly, consider the Medifast Diet plan. The packaged food approach to dieting does all the calculations for you and promises that you will lose 2-5 pounds a week.

The Medifast diet was created by Dr. William Vitale in 1980. Initially, he sold his products only to diet doctors, who then resold them to their patients. Over time, this changed into a direct-to-consumer business model driven by a highly functional web site for ordering the meals, although you can still buy Medifast meals through diet doctors.

When you are on the Medifast diet, you eat five pre-packaged Medifast meals a day, plus one meal of your own making. This homemade meal consists of a lean meat or fish plus a salad or green vegetables. They call this their "5 plus 1" plan, where the plus 1 is your "lean and green" homemade meal. You are also required to drink six 12 ounce glasses of water every day.

The beauty of the Medifast plan is that your food intake is tightly controlled for you. You eat between 800 and 1,000 calories a day, which is how the 2-5 pound weight loss happens. This is a pretty strict diet, and is outside the "safe" level for dieting according to the U.S. Government.

You can order your Medifast food from a diet doctor near you, or just use the Medifast web site. Not counting your homemade "lean and green" meals, a month of Medifast food costs about $300 a month. Takes you back to those dormitory meal service plans, doesn't it?

The Medifast food is well balanced, and extremely low in fats and carbohydrates. In addition to your 6 glasses of water, you are allowed non-caloric beverages like tea and diet sodas. The Medifast site warns that you may become more sensitive to caffeine during the diet, so watch your coffee intake.

Life during your Medifast diet will be someone different. You are eating food that you ordered days or weeks earlier. You are drinking A LOT of water (this very low calorie diet will put your body into ketosis, so water is essential). Since you are consuming so few calories, physical exertion will be more difficult and you may feel tired, light headed or achy at first. After several weeks on the diet most people can resume their exercise regime.

Once you have reached your target weight, you begin a 4-week to 4-month transitional period. During this time you taper off your dependence on the Medifast foods and re-introduce regular meals. You continue to limit your calories, but now through portion control and choosing your ingredients wisely.

Have you tried the Medifast Diet? Click on the Comment button and let us know your favorite foods!

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