Regular readers may recall that I went on a diet over a year ago. At the time I was rather mum about my diet plan, mostly because I didn’t feel like listening to any “helpful” suggestions. See, the diet I followed was Medifast, a meal-replacement program that’s been around for over 30 years. Let me just tell you, this diet works.
Like many people, I had great success with Medifast. It was, in fact, the only diet that’s ever helped me lose more than a dozen or so pounds. How much did I lose? Thirty-eight pounds in roughly four months. And did I mention that I found it an incredibly easy diet to follow because it took all of the guesswork out of dieting for me?
If you’re interested in giving this diet a try, check out these Medifast coupon codes to save up to $50.
How Medifast works
Medifast is a low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie diet based on a 5+1 plan. Five times a day, roughly every 3 hours, you get a nutritionally-optimized Medifast meal or snack. Among their various offerings, my favorites were the Maryland Crab and Cream of Broccoli soups, the Peanut Butter crunch bars (which satisfied my sweet tooth) and the creamy Hot Cocoa.
The “plus 1″ part of the program involves a daily restaurant- or home-cooked meal nown as the “lean and green”, which consists of 4-7 oz. of lean protein (the higher the caloric density, the lower the amount allowed) along with 3 servings of low-carb, non-starchy vegetables. Now, that might sound small to folks used to massive proportions. I assure you by the second week (when I was already 8 pounds lighter), I found it an actual struggle to finish a 3-cup salad topped with 4 oz. (post-cooking) of lean ground beef and some salsa.
Superior nutrition that fits a busy lifestyle
Between the Medifast pre-packaged foods and the “lean and green” meal, it’s easy to stay social while sticking to your diet. Going out? Order grilled chicken or fish (frying’s off-limits) and a salad. Visiting family? All you need is hot water and a bowl for your soups, stews or oatmeal. Even eating on-the-go is simple with the crunch bars. To this day, I still keep a couple of those in my purse and mini-van. They’re just that good.
Notice I mentioned that the pre-packaged Medifast meals are nutritionally-enhanced. That’s the difference between this diet and, say, trying to do it on your own with low-calorie, low-carb, low-fat foods. Between the five Medifast daily meals you’re getting 100% of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. That alone is enough to give many bodies a kick-start into a fat-burning state.
How much weight will you lose?
That fat-burning is the key to Medifast’s clinically-proven success. Since this is not only a very low-calorie but low-carb diet, your body turns its fat stores for energy. (Former Atkins-dieters know this is the process of ketosis.) That’s when the magic starts happening, folks, because the weigh loss is shockingly fast. Provided you keep your water intake up to help flush waste byproducts and toxins out of your system while keeping you hydrated, you’ll find ketosis — and the superior nutrition you’re enjoying — give you more energy than you’ve ever had in your life.
How much weight and how fast? Medifast dieters lose up to 5 pounds per week. My personal best was the first week when I dropped 8 pounds, though most of that was probably water. After that, I lost between 2 and 4 pounds per week, every week, without fail.
In the name of full disclosure, I’ll admit that I didn’t keep the weight off. That’s not Medifast’s fault, though. In addition to a wonderful support community with forums, the program also provides a ‘Transition’ program designed to help dieters who’ve reached their goal re-incorporate regular, healthy foods back into their lives as they move off of the Medifast meals. Due to a serious health issue unrelated to my diet, I had to stop the program before going through Transition and went on a medication that led me to pack twenty pounds back on. Now that my health issue has been addressed and I no longer require that medication, I’m starting Medifast again because I know it works. (Also, swimsuit weather isn’t that far away, despite what the thermometer says!)
Are there any disadvantages to Medifast?
To some, the food restriction can be difficult. For instance, fruit isn’t allowed except on their Diabetic plan. Others, including myself, may find the prohibition against alcohol rather challenging at times. (I’ll confess: I wasn’t a complete tee-totaler while on the diet but I did notice that my weight loss slowed when I imbibed.)
Then there’s the cost of Medifast, which is roughly $11 per day for their meals, plus the cost of your “lean and green”. Fast-food junkies might very well find they’re saving money going on Medifast because those burgers, fries and other drive-thru meals really add up.
Be sure to let me know when you get started. Since I’m back on the program, too, we can keep each other motivated!